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Hills & Heights

Preview: Kickers vs Penn FC in Round 3 of U.S. Lamar Hunt Open Cup

Two reasons to see this game: 1) Some of the most exciting Kickers games have been Open Cup battles. 2)Soccer on Wednesday means you’ve got an excuse to put off household chores, drink beer, and yell at athletes.




Opponent: Penn FC 
 Wednesday, May 23th – 7 PM
Weather Forecast:  Hight of 86°, Cloudy with a chance of rain and/or thunderstorms
Tailgate & Red Army Forecast: Despite being one of the best things in soccer attendance will be light on both counts. Having the game on Wednesday night doesn’t help this under-marketed game. (2 Grills out of 5). The Red Army that does show up loves the Open Cup. With less regular folks in attendance, they’ll seem even louder than normal.  (4 Smoke Bombs out of 5)


  1. Who is playing? – The Open Cup happens during a busy part of the season. The coaches of both teams have to balance the playing time of all their players. As a result, I have no real idea who will be starting. Throw darts at the roster and you’ll probably have a pretty close prediction.
  2. History – Read what this Open Cup is all about here. It’s awesome and old, really old, we’re talking 1914 old.
  3. Win or go home. – There are no draws in the Open Cup so that means this game will have a winner and a loser. As a result, there could be an extra 30 minutes of playing time in the end and when it comes down to it every single kick matters.


Both the Kickers and Penn FC struggled against amateur opponents. Without knowing how serious either team is taking this game my prediction is a roll of the dice. The dice, however, are home dice and might be balanced a little in one direction. Home field advantage will make the difference.

Kickers 2 – Rowdies 1

My Home Games W/L prediction record to date: 80% correct


The Richmond Kickers are putting preparations together for the third round match of the U.S. Open Cup against Penn FC. Kickoff is set to take place at 7:00 p.m. from City Stadium. Tickets are now available online at at The match will be streamed live on as well as and

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is now in its 105th edition. Richmond’s best finish came back in 1995 when the Kickers won the entire tournament as an amateur team. Penn FC, formerly the Harrisburg City Islanders, has made a run to the quarterfinals four times (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012) for its best finish in U.S. Open Cup history.

This is the first meeting between the Richmond Kickers and Penn FC under its new name. However, history between the Kickers and the City Islanders goes back to 2006. Richmond holds the all-time lead in the series with a record of 19-6-9. In the 2017 season, each team picked up a win, draw, and loss in the three meetings. In the Kickers win, Conor Shanosky scored the lone goal on a 51st minute header. Richmond and Penn FC are slated to face each other three more times later in the 2018 season during USL play.

The Kickers advanced to the third round of the Open Cup after surviving the second round match against the PDL’s Reading United AC. Koby Osei-Wusu opened the scoring in the 8th minute with his first professional goal. Heviel Cordovés fired a shot that the Reading goalkeeper deflected away for the save. Fortunately for Richmond, the ball fell right at Osei-Wusu’s feet and he found the back of the net. Reading scored an equalizer on Khori Bennett’s 70th minute goal and threatened the rest of the half and into extra-time. Reading outshot Richmond 22-9. At the end of extra-time, the scored remained 1-1 and penalties loomed. Goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg played the role of hero when his diving save on Bennett’s penalty shot secured the 4-3 win in penalties for the Kickers.

Penn FC had a scare of their own against an amateur team in the second round of the Open Cup when they were trailing FC Motown 1-0 late in the second half. Motown’s Dilly Duka opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. FC Motown held the lead all the way until the 79th minute. Penn FC’s Miguel Jaime notched the equalizer on a one-time shot from outside the box. A few minutes later, Prince Daffoe put Penn FC in front for good when he blasted a goal past Motown’s goalkeeper Ryan Baird. Pedro Galvao put the finishing touches on the 3-1 win with a goal in stoppage time.

Following the match, the Kickers will return to USL action on Saturday, May 26 against the Charlotte Independence for Red, White and Brews presented by Impawsible Pups at City Stadium. The dog-friendly wine and beer fest starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by The Hit List, pet-centric vendors, over a dozen craft beers on tap, a selection of wines, and legendary hot dogs fresh off the grill from Joey’s Hot Dogs. Then, the two teams will take the field at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at


Richmond: Midfielder Koby Osei-Wusu (#24) made a mark with his first professional goal against Reading. Osei-Wusu is currently in his first professional soccer season after finishing his collegiate career at George Washington University in 2017. He is second on the Kickers with seven shots this year. Midfielder Braeden Troyer (#31) has made an immediate impact in his transition from the back line into the midfield. Troyer led the Kickers with seven clearances and six interceptions in the win over Reading. Goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg (#1) made the most of his opportunity in front of the net last Wednesday. Spangenberg made five saves and had the decisive stop in penalties to clinch the win for the Kickers. This is Spangenberg’s second run with the Kickers after he appeared with them on loan from New England in 2015.

Penn FC: Forward Tommy Heinemann (#29) leads Penn FC with 17 shots, 10 shots on goal and three goals. The 6-4, 190 pounder has tallied 43 caps in the MLS with the Columbus Crew and Vancouver Whitecaps. Midfielder Miguel Jaime’s (#15) goal in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup bolstered Penn FC to the win. This is Jaime’s first year in the USL after he joined the PDL’s Ocean City Nor’easters in 2017. Defender Kenneth Tribbett (#4) has started seven games and logged 623 minutes, the most on Penn FC. Tribbett returned to Harrisburg after starting his professional career with the Harrisburg Islanders in 2015 and spending the last two years with the Philadelphia Union.



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.



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.



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.


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.



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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