Three Things to Kickabout
- Goals – We still need them. Last game was another blank although several shot were much closer. Check out the picture above to see how close. Eventually one has to go in right?
- Old Guard Shield – Supporters from the oldest clubs in USL have started their own competition, the Old Guard Shield. The five teams play each other twice and the team with the best record wins the shield. Pittsburgh and Richmond are both “Old Guard” and this is Richmond’s first game in the quest for the shield.
- Weather – I mentioned it last week and the rain held off until 7:15. Not sure if we’ll be so lucky this week. Pack a poncho.
Kickers lost last week to a freak goal from mid-field, seriously watch this and be stunned:
Richmond’s luck has to change. There is no way they can keep rolling snake eyes. So simply playing the odds I’m predicting a 2-0 win for the Richmond Kickers.
Official Kickers Preview
The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium this Saturday, April 22 to host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 5:00 p.m. The pre-game party starts at 3:30 p.m. with live music by The Folly, RVA food trucks and over a dozen craft beers on tap. Fans who bike to City Stadium and fans with a military I.D. can purchase tickets at the gate for $8.00. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
The Kickers take on the Riverhounds for the first time this season with the home side leading the all-time series against Pittsburgh with a record of 17-9-7.
Richmond won both matchups last season, defeating Pittsburgh 3-1 at City Stadium on June 11, 2016 and 2-0 at Highmark Stadium on July 14, 2016. Richmond went up 2-0 in the first game on two own goals in the 17th and 20th minutes by Connor Branson and Hunter Gilstrap. Anthony Grant scored the third goal in the 67th minute, assisted by Fred Owusu Sekyere. Pittsburgh got one back in the 90th minute, when Corey Hertzog scored off a corner kick. In the second game, Kickers midfielder Yudai Imura drew a penalty kick in the 44th and solidified the victory with an unassisted goal from Sunny Jane.
The Kickers suffered their third straight 1-0 loss on April 15, falling at the hands of Ottawa Fury FC at City Stadium. Despite Richmond dominating for much of the game, especially the first half, Steevan Dos Santos caught goalkeeper Matt Turner unawares with a 79th minute wonder goal from midfield.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh drew with the Charlotte Independence 1-1 on April 15. Both goals were scored in the first six minutes of the game, with Kay Banjo helping the Riverhounds to a 1-0 lead in the 2nd minute before the club conceded a penalty four minutes later.
Saturday’s match is the start of a two-game series between the two teams, and they will swap home-field advantage on August 5 at Highmark Stadium. Following this matchup, the Kickers travel to Al Lang Stadium April 29 to face the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m.
Players to Watch:
Kickers: Midfielder Paddy McCann (#16) started the last two games for the Kickers. The native of Long Island, NY is in his first season with Richmond after spending his first four professional seasons in Ireland. Forward Alhaji Kamara (#45) made his first start on April 15 and led the team with three shots. The Sierra Leonean is in his first season with Richmond on loan from the club’s MLS affiliate, D.C. United. Forward Oliver (#9) had two shots in his first start on Saturday, including one that hit the post. The Brazilian is spent last season with Puerto Rico FC.
Riverhounds: Forward Corey Hertzog (#11) scored at Richmond last season and is tied for fourth in the USL with three goals this season. The hometown player from nearby Reading, Pennsylvania has started all five games and is also second in the USL with 15 shots. Forward Kay Banjo (#18) has played in all five games, starting twice and coming off the bench three times while scoring two goals and assisting once. The Marlboro, Maryland native is in his first season with the Riverhounds. Midfielder Victor Souto (#5) was brought up through the prestigious Corinthians youth system. He hails from Sao Paolo, Brazil and appeared for the Portland Timbers and Orlando City U23 teams while attending Akron University.