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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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Richmond Then and Now: Flooded Westover Hills Boulevard

A then and now snapshot of Richmond.

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The photo above is from the RTD photo archives with the caption, “In June 1969, drivers navigated a flooded Westover Hills Boulevard in South Richmond after heavy rainfall”. More like Wetover Hills Boulevard am I, right? I’ll see myself out.

Shoutout to the Volkswagen that drove by when I was taking this shot and almost in the exact spot of the Volkswagon in 1969. I could not have planned it better.

 

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RTD has the History of Nickel aka Boulevard Bridge

Learn more about our favorite bridge (that we can use) across the James. Mayo is a close second for those keeping track.

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Living only a few blocks from the historic bridge means it has a special spot in my heart. I’ve crossed it countless times both on foot and in the car. I’ve seen bald eagles, osprey, kayaks, rafts, inner tubes, and a fair share of questionable driving. With it be such a prominent part of my life it was fascinating to get more details on the bridge from RTD.

They’ve provided a nice timeline and photos. My favorite bit of new information:

Jan. 5, 1925 — Thousands of motorists availed themselves of the decided moderation in temperature, combined with the fact that yesterday was the last day that motorists and others were allowed to cross the structure free of toll charges, and “tried out” the Boulevard Bridge.

Hundreds of automobiles, from the flivver to the more pretentious high-powered car, crossed the bridge during the day. At times there were so many of the gasoline-propelled cars on the structure that progress was made only at a snail’s pace.

An attache of the Boulevard Bridge Corp. essayed to keep a tally of the cars crossing the structure and succeeded fairly well until he had counted 5,000. At that juncture, however, they were coming so fast and so thickly that he got lost in the mathematical jungle and gave up in despair.

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NBC12 on Pony Pasture Parking Woes

Although the focus of the story is on Pony Pasture other areas are being impacted by heavy park usage.

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NBC 12 has the story on the parking issues in our parks.

”It has been a lot more people this year. I don’t know if it’s because of the coronavirus. I’m sure there’s probably a lot of pools that are not open, or whatnot, and no places for people to go,” said Susan, a Stratford Hills resident who lives close to Pony Pasture.

According to the city’s Office of Parks and Recreation, the number of visitors to Pony Pasture in the month of June 2020 alone was over 44,000. They add that as of June 30, 2020, the James Rivers Park System had seen 1,076,873 visitors whereas on the same date in 2019 – there were 975,433 visitors.

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