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Hills & Heights

Kickers face Charlotte Independence on Saturday

The Kickers are desperate for a win.

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Three Things to Kickabout

  1. Offense where for art thou? – This will be on our list until it’s no longer a question. We got a goal so we know it’s possible to score in City Stadium. Now we work on scoring more than the other team
  2. Heat – It’s the first few days of summer and it will feel like it in City Stadium. High of 92° and 60% humidity. We won’t mention the dreaded noisy and bright weather phenomena that often accompanies such forecasts.
  3. @KingTayou – On Friday the Kickers announced signing forward Franck Tayou.  His impact was immediate. He scored the USL Goal of the Week in stoppage time to give the Kickers a much needed draw. @KingTayou is his Twitter handle and like a lot of forwards doesn’t lack in confidence. This is his pinned Tweet: “In 2016 I was good and got better. In 2017 I am going to be UNSTOPPABLE. HNY!!!”

Prediction

Like a summer wind I’m a fickle constantly changing gust of hot air with no rhyme or reason. I have no data or reason for this prediction other than Franck Tayou. Kickers 2 – Charlotte 0.

Official Kickers Preview

The Richmond Kickers (2-7-5) host the Charlotte Independence (4-3-4) for the first time in 2017 and Summer Fest, presented by Sticks Kabob Shop and Bounce 2 the Moon this Saturday. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music, splash zone, RVA food trucks and over 15 craft beers on tap. Then, at 7 p.m. the Kickers take on the Independence. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

Saturday’s match will be the eighth meeting between the Kickers and the Independence, with Charlotte holding a slight 2-3-2 edge over Richmond. The two clubs met on three occasions in 2016, with Charlotte besting the Kickers in two of the three matches, with the third being a scoreless draw. Charlotte hosted Richmond on April 22, 2016, where Sunny Jane score his first goal with the Kickers as Matthew Delicâte scored his last career goal, but Richmond fell to a late penalty call 2-3. It would be the Independence to host the Kickers in the second meeting of 2016 on June 18, as a Caleb Calvert goal was enough to decide the close affair. The Kickers played host to the Independence September 14, this time neither team could find the back of the net, with that one ending in a scoreless draw. The Kickers are currently undefeated at City Stadium against the Independence, with a record of 2-0-1.

Richmond comes into Saturday’s match against Charlotte off the heels of a dramatic 1-1 draw against the Tampa Bay Rowdies last Saturday. Marcel Schäfer found the back of the net from a free kick opportunity in the 64th minute, with the help of a deflection in the Kickers wall. Franck Tayou leveled the score late into stoppage time of his debut with the team, scoring on a volley just before the final whistle, ending a two-match scoring drought for Richmond.

The Independence hit the road for the first time since opening their new venue at the Sportsplex at Matthews. Their first match in their new home was a 2-0 victory over the Harrisburg City Islanders last Saturday. Jorge Herrera opened the scoring for Charlotte in the 13th minute from a free kick. Alex Martinez doubled the home team’s lead in the 62nd minute, assisted by Jorge Herrera.

Richmond hits the road for three straight matches following Saturday’s encounter with Charlotte. First up, the Kickers will head to take on the Bethlehem Steel FC for a 5pm kickoff July 1. This match will be available to stream live from the USL Match Center. The Kickers will return to City Stadium Wednesday, July 19 for a friendly match against Swansea City AFC of the Premier League. Tickets and more information can be found at RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Defender Conor Shanosky (#5) has made 11 appearances in 2017, scoring the first goal of the season in the home opener win over the Harrisburg City Islanders. Shanosky signed with the Kickers in September of 2016 following one and a half seasons with Louisville City FC. Coming off winning the USL Goal of the Week for Week 13, forward Franck Tayou (#70) made his debut last Saturday, entering the match in the 65th minute and scoring the game-tying in the 94th minute. Tayou joins the Kickers after an extensive indoor soccer career in Mexico and spending the 2016 USL season with San Antonio FC. On loan from the Kickers MLS affiliate, D.C. United defender Chris Durkin (#21) has made seven appearances this season, all of which are starts. The former Kickers youth player and Richmond United product set up the play that lead to Tayou’s game-tying goal Saturday.

Charlotte: Tied as team leading scorer in 2017 with four goals, forward Jorge Herrera (#10) is in his third season with the Independence. Previously, Herrera was with the Charlotte Eagles while they were in the USL from 2007 to 2014, making over 150 appearances and scoring 51 goals. Midfielder Enzo Martinez (#19) also has a team-high four goals this season for the Independence in eight appearances. Selected as the 17th overall pick by Real Salt Lake in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, Martinez did not make an appearance for the club and was loaned out in 2013 to the Carolina Railhawks, where he would later sign with in 2014. He had six goals in 21 appearances with the Railhawks before signing with the Independence in 2015. A former D.C. United loanee to the Kickers in 2013, forward Casey Townsend (#9) joined the Independence on loan from FC Cincinnati. The fifth overall selection by Chivas USA in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, Townsend saw time with Chivas USA and D.C. United before making the rounds in the USL, most recently with Wilmington Hammerheads FC scoring two goals in 11 appearances in 2016.

Ticket Deal

No bargains to be had this week but it’s SUMMER FEST which means entertainment of all sorts that doesn’t involve soccer.

It’s SUMMER FEST at City Stadium on Saturday, June 24th, presented by Sticks Kebob Shop and Bounce 2 The Moon!

The party starts at 5:30 pm with live music by The Hit List, a one-of-a-kind splash zone featuring a 40-foot slip ‘n slide and a 20-foot water slide, human foosball, soccer darts, inflatable games, RVA food trucks and over 15 craft beers on tap including:

Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Champion Fruitless
Stone Ripper
Lagunitas Lil Sumpin
Fairwinds Saison
Deschutes Fresh Squeezed
Stone Ghost Hammer
Sam Adams Summer Ale
Sierra Nevada Summerfest
Wild Wolf Kick It Hunny
South Street VA Lager
Trapezium Red Army IPA
Stone IPA
Buskey RVA Cider
Blue Moon
Modelo
Miller Lite

Then, get loud with the Red Army when YOUR Richmond Kickers battle Charlotte at 7pm.

GET TICKETS –> bit.ly/1Hm3m5s

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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.