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Kickers face long-time rival Charleston on Wednesday

It’s time for some Wednesday night soccer.

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This Wednesday at 7:00 PM Richmond Kickers (11-6-6) and Charleston Battery (10-5-7) face off at City Stadium. The Wednesday night game has a Happy Hour theme and will feature over 15 craft brews to choose from including Trapezium Lemon Honey Ginger which is perfect for a hot summer night. Weather spoiler, it’ll be hot at City Stadium. You can buy your $12 tickets online or at the gate.

Richmond Kickers and the Charleston Battery argue over which team is older. Both claim the title and since we’re a Richmond organization we’re honor bound to support the Kickers’ claim. Regardless of which team is older by a few days, they’ve been playing against each other for years and are evenly matched. Evenly matched isn’t a generalization. The Kickers all-time record against Charleston is 24-24-8.

Charleston notched a win back on July 2nd at home in a game where the Kickers offense was recovering from a long nap and the defense was seemingly enjoying a bit of low-country boil somewhere else. I traveled for that game and the only highlight I can remember was the firework show after the game.

The playoffs are not that far away and only the top eight teams make it in from each division. More importantly hosting is based on record/standing so the top four will get to host at least their respective first rounds. Kickers and Charleston are fighting for one of those top four spots and both are coming off a Saturday draw. Expect an aggressive game from both sides as every point matters this late in the season.

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Players to watch from Richmond Kickers:

Kickers:  Defender Hugh Roberts (#8) has played every minute of every game during the 2016 campaign, anchoring the Kickers backline to nine shutouts.  The native of Olney, MD has amassed over 5,000 minutes in a Kickers uniform over three seasons after being discovered at the club’s 2014 pro tryouts.  Midfielder Sunny Jane (#10) notched his fifth goal of the season with the opening tally in last week’s 1-1 draw against third-place FC Cincinnati.  The Lesotho National Team forward signed with Richmond prior to the 2016 season and now ranks second on the team with nine points.  Goalkeeper Travis Worra (#48) is slated to return to Richmond on loan from the club’s official Major League Soccer affiliate, D.C. United.  Posting back-to-back shutouts against Pittsburgh and English Premier League side Swansea City last month, he has started 11 matches in his sophomore season with D.C. United’s first team after making 12 appearances in goal for the Kickers on loan during the 2015 campaign.

Battery: Recovering from an injury-blighted first year in 2013 that restricted him to just six games played, Cuban midfielder Maikel Chang (#12) returned to full strength last season and has appeared in all but one match during the 2016 campaign.  Leading the team with five assists, he recently added his third goal of the season against FC Montreal to avoid the shutout.  Forward Romario Williams (#9) joined the Battery prior to the 2016 season on loan from Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact, making an immediate impact and leading the club with nine goals and 19 points.  Picked third overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, the U23 Jamaican National Team forward made two appearances with the Impact’s first team last season.  Cuban goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper (#0) returned for his fourth season with the Battery after defecting from the Cuban National Team before a World Cup Qualifier in 2012.  Splitting time in goal with Alex Tambakis, he has made 10 appearances in 2016, posting a goals against average of 1.10 this season.

 

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RTD has been cranking out the Kickers stories as of late with a piece on the Red Army featuring quotes from yours truly, Coach Leigh Cowlishaw’s coaching over 500 games, and General Manager Shelly Sowers who keeps the Kicker train on the tracks.

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The pictures scattered through this post are from the Kickers most recent game on Saturday a 1-1 draw with FC Cincinnati.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.