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Preview: Kickers vs Riverdogs

After a couple of strong showings, the Kickers crashed hard last Saturday. They need to turn it around soon or they’ll be at the bottom of the table.

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MATCH DETAILS

Opponent: Pittsburgh Riverhounds (4-1-6)
Date/Time:
 Saturday, June 2nd – 7 PM
Weather Forecast:  Hight of 82°, Thunderstorms likely potential for heavy rainfall. Chance of rain 90%
Tailgate & Red Army Forecast: If the weather is as predicted this could be miserable. (1 Grill out of 5). The Red Army was lacking last Saturday and I see that trend continuing. Those that showup will bring the passion but there are fair weather fans even among the most faithful.  (1 Smoke Bomb out of 5)

THREE THINGS TO KICK ABOUT

  1. Wear & tear – This will be the 3rd game in 10 days and they have another one (Open Cup) on Tuesday. The Kickers don’t have the depth for this many games and it shows.
  2. Bad luck – The man in the middle blew two important calls last week. One cost the Kickers a goal and the other allowed a Charlotte goal to stand that was offside. As a fan, it especially hurts to see the referee blow a call. As a supposedly unbiased reporter, you have to say it all evens out.
  3. Defense, we got none – Last week we mentioned that the Kickers needed to quit giving up a goal after taking the lead. We need to amend that to say perhaps not giving up three goals at home would be a good idea as well.

PREDICTION

The team was a disjointed mess for most of last week’s game. The Riverdogs sit in 4th place in the Eastern Conference and the Kickers languish in 14th. That difference is deceptive though as the Riverhounds have played 2 additional games. If you take away those two games the teams are fairly evenly matched Stats wise. I think the Kickers will come out strong and take a win.

Kickers 1 – Pittsburgh 0

My Home Games W/L prediction record to date: 71% correct

KICKERS OFFICIAL PREVIEW

The Richmond Kickers (3-5-1) host Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (4-1-6) on Saturday for the third of four straight USL home games. It will be the Food Truck Fest from City Stadium starting at 5:30 p.m. as 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. Then, the Kickers take the field to face the Riverhounds at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com and the game will be streamed through ESPN+.

Richmond and Pittsburgh have a long history dating back to 1999. The Kickers hold an overall record of 19-8-10 against the Riverhounds. In 2017, Richmond won the home game 2-1 and picked up a 1-1 draw on the road. In the win, the Kickers attack was bolstered by goals from Fred Owusu Sekyere and D.C. United loanee Alhaji Kamara. 2017’s home win increased the Kickers record to 13-3-3 versus the Riverhounds from City Stadium.

The Kickers hope to bounce back after a 3-1 loss to the Charlotte Independence last Saturday. Charlotte scored the first three goals of the game beginning with Yann Ekra’s goal in the 14th minute. The momentum of the game seemingly changed for Richmond in the 26th minute when a Heviel Cordovés goal was disallowed after a contentious hand-ball call in the box. Cordell Cato tallied the next two goals, first right before the end of the half in the 45th minute and then off a counterattack in the 76th minute. Brian Shriver found the back of the net late in the 80th minute to put Richmond on the board. The Kickers have to find a way to earn points quick after dropping to 14th in the USL standings with the loss.

“Last weekend’s game was a tough one because I don’t think the score truly reflected the game,” Shriver said. “They were the best team overall, but I think for us to come out on Saturday and put in a good performance is key going forward. We need three points this weekend.”

Pittsburgh, currently fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, is coming off its first loss of the season at home to Nashville SC, 1-0 on Wednesday. Nashville broke through in the defensive affair when Brandon Allen collected a loose ball in the box off a corner kick and booted it home in the 69th minute. The Riverhounds first loss was also the first time it conceded a goal at home after six straight shutouts to start league play. Pittsburgh will pack up the bags and travel to City Stadium after a run of three straight on the road.

Following Saturday’s match, the Kickers will conclude its homestand by welcoming longtime rivals, the Charleston Battery to Richmond. Saturday, June 9 marks Kickers Fiesta at City Stadium. The party starts at 5:30 pm with live Salsa music, all-you-can-eat Chicken Fiesta Taco Bar and Modelo on tap for just $22 ($16 for Season Ticket Holders). Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Brian Shriver (#21) tacked on his team-leading third goal against Charlotte. Shriver also led the Kickers with two shots in Saturday’s match. The 5-foot-10-inch forward is in his first year with the Kickers. Midfielder Brandon Eaton (#25) collected his first start with the Kickers last Saturday. Eaton passed for a team-high 90 percent clip in the first half before he was subbed off. The Chesapeake native is in his second year with the Kickers after playing his college ball at Virginia Commonwealth University. Midfielder Oscar Umar (#17) leads Richmond with 362 passes over his seven starts. Umar will be the key distributor looking to get things going against a tough Pittsburgh defense.

Pittsburgh: Forward Neco Brett (#9) leads the Pittsburgh attack with five goals in 11 appearances. The Jamaican native is in his first year with the Riverhounds after spending last year with the Portland Timbers 2. Midfielder Thomas Vancaeyezeele (#25) is the only player to start all 11 games for Pittsburgh, amassing a team-leading 990 minutes. Vancaeyezeele enters his first season in the USL after playing finishing his career at the University of Charleston (WV). Goalkeeper Daniel Lynd (#33) has conceded just six goals in eight starts. Lynd has contributed four clean sheets for the Riverhounds.

TABLE

At least the part that includes the Kickers. There are 16 teams in the Eastern Conference.

TICKET DEAL

No real deals to be had to this game but it is Food Truck Night.

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.

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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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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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Suspects Sought in Commercial Burglary on Forest Hill Avenue

At approximately 12:10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, officers responded to the S&K Mini Mart in the 3400 block of Forest Hill Avenue for a burglary alarm that had just gone off. Once on scene, police found the front glass window smashed in.

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From RPD:

At approximately 12:10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, officers responded to the S&K Mini Mart in the 3400 block of Forest Hill Avenue for a burglary alarm that had just gone off. Once on scene, police found the front glass window smashed in.

Security video shows the two adult male suspects using a lead pipe to break the window and get inside the business. They went directly behind the counter and stole cigarettes and money. The suspects left the same way they came in.

Anyone with information about the identity of these suspects is asked to call Second Precinct Detective J. Thondique at (804) 646-8170 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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Artist Keith Ramsey Uses his Welder to Help Healthcare Workers

People are pitching in to help fight COVID-19. Local artist Keith Ramsey was able to pivot his skills in an amazing way.

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Keith Ramsey is a multi-talented artist. In addition to fine art painting he also has a more industrial tact with some of his work that uses metal and a welder. It’s because of this background and his generous nature that the following story is not surprising in the least.

In Keith’s own words:

Last Monday someone contacted me with an issue. They needed a welder to help put together @12+ racks for a medical facility to help sterilize much needed medical supplies to help with the influx of COVID19 patients to come.

I had projects already in the workshop, but before he could get halfway into asking if I could help, It was already a hard “YES.”

After about a week of straight 9-hour days and more welding in a short amount of time I have ever done, we got the racks out the door!

The thing about that is, I was proud to be able to do something… anything, I could do to help in this crisis our nation, and the world, is facing. It was a small part by comparison to what others are doing and sacrificing, but it was what I personally could do with the resources I had.

I believe THAT’S how we are going to beat COVID19 back. Everyone doing what they can, when they can to help out. Because, as we all know, this thing doesn’t care about who you are, who you vote for, where you’re from and what you look like.

And we need to be the same way to combat this.
That’s my two cents. #metalsupermarkets #ramseyartworks

You can check Keith’s work at Ramsey Art Works.

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