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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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Two Gun Incidents in Two Days in James River Park

There were no injuries and at least two arrests in the incidents.

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In case your COVID-19 internment wasn’t giving you enough to stress about we’ve seen two firearm incidents this week in James River Park.

The first one was reported by RTD.

A man and a woman from Ohio have been accused of discharging a firearm in the James River Park System off Riverside Drive in South Richmond.

Shortly before 11 a.m. on Tuesday, officers were patrolling the park in the 4200 block of Riverside Drive when two people discharged a gun “on the trail area” near the West 42nd Street entrance, the authorities said. The police did not further specify the location in the park, but the area runs along the south side of the James River.

“They were not trying to shoot at anyone else or each other,” said police spokeswoman Chelsea Rarrick. “It was reckless discharge.”

Tony Isaac Jr., 27, of Springfield, Ohio, was charged with discharging a firearm in a public place, possession of a firearm in a city park and possession of a firearm as a felon, police said.

Jayona M. Franklin, 19, of Xenia, Ohio, was charged with discharging a firearm in a public place and possession of a firearm in a city park.

As someone who walks that trail a bunch the fact that “They were not trying to shoot at anyone else or each other,” doesn’t make me feel any better.

The other incident is equally scary and occurred yesterday on Belle Isle.

From the Woodland Heights Neighborhood Association Facebook.

A group of 10 or 12 teens hanging out and this young man brandishing a handgun. He was pointing it at hikers, kayakers and yelling “Pop,pop, pop!” Loud enough you could hear him over the rapids. The police showed up but I don’t know what came of it.

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Arrest Made in Forest Hill Avenue Rape

The incident occurred in the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue on August 4, 2019.

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From RPD:

Richmond Police Department detectives, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force and Second Precinct patrol officers, have made an arrest in connection with a rape that happened last August.

Victor M. Manuel, 32, of the 3300 block of Shady Creek Road, Chesterfield, VA was apprehended today. He has been charged with rape in connection with an incident that occurred in the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue on August 4, 2019. His booking photo is attached.

Detectives want to thank the public for their assistance in this case.

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Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by SPCA or RACC.

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Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name:  Common Starling or European Starling
Scientific Name: Sturnus vulgaris
Length: 7.5–9.1 in
Weight: 2.0–3.6 oz
Wingspan: 12–17 in

Quick Facts Courtesy of All About Birds

  • All the European Starlings in North America descended from 100 birds set loose in New York’s Central Park in the early 1890s. The birds were intentionally released by a group who wanted America to have all the birds that Shakespeare ever mentioned. There are now over 200 million European Starlings and they range from Alaska to Mexico.
  • Because of their recent arrival in North America, all of our starlings are closely related. Genetically, individuals from Virginia are nearly indistinguishable from starlings sampled in California, 3,000 miles away. Such little genetic variation often spells trouble for rare species, but seems to offer no ill effects to starlings so far.
  • Starlings are strong fliers that can get up to speeds of 48 mph.
  • In studies of starlings’ sense of taste, scientists have discovered that they can taste salt, sugars, citric acid, and tannins (bitter compounds that occur in many fruits, including acorns and grapes). They can tell the difference between sucrose (table sugar) and other kinds of sugars – helpful since starlings lack the ability to digest sucrose.
  • Starlings are great vocal mimics: individuals can learn the calls of up to 20 different species. Birds whose songs starlings often copy include the Eastern Wood-Pewee, Killdeer, meadowlarks, Northern Bobwhite, Wood Thrush, Red-tailed Hawk, American Robin, Northern Flicker, and many others.

 

Benjamin at Richmond SPCA

Behold! The bold and beautiful…erm…handsome Benjamin! Have you been yearning for a pal who will cuddle up with you at night? Is your heart aching for some TLC that can only be cured by toe pads and whiskers? Well then we have the best little buddy for you! If you’re interested in finally taking home your new best friend, come ask to meet with Benjamin today!

Age: 8 years, 3 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black
Declawed: No
ID: 43463251

Adopt Benjamin at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

To reduce visitor traffic, during the COVID-19 outbreak they are scheduling adoption appointments beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Please leave your phone number in a voicemail or email and an adoption counselor will call to set an appointment for you to meet with a pet. Email the adoption center or call 804-521-1307.

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