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Preview: Kickers continue three game home stand against Toronto

On the plus side teams haven’t scored a lot of goals against the Kickers.

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Three Things to Kickabout

  1. Goals – I’m regretting my promise to keep posting this until it wasn’t an issue. Fourteen goals in 23 games will never make for a good season.
  2. Preseason –  According to the excellent Sports Club Stats, the Kickers have 0.00% chance of making the playoffs. I’m no mathematician but I don’t think that’s good. Time for the team to focus on next year and on which players will be around. Changes have already been made as the team and Anthony Grant parted ways.
  3. #CatherinesFight – This Saturday the River City Red Army will hold a fundraiser to help Catherine Muir. For a cash donation, you can pick up some Red Army swag or simply throw a little cash in the buckets that will be around. Catherine currently plays for the U13 Kickers Elite Team and was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Donations can be made online at Catherines GoFundMe.

Prediction

I’m too lazy to go back and see what my record is at predicting this year. I’m sure it’s pretty close to the Kickers record. I missed the last game so I know the team will be inspired to see me back in the stands. Kickers 2, Toronto 0.

Kickers Preview

The Richmond Kickers (3-12-8) are back at City Stadium this Saturday to host Toronto FC II (4-13-6) along with Family Fest, presented by WTVR CBS 6 and Bounce 2 The Moon. Admission is $25 for the entire family before 6:30 p.m. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with a one-of-a-kind fun zone featuring human foosball, giant soccer darts and a 24-foot double drop slide, live music, RVA food trucks, soft serve ice cream, and over a dozen craft beer on tap. The Kickers then take on TFCII at 7:00 p.m. This match will be available live on the Kickers Exclusive Television Partners WTVR CBS 6 on their 6.3 sub channel (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466) and online through the USL Match Center. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

The two clubs have met on five occasions over two seasons, with the Kickers holding a slight advantage with a 2-1-1 record. Both clubs met previously this season May 24 at the Ontario Soccer Centre, with both teams battling to a 0-0 draw in the second of a three-game road trip for the Kickers. Richmond swept Toronto in the two meetings at City Stadium last season, opening the series with a 1-0 victory on April 30 followed by a 3-0 win July 23.

The Kickers are coming off a 0-1 defeat at home to Orlando City B last Saturday. Pierre Da Silva narrowly found Hadji Barry as the Kickers failed to clear the ball away. Barry controlled and turned to find the far post side netting in the 24th minute.

Toronto FC II fell on the road to Bethlehem Steel FC Sunday afternoon 1-3. Bethlehem opened the scoring in the 58th minute with a goal from Corey Burke. TFCII pulled level in the 73rd minute as Mitchell Taintor converted a penalty kick after Jordan McCrary was fouled by Matthew Real inside the box. James Chambers gave the home side the lead in the 80th minute as he put away a penalty that was conceded by Julian Dunn-Johnson and causing him to see his second yellow card. Bethlehem would get their third of the game deep into stoppage time as Santi Moar set up Chris Nanco.

The Kickers stays home at City Stadium to close out a three-match home stand next Saturday night to host long-time rivals Charleston Battery and Food Truck Fest. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Jive 45, over a dozen craft beers on tap, and RVA’s iconic food trucks, including Carytown Burgers & Fries, Sticks Kebob Shop, Grapevine, The Return of the Mac, Mr. Softee, Happy Empanada, Ms. Funnel Cakes and Boka Truck. Tickets and more information are available now at RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Midfielder Matt Bolduc (#32) made his second start in a row last Saturday since joining the Kickers after the start of the 2017 season, with five appearances total this season. Bolduc spent the 2016 season at Eastern Conference rivals Harrisburg City Islanders where he made 19 appearances and assisted on one goal. Defender Evan Lee (#8) has suited up for the Kickers on 10 occasions this season, including seven starts. Lee joined the Kickers after having spent last season with FC Cincinnati in their inaugural season, playing 323 minutes and contributing to eight shutouts over 14 appearances. Forward Oliver Minatel (#9) netted his first goal in the Kickers 3-2 win over Bethlehem Steel FC back on July 22. The Brazilian has made 11 appearances, including eight starts since signing with Richmond during the offseason. He scored one goal in nine appearances with Puerto Rico FC in 2016.

Toronto: One of the two leading scorers for TFCII, midfielder Luca Uccello (#45) has three goals in 12 appearances this season. Uccello initially joined Toronto through the Academy, signing his first professional contract with the USL side in March of 2015. Defender Mitchell Taintor (#42) had the lone goal in Toronto’s last outing, a 1-3 loss on the road at Bethlehem Steel FC. A former New England Revolution youth player, Taintor was drafted by Toronto FC as the 59th overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft out of Rutgers University. Forward Ryan Telfer (#54) has appeared in ever match for Toronto this season, where he has made 16 starts and scored on one occasion. His lone goal came in the season opener on the road to claim a 1-0 victory over Western Conference side Phoenix Rising FC.

 Ticket Deal

It’s FAMILY FEST at City Stadium on Saturday, August 19, presented by CBS6 and Bounce 2 The Moon!

Admission is just $25 for the whole family before 6:30 p.m. That’s right – simply purchase one $25 ticket and gain admission for the entire family!

The party starts at 5:30 pm with a one-of-a-kind fun zone featuring human foosball, giant soccer darts and a 24-foot double drop slide, live music, RVA food trucks, soft serve ice cream, and over a dozen craft beer on tap!

Then, get loud when YOUR Richmond Kickers battle Toronto at 7pm.

Get Tickets –> http://bit.ly/2fipCJV

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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.