Last Saturday the Richmond Kickers continued their winning ways with a 3-0 goal over visiting Toronto FC II. It was an even more lopsided victory than the scoreline. Kickers dominated possession for extended periods and the only thing that slowed them down was the Hades level heat.
This week another MLS Junior Varsity team the Red Bulls II will be in town and will not be the push over like Toronto. The New York Red Bulls sit in second place in the Eastern Conference while the Kickers have climbed up to sixth place.
NYRB II are coming off a 3-2 lose at home against the Charleston Battery. This was only the second loss of the season for the Red Bulls.
This would be the second match between these two teams. The first one was at Red Bull Arena and the Kickers’ Brian Ownby tied it up in the 90th minute.
Kickers: Midfielder Yudai Imura (#14) increased his team-leading tally to six goals after adding a pair against Toronto FC II last week at City Stadium. Discovered at the Kickers 2015 Pro Tryouts, the Japanese midfielder quickly earned his spot on the starting lineup, making 37 appearances over two seasons. Midfielder Samuel Asante (#28) was integral in the Kickers 3-0 win against Toronto, drawing a second half penalty kick before assisting on the third goal of the night. The USL veteran and native of Sunyani, Ghana has anchored the midfield in more than 60 appearances and amassing over 5,000 minutes since 2014. Defender Chris Durkin (#37) became the youngest player in Kickers history to start and play 90 minutes in a USL match when he made his official debut at age 16 years, 147 days against Toronto last week. Signing a Homegrown contract with D.C. United last month, the native of Glen Allen, Virginia joined the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club at the age of 8.
Red Bulls II: Midfielder Derrick Etienne (#36) signed with the New York Red Bulls senior team as a Homegrown Player after one year at the University of Virginia and after making 14 appearances with Red Bulls II as an Academy player last season. The son and nephew of former Kickers players Derrick and Darrell Etienne, he added an assist in the NYRB II’s 2-1 win at FC Cincinnati last week. Forward Brandon Allen (#21) leads NYRB II’s attack, contributing eight goals and two assists in 17 appearances this season. The native of Old Bridge, NJ signed as a Homegrown Player and made his first team debut in May as a second half substitute in the club’s 3-0 win against Toronto. On loan from the New York Red Bulls, forward Anatole Abang (#9) gave the Red Bulls II an early lead against the Richmond Kickers at Red Bull Arena in May, forcing the Kickers to level the score with a last-gasp equalizer. Soon after, he became a regular on the senior team’s 18-man roster before returning to the NYRB II side that handed FC Cincinnati a 2-1 scoreline last week.
Kickoff is this Saturday at 7 PM at City Stadium. There will be a VIP Fiesta Tent if you’re interested in All-You-Can-Eat Chicken Fiesta Tacos and 2 Modelo Beers for $20.
Images: Brian Zimmerman