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Kickers battle Bethlehem

Hope springs eternal as the Kickers play at home again.

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Three Things to Kickabout

  1. Goals – What can you say that hasn’t already been said? Ten goals over 18 games. It takes the Kickers on average 162 minutes to score a goal.
  2. Heat – It’s so hot the Kickers have moved the start time back to 7:45 PM. I’m sure they’ve done that before but I can’t remember when.
  3. Swansea – A good number of starters played in a meaningless game on Wednesday so they’ll be nice and tired for the league game on Saturday.

Prediction

I see nothing good coming of this combination of a previous Wednesday game, Hades level heat, and utter lack of Richmond scoring. Bethlehem 2 – Kickers 0.

Official Kickers Preview

The Richmond Kickers (2-10-6) return to USL action Saturday night as they host Bethlehem Steel FC (8-6-3). Due to excessive heat in the forecast, the Richmond Kickers have changed the kickoff time to 7:45 p.m. The original kickoff time was previously listed for 7:00 p.m. Gates will open at 6:00pm with live music, food trucks and over a dozen craft beers on tap. As a bonus, tickets purchased for the Swansea City AFC exhibition match on July 19 can be exchanged at Will Call on Saturday for free admission. Additionally, tickets can be upgraded for a VIP Mini Suite Experience for $20, including small bites, craft beer and access to a VIP party area behind the south goal. The match can be viewed online on the USL Match Center. Tickets are available online at RichmondKickers.com.

Since joining the USL in 2016, Bethlehem holds a slight advantage over the Kickers with one win and two draws. The teams last met July 1 in Bethlehem as the Kickers took a point on the road in a 1-1 draw. Richmond netted the first goal in the 40th minute as Sunny Jane slotted the ball through three defenders to find Luiz Fernando and he calmly put it away. Steel FC leveled the score in the 52nd minute when Aaron Jones scored on a free kick.

Richmond has a quick turnaround following Wednesday night’s 1-2 loss to the Premier League’s Swansea City AFC at City Stadium in front of a crowd of 8,119. Franck Tayou scored the lone goal for the Kickers in the 69th minute off a cross from Finnlay Wyatt. The Kickers last USL match was on the road at the Harrisburg City Islanders July 15. Despite putting four shots on goal, Harrisburg edged the Kickers 0-1 after a goal in the 76th minute from Ropapa Mensah.

Steel FC comes into Saturday’s match off a 1-1 draw at home against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds last Saturday. The Riverhounds took the lead in the 24th minute from a goal by Chevaugh Walsh. Bethlehem got back into the match after James Chambers converted a penalty in the 27th minute to draw level.

Richmond is on the road for their next match, as they travel to face the Charlotte Independence next Wednesday, July 26 at the Sportsplex at Matthews for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. The Kickers return to City Stadium next Saturday, hosting Saint Louis FC for their first meeting in 2017. Both matches will be available on the USL Match Center, as well as next Saturday’s match being available on the WTVR CBS 6.3 subchannel (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466). Tickets and more information can be found at RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Franck Tayou (#70) scored his second goal in a Kickers shirt Wednesday night against Swansea City AFC. Tayou signed midseason for the Kickers, scoring in stoppage time of his debut against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He the second half of the 2016 season with San Antonio FC, scoring five goals in 17 appearances. Rookie midfielder Finnlay Wyatt (#12) had the assist Wednesday to set up Tayou’s goal against Swansea. A former Richmond Kickers youth player, Wyatt scored 11 goals and had 13 assists in 53 appearances for Longwood University. Now in his fourth season in Richmond, midfielder Samuel Asante (#28) has 13 appearances, 12 of which were starts. He has three goals and five assists during his time in Richmond, after spending the 2013 season with the Charlotte Eagles.

 

Bethlehem: Defender Hugh Roberts (#42) makes his return to Richmond, where he spent three seasons and contributed three goals and one assist over 86 appearances. This season, Roberts has seen 14 appearances and scored on one occasion. Leading Steel FC in scoring, forward Seku Conneh (#36) has scored seven goals in 15 games this season. Capped twice by the Liberian National Team, Conneh only saw 18 appearances scoring only on two occasions. Defender Aaron Jones (#19) scored his first professional goal against the Kickers in their previous meeting on July 1. Jones was selected in the Second Round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft from Clemson University, where he scored four goals and added seven assists in 39 appearances.

Ticket Deal

Gates will open at 6:00pm with live music, food trucks and over a dozen craft beers on tap. As a bonus, tickets purchased for the Swansea City AFC exhibition match on July 19 can be exchanged at Will Call on Saturday for free admission.

Additionally, tickets can be upgraded for a VIP Mini Suite Experience for $20, including small bites, craft beer and access to a VIP party area behind the south goal.

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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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James River Park System Update from Bryce Wilk, Superintendent

Through June 30, 2020: 1,076,873 James River Park has had visitors. The same date in 2019: 975,433 visitors. The current staff devoted to James River Park is 5.

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The James River Park is getting heavy use but that’s not all that’s going on in the park. Here’s what Bryce Wilk, Superintendent has to say.

  • The JRPS is seeing visitors at a higher rate than any other year ever! Through June 30, 2020: 1,076,873 visitors. Same date in 2019: 975,433 visitors. This despite all the restrictions in place during the stay at home orders due to Covid 19 this past spring and early summer. Close to a quarter million visitors in the month of June alone.
  • JRPS staff and local paddling groups installed new Dam Hazard Signs and Buoys between Huguenot Flatwater and Z-Dam to better warn people of the dangers of Z-Dam and the river.
  • JRPS hired parking attendants to ticket all illegally parked vehicles at Pony Pasture Rapids Park on weekends and holidays.
  • During the closure of public facilities, JRPS took the opportunity to upgrade the bathroom at Pony Pasture with new flooring and paint.
  • JRPS added parking lines in the parking lot to help guide and organize vehicle parking.
  • Currently we only have 5 full time staff members dedicated solely to the James River Park System, James River Park System relies on volunteers to keep this park beautiful.
  • JRPS is providing volunteer opportunities for river clean ups at Pony Pasture specifically through https://www.handsonrva.org/.
  • If people are interested in volunteering on their own or have any questions, Volunteer Coordinator, Matthew Mason can provide resources and equipment. His email is [email protected]
  • Please visit https://jamesriverpark.org/ and http://www.richmondgov.com/parks/ for the latest updates and safety information about the James River Park System and Richmond’s Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities.

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Community

Suspects Sought in Commercial Burglary on Jahnke Road

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Friday, June 19, an unknown male broke into the Shell Gas Station in the 6200 block of Jahnke Road.

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From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify the individuals in the attached photos who are suspects in a commercial burglary that last month.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Friday, June 19, an unknown male broke into the Shell Gas Station in the 6200 block of Jahnke Road. Security footage shows two suspects driving a van and parking near the side of the building.

One male broke a window to gain access into the business and stole several cartons of cigarettes and lottery tickets. The suspects then fled. Damage to the van is pictured and circled in red.

Anyone with information is asked to call Third Precinct Detective H. Truong at (804) 646-1067 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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Community

Little Nickel and Crossroads “Should” Reopen Next Week

Not back to normal but a step in that direction.

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Two neighborhood favorites are set to come out of Covid-19 hibernation.

Little Nickel made this announcement on Facebook along with the slick looking deck addition you see above.

we’re almost back and this time with a bit of outdoor seating! ~ we’ll be making an announcement on monday about our opening date ~ we’ve missed everyone and can’t wait to reopen our tropical paradise safely, thank you so much for your support throughout this process ~

A little birdie told me that the announcement on Monday will be a Wednesday opening. Little birdies are known to be wrong but I trust this one.

Crossroads is not as precise. They’re planning for mid-July. Work is going on to complete a couple projects. Once those wrap up they’ll be pivoting to take out only for a bit.

Next week is mid-July so I’m hopeful that our favorite little coffee shop will be back in action.

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