Opponent: Charlotte Independence (4-3-2)
Date/Time: Saturday, May 26th – 7 PM
Weather Forecast: Hight of 87°, Cloudy earlier in the day with a chance of thunderstorms in the evening. Chance of rain 50%
Tailgate & Red Army Forecast: Memorial Day weekend means lots of folks will be at the pool, but that is countered by the fact that this game is dog-friendly. I think it’ll be a pretty good turnout as long as the weather stays not horrible. (3 Grills out of 5). The Red Army gave it their all on Wednesday so they’ll be a little tired. Plus the previously mentioned pool parties will cut into their numbers. (2 Smoke Bombs out of 5)
THREE THINGS TO KICK ABOUT
- Who is playing? – The Open Cup was on Wednesday and it was mainly starters on the field. This game will be an early test of the depth of the team. Expect to see a mix of regulars starters and quite a few names that you don’t usually see.
- Hitting their stride – The past two home games the Kickers have shown they’ve got the goods to win. They’re playing much better soccer and actually, have an offense this year. If this trend continues it’ll be a happy time in City Stadium.
- Defense, we got none – On Wednesday during the Open Cup the Kickers went into the half with a 2-0 lead. Two unanswered goals later it’s suddenly an exciting match. Luckily the Kickers got another goal and won. In the previous Open Cup match the Kickers went up 1-0 early gave up a goal and eventually went to penalty kicks for the win. Giving up goals when you’ve got the lead is a dangerous game that the Kickers need to stop playing.
The wear and tear of so many games close together will show it’s toll on the Kickers as they run out of gas and give up a late goal to allow the visitors to tie.
Kickers 1 – Charlotte 1
My Home Games W/L prediction record to date: 83% correct
KICKERS OFFICIAL PREVIEW
The Richmond Kickers (3-4-1) welcome the Charlotte Independence (4-3-2) to City Stadium on Saturday for Red, White and Brews night, presented by Impawsible Pups. The dog-friendly wine and beer fest starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Dr. Con, 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 Kickers take the field to face the Independence at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com and the game will be streamed through ESPN+.
Richmond and Charlotte have met ten times in the all-time series. The Independence hold the advantage with a record of 5-2-3 against the Kickers. Richmond has been shutout in the last five appearances vs. Charlotte. The Kickers last won in 2015 when they were powered by goals from Jason Yeisley and Matthew Delicâte in the 2-1 victory.
The Kickers will be looking to keep the momentum rolling from a 3-2 win over USL foe, Penn FC in the U.S. Open Cup this past Wednesday. Luiz Fernando was the difference maker early. He notched his first goal of the 2018 season in the 13th minute off a brilliant long ball from Conor Shanosky. Fernando again found the back of the net in the 22nd minute when Yudai Imura spotted him unmarked in the box. Fernando’s left-footed strike gave Richmond a 2-0 lead early in the first half. Penn FC responded with a Jorge Rivera goal in the 36th minute. Rivera again beat Trevor Spangenberg in the 60th minute to level the contest. Richmond tallied its game-winner in the 83rd minute when Austin Yearwood found a wide open Heviel Cordovés in front of goal. Yearwood notched his team-leading third assist on the play.
This is the first of four straight games on the road for Charlotte. The Independence are coming off a 2-1 victory at home over Toronto FC II last Saturday. Jorge Herrera opened the scoring when he sent a penalty kick home in the 28th minute. Eamon Zayed doubled Charlotte’s lead in the 49th minute when he connected on a header played in from Mutaya Mwape. Toronto added a late goal, but the Independence held on for their second straight USL win.
Following Saturday’s match, the Kickers will stay home to host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds next Saturday, June 2 for Food Truck Fest. RVA’s iconic food trucks will headline the event with local favorites including Carytown Burgers & Fries, Sticks Kebob Shop, Freekin’ Rican, Backyard Grill, Intergalactic Tacos, Opa, Goatacado and Gelati Celesti, serving legendary tacos, made-to-order burgers, island flavors, authentic Greek fare, and heavenly hand-made ice cream. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Richmond: Forward Luiz Fernando (#71) made his presence felt in the U.S. Open Cup win over Penn FC. Fernando scored his first two goals of the season to give the Kickers an early advantage. The Brazilian now has five goals in his Kickers’ career. Forward Brian Shriver (#21)came on as a substitute in 66th minute on Wednesday. Shriver has started all eight games in USL play so far this year, and he is tied for the lead on the Kickers with two goals. Defender Conor Shanosky (#5) excelled from every aspect of the game against Penn FC. Shanosky passed at a 91.7 percent clip and won 75 percent of his duels. The Pittsburgh native collected his first assist of the year and played another beautiful ball to Yudai Imura who assisted Fernando’s second goal of the match.
Charlotte: Forward Jorge Herrera (#10) leads the Independence with five goals so far this season. Herrera’s five goals are the third most in the USL this year. Herrera (age 37) began his playing days in his native Colombia 17 years ago with the Independiente Santa Fe. Defender Joel Johnson (#22) has started all nine USL games for Charlotte this year, amassing a team-high 809 minutes. Johnson is also tied for the team-lead with two assists. Johnson played in one La Liga game in 2010 with Valencia. Goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra (#50) has made seven starts and tallied nine saves in that time this year. Dykstra is a local product, playing his college ball at VCU while also playing with the now dissolved Richmond Kickers Future. He appeared with the Kickers on loan several times, last in 2016.
At least the part that includes the Kickers. There are 16 teams in the Eastern Conference.
Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with a Cookout at City Stadium, presented by Impawsible Pups, on Saturday, May 26th!The dog-friendly wine and beer fest starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Dr. Con, 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 for just $18 ($12 for Season Ticket Holders):
- Exclusive access to the VIP Cookout
- Two famous hot dogs and chips from Joey’s Hot Dogs
- Two craft beers, or sodas
- Admission to the Richmond Kickers vs Charlotte Independence
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