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Preview: Kickers vs Atlanta United 2

The Kickers are back in town after a road trip of mixed results. This is the first time Atlanta United has been to Richmond and the Kickers hope to send them back south with a loss.

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MATCH DETAILS

Opponent: Atlanta United 2 (3-9-5)
Date/Time:
 Saturday, July 21st – 7 PM
Weather Forecast from Weather.com:

THREE THINGS TO KICK ABOUT

  1. Playoff Woes – Currently the Kickers have played three fewer games than a good number of teams and sit at 17 points. Let’s assume that Kickers get all nine points out those games in hands it would push the team up to 26 points. The Kickers at 26 points would still miss the playoffs. The chances of seeing post-season play are pretty much dust.
  2. Semi-new coach – Bulow has inherited a team. He has had dramatically mixed results with that team. Most recently a 2-1 win of Penn FC followed by a complete butt-kicking at the hands of New York Red Bulls 5-1. What does it all mean? I’m not sure yet but Bulow does seem to be pushing the team to play a more aggressive style of soccer but it doesn’t seem as though the team has the skills to be successful.
  3. Use your head – The game against the New York Red Bulls was a comedy of errors. Case in point the first goal. Just watch the first few seconds. A relatively simple clearance goes horribly and amusingly wrong.

PREDICTION

There are only two teams in the Eastern Conference lower than the Richmond Kickers and Atlanta is one of them.

My Home Games W/L prediction record to date: 50% correct

KICKERS OFFICIAL PREVIEW

The Richmond Kickers (5-10-2) welcome Atlanta United 2 (3-9-5) to City Stadium on Saturday night. It’s the Carytown Block Party, presented by Bon Secours. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Hazeltone, Carytown restaurants and food trucks, FREE bike valet, and over a dozen craft beers and ciders on tap, before the Richmond Kickers take on Atlanta United 2 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are still available on RichmondKickers.com.

Atlanta United 2 is in its first season in the USL. Saturday will mark the first all-time meeting between the two squads. Atlanta currently sits in 15th in the USL Eastern Conference standings with Richmond just ahead in 14th place.

Richmond returns home in front of the Red Army following two games on the road. The Kickers did pick up their first road win during that time, defeating Penn FC 2-1. Scott Thomsen notched a goal from a curling free kick, which landed him on the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 plays. Later in the match, Brian Shriver found Luiz Fernando in front of the net for Fernando’s third goal in league play. David Bulow picked up his first career win with the Kickers at FNB Field. Last Friday, the New York Red Bulls II picked up three points against the Kickers, winning 5-1. Brian Shriver added a tap-in goal for Richmond’s lone goal in the match.

Atlanta is coming off a 2-1 victory over Bethlehem Steel FC at home from Coolray Field. Brandon Vazquez started the scoring when he chipped it over Bethlehem’s goalkeeper Jake McGuire in the 25th minute. Atlanta doubled its lead in the 50th minute when Oliver Shannon blasted a shot from outside the box that found the bottom-right corner of the net. Bethlehem scored a late goal, but Atlanta held on in the closing minutes to pick up its third home win of the year.

After Saturday’s game, the Kickers will play host to RCD Espanyol from City Stadium on Wednesday, July 25, presented by Big Apple Neighborhood Market. Before the match, fans will have the opportunity to see the La Liga opponent at an open training session, presented by Lalo’s Cocina, on July 23 at 7 p.m. The open training session is free with the purchase of a ticket to the match against Espanyol. Tickets are available on RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Brian Shriver (#21) continues to be the Kickers main offensive weapon. In the past two games, Shriver has collected two goals and an assist. Shriver leads Richmond with five goals on the season. Goalkeeper Travis Worra (#48) was named to the USL Team of the Week for Week 18. The  Lancaster, PA native recorded 17 saves during both matches, including a season-high 12 saves last Friday night. Defender Mekeil Williams (#55) has appeared in 14 games and tallied 1,130 minutes for Richmond. Williams made six clearances in last Friday’s lost which led Richmond.

Atlanta: Forward Jon Gallagher (#26) is Atlanta’s go-to guy on offense. Gallagher, who finished his college career with Notre Dame in 2017, leads Atlanta with five goals. Midfielder Oliver Shannon (#29) has been a consistent fixture in Atlanta’s lineup, starting 16 of the team’s 17 games. Shannon scored his first goal of the season last game against Bethlehem. Defender AJ Cochran (#3) is integral in Atlanta’s backline as a center back. Cochran is Atlanta’s leader this season with 72 clearances and 27 interceptions.

TABLE

At least the part that includes the Kickers. There are 16 teams in the Eastern Conference. Kickers have a horrific -15 goal differential but Atlanta have a “hold my beer and watch this” -19 goal differential. Normally that would mean goals galore but Atlanta has only scored 20 times this year and Richmond has notched 19.

I predict a battle of own goals, penalties, and general tom-foolery. Neither team is in any sort of position to dominate this game so we’ll go with home-field advantage and give the Kickers the nod winning 2-1 over Atlanta.

TICKET DEAL

It’s the Carytown Block Party, presented by Bon Secours, on Saturday, July 21 at City Stadium!  The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Hazeltone, Carytown restaurants and food trucks, FREE bike valet, and over a dozen craft beers and ciders on tap, before the Richmond Kickers take on Atlanta United 2 at 7:00 p.m.

HAVE A BEER ON US!

$15 = KICKERS GAME + DRINK TICKET

Savor locally-owned restaurants and food trucks including legendary Carytown Burgers & Fries and Ginger Thai while browsing handcrafted and one-of-a-kind items on display in a mini-Carytown marketplace at City Stadium.

Get Your Ticket 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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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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