Preview: Kickers vs. Red Bulls 2

Preview: Kickers vs. Red Bulls 2

This is last in a three-game home stretch for your Richmond Kickers. Read up on what to expect from Saturday’s game.

Photo: Jessica Stone Hendricks

Game Info

Kickers vs. Red Bulls 2
City Stadium
Saturday, April 7th, Kickoff 5 PM

Three Things to Kickabout

  1. Weather:  The weather last week was perfect this week it will be perfect if you’re a penguin. It looks to be downright unpleasant. Rain…mixing with snow in the afternoon. Some sleet may mix in. High 47F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. This could make for an ugly game or an epic snow game that goes down in Kickers’ history.
  2. In Shriver We Trust:  Forward Brian Shriver hasn’t scored yet but has assisted on two of three goals this year including the game-winner over NCFC. He also drew the penalty for the third goal. This means he played a part in every goal so far this season. Is Brian stepping up becoming the leader of this team? Time will tell.
  3. Support: Attendance for Saturday’s game will be down because it’s a well-known fact that your local Richmond residents melt in the rain. Dissolving like precious little sugar cubes to be washed away. That being said the Kickers are doing everything they can to make City Stadium more a part of the fabric of Richmond’s life. Starting Sunday, April 22nd, the Carytown Farmers Market will be taking place at City Stadium. Perhaps a few shoppers will come to the realization that soccer games take place at their farmers market and will come to a couple games. Even if they don’t it’s nice to see how much the Kickers are part of the community.

Prediction

Last week was a game of two halves. The first had the Kickers down by one but they came back strong with a 2-1 victory. This confidence will carry over. Honestly, this game is most likely to be a drab affair with teams not being able to control the ball due to conditions. On the other hand, those conditions could lead to slick goalkeeper fingers and baskets of goals. With my prediction, you can see which scenario I’m betting on.

Kickers 1 NYRB2 0

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

Kickers Official Preview

The Richmond Kickers (1-2-0) will be seeking their second win in a row this Saturday night as they host New York Red Bulls II (2-1-0) at 5:00 p.m. The party starts at 3:00 p.m. when the gates open at City Stadium for the I Heart Carytown Craft Beer Festival with live music from 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. The match will be available to stream online at RichmondKickers.com/Matchday. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

Both teams have met on six occasions with the Kickers taking two victories, while falling to the Red Bulls II three times and drawing once. New York bested the Kickers in two occasions in 2017, winning by a 1-0 margin in both matches. The first meeting came as just the second match of the season April 1 on the road at MSU Soccer Park, with Zeiko Lewis putting the home side up just after an hour for the only goal of the match. A 38th minute goal from Brandon Allen, now with Bethlehem Steel FC, was enough to secure the first-ever victory for the club on the road at City Stadium June 3.

With two goals in the second half, the Richmond Kickers clinched their first three points in 2018 against North Carolina FC last Saturday night at City Stadium.  A 77th minute penalty, drawn by Brian Shriver and converted by Yudai Imura, kickstarted the comeback and a 83rd minute backheel finish by Raul Gonzalez from a cross by Shriver placed the Richmond Kickers in pole position. Travis Worra came up with a massive save in stoppage time to preserve the home victory. Shriver earned a spot in the USL Team of the Week for Week 3 with his performance throughout the match including the game winning assist.

In their second win of the season, NYRB II claimed a lopsided 5-2 win over the Charleston Battery at Red Bull Arena this past Saturday afternoon. Brian White opened the scoring in the 44th minute, converting a penalty kick opportunity just before the halftime whistle. Andrew Tinari and Benjamin Mines scored in the 47th and 50th minutes respectively to extend the lead. Despite a second half brace from Tah Anunga, the Battery would not be able to get back into the match after two goals from Armando Moreno, ensuring the victory for the home side.

Richmond will embark on their second road trip of the season Saturday, April 14 as they travel to face the defending USL Champions, Louisville City FC at Louisville Slugger Field. The match will be available on the Kickers Official Television Partners WTVR CBS 6 via their 6.3 sub channel (Comcast  206, Verizon FiOS 466) and streaming online at RichmondKickers.com/Matchday. The Kickers return to City Stadium Wednesday, April 25 as Toronto FC II comes to town. Tickets are available now at RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Brian Shriver (#21) contributed two assists in the first three matches of the season and has started every game in his first season at the club after stints at Jacksonville Armada FC and North Carolina FC. Midfielder Yudai Imura (#14) scored his first goal of the campaign last Saturday against North Carolina FC, converting a penalty kick in the 77th minute.  Imura has started every game entering into his fourth season with the Kickers and is coming off 18 starts in 23 games played in the 2017 season.  Goalkeeper Travis Worra (#48) is set to start his fourth game of the season after amassing six saves, including a crucial breakaway save to preserve a 2-1 lead over North Carolina FC in his previous three starts of the 2018 campaign.  Worra has spent the last three seasons on loan with the Kickers from their MLS affiliate club, D.C. United.
NYRB II: With three goals in three games played, midfielder Andrew Tinari (#36) leads the NYRB II side in goals and chances created.  Scoring a second half brace against Toronto FC II, Tinari helped bring NYRB II to victory in the opening match of the season. The seventh homegrown signing for NYRB, Benjamin Mines (#52) has two starts to open the 2018 season contributing one goal and an assist along with seven key passes for the USL side. The seventeen year old signed with the MLS side in January of 2018. Goalkeeper Evan Louro (#24) has started his 2018 season with 13 saves so far with a save success rate of 68.4 percent.  Louro saved a penalty on opening day in a comeback victory for the NYRB II, keeping the TFC II’s lead to a single goal.

Ticket Deal

Tickets to the I Heart Carytown Craft Beer Festival are $15 per person and includes festival admission, a ticket to the Kickers game and a drink ticket that can be redeemed for any of the craft beers on tap, or an ice-cold lemonade.  The first 200 fans through the gate will also receive an exclusive sampling of small plates from some of Carytown’s eclectic restaurants.
A portion of every I Heart Carytown Craft Beer Festival ticket purchased will directly benefit the Carytown Merchants Association. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

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About Richard Hayes 2999 Articles
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 and/or beer.