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Hills & Heights

Preview: Kickers vs NCFC

Soccer season is just getting underway and this is the second game of the year for the Richmond Kickers.

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Three Things to Kickabout

  1. Goals: And so the trend continues. Promises of goals-a-plenty have not come true, yet. There is still hope but it’s impossible to win without scoring goals.
  2. New Kids: Another repeat. This will be the first meeting of these teams in League play. The Kickers have faced NCFC before in friendlies and in Open Cup play. The Kickers have won the meaningless friendlies and lost both the Open Cup games.
  3. Support: Last year the team averaged around 4,500. They beat that with the home opener with 4,700. The impressive number though was that over 20,000 watched the game on WTVR CBS 6. This represented a 400% increase in rating over the average of last season’s games that were broadcasted on the WTVR CBS 6.1 main channel. If the Kickers could motivate 25% of those tv viewers to come to a live game City Stadium truly could give them home field advantage.

Prediction

Last week I asked for dramatic improvement in the midfield and defense. For the most part that came true. One mistake allowed the goal in last week’s loss. This week they face an opponent that gave up three goals in their first game and scored one, which is surprisingly similar to the Kickers 4-1 loss. I think the Kickers are improving and playing on the road should be just enough to trip up NC.

Kickers 2 NCFC 0

My W/L prediction record to date: 100% correct

Kickers Preview

The Richmond Kickers (0-2-0) will play their second of three-straight home matches at City Stadium this Saturday night at 5:00 p.m. as they host another new club to the USL, North Carolina FC (0-1-0). This game is also RVA Bike Fest, with the gates opening at 3:30 p.m. with live music, RVA food trucks and over a dozen craft beers on tap. Anyone that rides their bike to City Stadium can get tickets for just $8, plus a free Bike Valet courtesy of I Am RVA and the Giant pop-up shop for free tune-ups. Then, the Kickers take the field to take on North Carolina for a 5:00 p.m. kickoff. This match will be available live on the Kickers Official Television partners WTVR CBS 6 and streaming online through the USL Match Center. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
When the two clubs meet this Saturday, it will be the first time they have met in league play, but the fifth overall with honors even with a 2-2-0 record. The Kickers have hosted North Carolina on two occasions for exhibitions before the start of the 2007 and 2009 seasons, both of which were victories for Richmond. The other two contests have come in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, both on the road at North Carolina FC, with the home side getting the best of the Kickers each time in 2007 and 2009.
Richmond opened the home slate for the 2018 season last Saturday night, falling to Indy Eleven 0-1. The visitors broke the deadlock in the 41st minute with Soony Saad getting to the endline with enough space to send in a cross to the back post as Jack McInerney beat Raul Gonzalez to the ball and finding the back of the net.
North Carolina FC played their first USL match since joining the league, March 17 hosting the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Steven Miller tied the game up for the home team in the 38th minute from an assist by Marios Lomis. Two more goals from the Rowdies gave the visitors all three points as NCFC fell in their opening match of the season. North Carolina was slated to play on the road at Louisville City FC, as weather and field conditions forced the postponement of the match.
The Kickers will close out their three-match home stand next Saturday night as they host New York Red Bulls II and the I Heart Carytown Craft Beer Festival. The gates open at 3:00 p.m. with live music by Pretty Ugly, a mini-Carytown marketplace featuring locally-owned restaurants, food trucks and handcrafted items from Carytown boutiques, 20+ craft beers on tap and the Kickers pro game versus New York Red Bulls II at 5:00 p.m. to showcase why Carytown is the best place to Eat, Shop and Play. Tickets are available now at RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Midfielder Neil Hlavaty (#7) made his Kickers debut last Saturday against Indy Eleven, wearing the captain’s armband. He signed with the Kickers before the start of the season following an extensive professional career, including recent stints with North Carolina FC and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Defender Conor Shanosky (#5) has played every minute for the Kickers in their first two matches this season. The Pittsburgh, PA native made 18 appearances for the Kickers last season, including 15 starts and scored one goal. Forward Giuseppe Gentile (#92) made his first start for the Kickers in last Saturday’s match against Indy Eleven, his second appearance of the season recording three shots in 90 minutes. Gentile joins the Kickers after one season with Puerto Rico FC, where he contributed four goals and five assists in 27 appearances.
North Carolina: Defender Steven Miller (#31) scored the first goal in the USL for North Carolina FC in their season opening match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Miller was loaned to NCFC for the final five matches of 2015 while with the Tulsa Roughnecks, before signing with North Carolina in 2016. Midfielder Kyle Bekker (#10) made his debut with NCFC March 17, where he recorded three shots in 90 minutes. Drafted third overall by Toronto FC in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Bekker went on to make stops at FC Dallas, Montreal Impact and the San Francisco Deltas before landing with North Carolina. Defender Peabo Doue (#3)is another new face on the NCFC roster, making his debut in the club’s season opener, playing 90 minutes and taking two shots. Doue most recently faced the Kickers in 2016 while with Wilmington Hammerheads FC.

Ticket Deal

Bike to City Stadium = $8.00 Tickets, Free Bike Valet and Tune-Ups

Take advantage of the FREE bike valet courtesy of I Am RVA, check out the Giant pop-up shop for FREE tune-ups, and enjoy cycling and bike safety vendors, live music by Supervixen, food trucks and a dozen craft beers and ciders on tap, when the pre-game party starts at 3:30 p.m.

Get your tickets HERE.

 

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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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Fatal Accident at Dillard’s in Stony Point Fashion Park

The victim was a maintenance tech working on the escalator.

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Details from Richmond Fire Department

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James River Park System has a new Superintendent, Giles Garrison

Giles Garrison was previously an Executive Director for both Groundwork RVA and Storefront for Community Design.

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The new Superintendent of the James River Park System is Giles Garrison. Learn about what makes her tick in own words and in a video from Friends of James River Parks.

Courtesy of Friends of James River Parks

Time vs. Day 1

35 million years ago the James River was formed when a massive asteroid hurtled into what is today the Chesapeake Bay, shooting cracks through the Earth’s crust and forming the topography of our state. Water plumed into the air and cascaded across the land, eventually streaming into a three-hundred-and-forty-mile river that runs from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western Virginia, through Richmond, on its way back to the Bay.

15 thousand years ago, mastodon and massive prehistoric beavers roamed the fall line where you and I live. In that time, enormous quadrupeds ruled Richmond’s roost, and humans made their way in tiny nomadic families that survived by their spears and their wits.

416 years ago, two worlds collided when a ragtag group of English colonists found their way to the river’s mouth and sailed into what was then known as the Powhatan River, named for the Chief who maintained a sweeping alliance of diverse Native American societies spanning from the falls East to the Tidewater.

13 years later in 1619 twenty men, the first Africans in British America, stepped from that river onto land at Point Comfort. They were forcibly brought to Virginia by European traders to become the labor in the Giles campingcolony’s brutal plantation economy.

The James River tells the story of the people who lived America’s tumultuous and violent beginning.

What stories does the James tell us today? I bet you have one.

30 years ago, during a winter like this one, my brother and I set out to pull a log out of the James River at Flat Rock, which is what we called the big flat rock under the Nickel Bridge. What I remember is that while we were extremely professional, we quickly were in water up to our waists and our parents decided we had better head home. Stu and I took the log with us, all the way up 42nd Street to our house on Springhill Avenue. My stepdad made us each Honorary River Rat Club certificates which we hung on the kitchen wall.

The James River Park System is many things to Richmond, and it has been many things to me. My favorite time of year is when the paw paws turn yellow and seem to hover in the air over the Buttermilk Trail, making you feel transported to a magical place. Sometimes when I walk along parts of the Pipeline or the trails at Ancarrows Landing, I feel the hauntedness of the James River, the experience of acute loss that occurred here for Richmond’s African-American forebears. This is a part of our origin story.Giles overlooking the T-Pott bridge

The story continues to unfold. Running the Park’s trails and climbing Manchester Wall have been some of the most joyful times in my life because they happen in a place that is completely unique to Richmond and for all to enjoy. The James River Park System is place where you can lose yourself and find yourself, in company or on your own, always in nature. Today this Park, and all of our parks, are places where reconciliation and reconnection are possible.

When I think of the footsteps I follow on day one of this amazing job, I feel a great sense of humility. Ralph White, a true river spirit in tall white socks, sits among the pantheon of great Richmond leaders this city has seen. Nathan Burrell, superintendent #2, was a hands-on reformer and has long been a role model to me, and I hope will continue to be a mentor. Bryce Wilk, our most recent Superintendent, is a rising star in Richmond’s Parks Department and continues in the role of Manager of Southern District Operations. I’m overjoyed to step into the #4 spot as a Superintendent in this sacred place, and to work with you, Reader, to leave it better than we find it.

I hope we’ll be talking, whether it’s in the Park or in an email. I’d love to hear your river story. You can email me at [email protected] or post a picture on Instagram and tag @rvaparksandrec, @jamesriverpark, and @jrpsrichmond.

Thanks for sharing, happy New Year to you, and be safe out there.

Giles

I’ve been reading The River Where America Began, by Bob Deans.  Most of the history above is drawn from that book, which a great read about the James River and its people over time.

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Change Coming to Positive Vibe Cafe

A new restaurant will be taking over Positive Vibe Cafe but still provide hands-on training for those with physical and development disabilities.

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From Positive Vibe Cafe’s Facebook

Well as we kept struggling to find a safe time to open The Cafe this past year, a new option has appeared. We were contacted by a west end restaurant (to be named soon) in October that was unhappy where they were located and interested in partnering with us at our location. Our Board met and we have decided to accept their offer, as long as our Training Program would continue at the location. Of course, our nonprofit mission was always focused on providing training for young adults with disabilities and that will continue. We look forward to this partnership and wanted to let everyone know the good news. The name of the restaurant and more details to follow. Stay tuned….

The Positive Vibe Café (2825 Hathaway Road) has been providing hands-on training & meaningful employment in food services to individuals with physical and developmental disabilities for the past. Founded in 2002, since 2004, Positive Vibe Café has trained over 1500 students, all with scholarships.

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