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Hills & Heights

Kickers face FC Cincinnati on Saturday

A look at this weekend’s Kickers game from resident local soccer expert Richard Hayes.

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Three Things to Kickabout

  1. Offense where for art thou? – The Kickers followed up a two goal at home in the rain with a road trip. On the road it’s arguable if they had even a real shot on goal. Soccer math is simple you need more goals to win.
  2. Attendance – The Kickers were on pace to shatter attendance goals and then Mother Nature literally rained on the parade last week. Attendance was dismal thanks to an hour delay and constant heavy rain. Only the foolhardy and drunk stuck it out. Hopefully the crowds come back on Saturday.
  3. Imura MIA – Last year Yudai Imura was an exciting attacking option in the midfield. This year he hasn’t been seen. No word of injury, not present as he usually was in marketing. If you see him let us know. Hopefully we’ll see him on the field soon.

Prediction

Predicting Kickers games this year would be much easier with a proven goal-scorer. The debate would be between draw or win. Without the proven goal-scorer the debate becomes draw or loss. FCC with one 4 goal exception against Cincinnati has pretty much been a 1 goal per game team. That’s the kind of team we have a chance against now. A chance to draw. Final score will be 1-1.

Official Kickers Preview

The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium this Saturday, May 6 to host FC Cincinnati and the Bark & Brew Craft Beer Festival. The pet-friendly craft beer festival starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Back Seat Drivers, pet-centric vendors, RVA food trucks and over 15 craft beers and ciders on tap.  Bark & Brew tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com for $22 and include admission and drinks for two.

The Kickers and FC Cincinnati meet for the first time this season after drawing both games, 1-1, in 2016.  Sean Okoli tapped in a 12th minute rebound to open the scoring for FC Cincinnati on June 4th at Nippert Stadium, but Richmond’s late game heroics gave them a 1-1 equalizer in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time. The two clubs concluded the series at City Stadium in August when Sunny Jane scored a rebound just past the hour mark, but Andrew Weideman answered from 30 yards out with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.

Last week, the Kickers dropped a 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies on the road.  Rowdies forward Deshorn Brown broke the deadlock with a scissor kick volley seconds before the halftime break.  FC Cincinnati also dropped points last week, suffering a narrow 1-0 loss to Bethlehem Steel FC.  The match remained scoreless until former Kickers defender Hugh Roberts tallied the 87th minute game-winner for Bethlehem.

Saturday’s match is the start of a two-game series between the two teams, and they will swap home-field advantage on July 9 at Nippert Stadium. Following this matchup, the Kickers remain at City Stadium for a rematch of the home opener against Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday, May 13.

Players to Watch:
Kickers: Defender Mallan Roberts (#15) is the only Richmond player to play all 540 minutes this season, also leading the team with 247 passes and percentage of duels won at 63.6. The Sierra Leone native, by way of Canada, also led the team to a clean sheet in the home opener. Forward Samuel Asante (#28) has appeared in five games, starting four, and leads the team in passing percentage in the opponents’ half at 85.7 He is also second on the team in total pass percentage at 81.2. The Sunyani, Ghana native has made 81 appearances over four seasons for Richmond. Alex Lee (#18) is second to only Roberts in minutes with 533 and passes at 207. The Rockville, Maryland native has made 82 appearances over five seasons for the Kickers.

Cincinnati: Midfielder Corben Bone (#19) is tied for the team lead with two assists and is third among starters in pass percentage at 77.7. The 28 year-old from Plano, Texas has been around the U.S., playing for seven teams since graduating from Wake Forest University in 2009. Goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrant (#1) is tied for fourth in the USL in saves (18) and tied for fourth in clean sheets with two. He is one of two FC Cincinnati players that has played all 630 minutes and received the 2016 USL Goalkeeper of the Year award.  Defender Matt Bahner (#2) has anchored a backline that contributed to two shutouts this season.  The University of Cincinnati product returned to his hometown prior to the 2017 campaign after spending two seasons with the Jacksonville Armada and two seasons with the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Ticket Deal

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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.

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Spend Lunchtime in Nature with a Nature Walk

Join the Climate Action Team for a lunch hour nature walk in one of Richmond’s parks with some fellow lovers of the outdoors.

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Register Here for Updates: https://www.mobilize.us/lcvva/event/429604/

Join the Climate Action Team for a lunch hour nature walk in one of Richmond’s parks with some fellow lovers of the outdoors. We will end with a brief discussion about what we can do to protect and expand green spaces in Richmond and beyond, and guided meditation to reflect on and appreciate the beauty of our natural surroundings.

We will be meeting in the Forest Hill Park parking lot at 12:00 PM and the walk will start promptly at 12:05 PM

Address for the park: 4021 Forest Hill Ave, Richmond, VA 23225

Please reach out to Devyn Keller at [email protected] with any questions or concerns!

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It’s Over at The Westover for Now

They stated that they’ll be considering other potential concepts for this space in the new year.

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The coffeeshop/restaurant The Westover (formerly Taza/Zata) is taking some time off to reconsider their options. Located at 5047 Forrest Hill Avenue for the past few years has been run by Tuffy Stone of Q Barbecue fame.

They made the announcement on Instagram today.

Dear patrons, neighbors, and loyal returning customers,

Beginning Wednesday December 8th, The Westover is stopping operations and taking a pause while we consider other potential concepts for this space in the new year. We apologize to all of our customers for any inconvenience that this may cause as well as the short notice.

Stay tuned, and thank you to all of the wonderful customers that have supported us.

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Stroll and Check Out Art this Saturday

The Southside Stroll and Artwalk will be on December 11th, Saturday, 10-4. Outside, local artisans, a great place to pick up those Holiday Gifts.

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