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Preview: Kickers vs Battery

Two of the oldest teams in U.S. soccer meet at City Stadium this Saturday.

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MATCH DETAILS

Opponent: Charleston Battery (5-2-5)
Date/Time:
 Saturday, June 9nd – 7 PM
Weather Forecast:
Tailgate & Red Army Forecast: This is one of the few “rivalry” games for the Kickers. This combined with a pretty darn good-looking forecast spells a good time. (3 Grill out of 5). The Red Army has not brought the numbers they were bringing last year. Those that do show up are certainly bringing the noise. This game is different. It’s a healthy rivalry with fans friendships/teasing going back decades. One of the biggest games of the year.  (4 Smoke Bombs out of 5)

THREE THINGS TO KICK ABOUT

  1. Fresh legs – In a move that shocked many of Kicker faithful Coach Leigh Cowlishaw sat many of his starters during the Open Cup game on Tuesday. The result was not good, perhaps that move will payoff with a win on Saturday.
  2. Rivalry – Charleston and Richmond have been playing each other for 25 years. There is usually a small group of fans that travel to the games and many have become good friends. It really defines what a rivalry should be, passion and intensity for 90 minutes and friendship and laughter before and after.
  3. Defense, we got none – The Kickers played on Tuesday against MLS side Philadelphia Union. They were destroyed 5-0. Several goals came from basic defensive mistakes, like defending on corner kicks and crosses. Until something improves a win will remain out of reach.

PREDICTION

At first glance of the table it would seem that this is an easy win for Charleston. The Battery sit in 5th place while Richmond is staring into the basement, wondering where it’ll set-up the couch. Just like last week though the table doesn’t tell the whole tale. The Battery have two games in hand and only 2 more wins. Richmond’s inability to hold on for a draw has really hurt them this year. The other scary statistic to look at is the Kickers’ ten goals and -7 goal differential compared to seventeen goals by the Battery and +4 goal differential.

I’m not seeing the Kickers pulling this one off.

Battery 2 – Kickers 1

My Home Games W/L prediction record to date: 64% correct

KICKERS OFFICIAL PREVIEW

The Richmond Kickers (3-6-1) conclude a four-game homestand by welcoming long-time rivals, the Charleston Battery (5-2-5), to City Stadium Saturday night. Saturday’s game marks Kickers Fiesta at City Stadium. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with live Salsa music, all-you-can-eat Chicken Fiesta Taco Bar and Modelo on tap for just $22 ($16 for Season Ticket Holders). Then, cheer on the Kickers with kickoff set for 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

Richmond and Charleston started meeting back in 1993, and it is the longest-standing continual rivalry in the United States. It has been an evenly-matched rivalry over the years with the Battery holding a 28-25-9 all-time advantage. In 2017, the Kickers went 1-2 against the Battery, picking up three points at City Stadium but falling twice at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston. In the 3-1 win last year, the Kickers were powered by goals from Sunny Jane, Oliver Minatel, and Yudai Imura.

The Kickers are coming off a 5-0 defeat that ended their run in the U.S. Open Cup on the road at the Philadelphia Union, an MLS squad. The Union scored early and often, quickly ending any Richmond hopes of an upset. Last Saturday, the Kickers fell at home to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, 2-1 in USL action. Luiz Fernando came on as a substitute and scored the opening goal in the 54th minute. However, two late goals from Neco Brett and Romeo Parkes allowed the Riverhounds to play spoiler on the road. The Kickers have now lost two straight USL games at home, a streak they’ll be looking to end on Saturday.

Charleston also had its U.S. Open Cup chances dashed on the road against the Atlanta United FC. Atlanta advanced to the Round of 16 with the 3-0 win from Fifth Third Bank Stadium. In the Battery’s last USL match, they played the Indy Eleven to a 3-3 draw from Lucas Oil Stadium. Tied 2-2, Indy seemingly picked up three points when Ayoze Garcia scored a set piece goal in the 93rd minute. However, Charleston quickly responded when Tah Brian Anunga’s strike found the back of the net just a minute later to extend the Battery’s unbeaten streak to nine league games.

Following Saturday’s match, the Kickers will have a quick turnaround and head to FNB Field to face Penn FC on Tuesday, June 12. Then, Richmond will be on the road again to play the USL Eastern Conference leaders, FC Cincinnati from Nippert Stadium on Saturday, June 16. Both matches will be available to stream on ESPN+, with the FC Cincinnati match being available on the Kickers official television partners, WTVR CBS 6 via their 6.3 subchannel (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466).

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Heviel Cordovés (#16) has been Leigh Cowlishaw’s choice for attacking purposes recently. Cordovés has two total goals this year, and he will be facing his former club on Saturday night. Midfielder Raul Gonzalez (#27) leads the Kickers with 11 shots and five shots on goal. Gonzalez has tallied 670 minutes thus far in his second season with the Kickers. Defender Conor Shanosky (#5) has started all 10 USL games and amassed 825 minutes. Shanosky came on as a substitute in the 89th minute of the Kickers 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday, so he should be completely rested for a strong performance on the back line.

Charleston: Midfielder Ataulla Guerra (#10) is second in the entire USL with seven goals this season. Guerra leads Charleston with 23 shots in 12 appearances. Forward Gordon Wild (#15) has collected three goals on the year and distributed two assists which are tied for the team lead. Wild is on loan from Atlanta United and in his first year of professional soccer after finishing his career with the University of Maryland in 2017. Goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky (#1) has started seven games for the Battery and recorded four clean sheets in that time. Kuzminsky is in his second year with Charleston.

TABLE

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

TICKET DEAL

It’s Kickers Fiesta at City Stadium on Saturday, June 9th! 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):

  • Exclusive access to the VIP Fiesta
  • All-you-can-eat taco bar, featuring the authentic Tex-Mex flavors of Chicken Fiesta
  • Two Modelo beers*, or sodas
  • Admission to the Richmond Kickers vs Charleston Battery game at 7:00 pm

Purchase Tickets Here

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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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Community

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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