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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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James River Park System Update from Bryce Wilk, Superintendent

Through June 30, 2020: 1,076,873 James River Park has had visitors. The same date in 2019: 975,433 visitors. The current staff devoted to James River Park is 5.

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The James River Park is getting heavy use but that’s not all that’s going on in the park. Here’s what Bryce Wilk, Superintendent has to say.

  • The JRPS is seeing visitors at a higher rate than any other year ever! Through June 30, 2020: 1,076,873 visitors. Same date in 2019: 975,433 visitors. This despite all the restrictions in place during the stay at home orders due to Covid 19 this past spring and early summer. Close to a quarter million visitors in the month of June alone.
  • JRPS staff and local paddling groups installed new Dam Hazard Signs and Buoys between Huguenot Flatwater and Z-Dam to better warn people of the dangers of Z-Dam and the river.
  • JRPS hired parking attendants to ticket all illegally parked vehicles at Pony Pasture Rapids Park on weekends and holidays.
  • During the closure of public facilities, JRPS took the opportunity to upgrade the bathroom at Pony Pasture with new flooring and paint.
  • JRPS added parking lines in the parking lot to help guide and organize vehicle parking.
  • Currently we only have 5 full time staff members dedicated solely to the James River Park System, James River Park System relies on volunteers to keep this park beautiful.
  • JRPS is providing volunteer opportunities for river clean ups at Pony Pasture specifically through https://www.handsonrva.org/.
  • If people are interested in volunteering on their own or have any questions, Volunteer Coordinator, Matthew Mason can provide resources and equipment. His email is [email protected]
  • Please visit https://jamesriverpark.org/ and http://www.richmondgov.com/parks/ for the latest updates and safety information about the James River Park System and Richmond’s Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities.

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Community

Suspects Sought in Commercial Burglary on Jahnke Road

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Friday, June 19, an unknown male broke into the Shell Gas Station in the 6200 block of Jahnke Road.

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From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify the individuals in the attached photos who are suspects in a commercial burglary that last month.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Friday, June 19, an unknown male broke into the Shell Gas Station in the 6200 block of Jahnke Road. Security footage shows two suspects driving a van and parking near the side of the building.

One male broke a window to gain access into the business and stole several cartons of cigarettes and lottery tickets. The suspects then fled. Damage to the van is pictured and circled in red.

Anyone with information is asked to call Third Precinct Detective H. Truong at (804) 646-1067 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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Little Nickel and Crossroads “Should” Reopen Next Week

Not back to normal but a step in that direction.

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Two neighborhood favorites are set to come out of Covid-19 hibernation.

Little Nickel made this announcement on Facebook along with the slick looking deck addition you see above.

we’re almost back and this time with a bit of outdoor seating! ~ we’ll be making an announcement on monday about our opening date ~ we’ve missed everyone and can’t wait to reopen our tropical paradise safely, thank you so much for your support throughout this process ~

A little birdie told me that the announcement on Monday will be a Wednesday opening. Little birdies are known to be wrong but I trust this one.

Crossroads is not as precise. They’re planning for mid-July. Work is going on to complete a couple projects. Once those wrap up they’ll be pivoting to take out only for a bit.

Next week is mid-July so I’m hopeful that our favorite little coffee shop will be back in action.

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