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Preview: Kickers vs. Bethlehem Steel FC

The Kickers are effectively playing for pride at this point in the season.

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MATCH DETAILS

Opponent: Bethlehem Steel FC (7-9-6)
Date/Time:
 Saturday, Aug. 4th – 7 PM
Weather Forecast from Weather.com:

THREE THINGS TO KICK ABOUT

  1. Playoff Odds – Not good, in fact, terrible. According to the ugly but awesome site Sports Club Stats the Kickers currently have a 0.05% chance of making the playoffs. That’s not a typo for 5% our chances are .05%. The highpoint of our chance for making the playoffs was the first game of the year at 50% since then the highest was in May when it hung out in the upper 30%.
  2. Juice – This is the nickname of Giuseppe Gentile one of the new forwards the Kickers picked up this year. He has spent most of the season on the bench due to injuries and just recently has been getting the start. He’s exciting to watch and while he hasn’t found the back of the net yet it should happen soon.
  3. Defense – The Kickers have none. In the past six league games, they’ve given up 17 goals. The most recent games were back to back 3-0 defeats which means an impressive goal differential of -21. There are only two teams in the Eastern Division with worse goal differential Atlanta with -23 (we tied 1-1 in July) and Toronto FC with -26 (we beat 2-1 back in April).

PREDICTION

I think you all know where this is heading. The Kickers are in a complete tailspin and due to scheduling from hell are no playing their 7th game in four weeks. The phrase kicking a dog when they’re down, comes to mind. The Kickers have only managed three draws out of 20 games and a disheartening 12 losses. This Saturday they’ll pick up lucky 13 in the L column.

Bethlehem 2 – Kickers 0

My Home Games W/L prediction record to date: 45% correct

KICKERS OFFICIAL PREVIEW

The Richmond Kickers (5-12-3) return to City Stadium to battle the Bethlehem Steel FC (7-9-6) for the final time of the 2018 regular season on Saturday at 7 p.m. The party starts at 5:30pm for artVA Fest with live music by The Hit List, a collaborative art zone including lessons, performances and installations by Art on Wheels, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Studio Two Three and Wine & Design, plus RVA food trucks and over a dozen craft beers on tap. The match will be available on the Kickers Official Television Partners, WTVR CBS 6 on their 6.3 sub channel (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466) and can be streamed live on ESPN+. Tickets are available now at RichmondKickers.com.

Saturday’s match will be the seventh all-time meeting between the two sides. Bethlehem holds the 3-1-2 advantage including two wins from Goodman Stadium this season. In the opening game of the regular season, Steel FC defeated the Kickers 4-1 behind a brace from Brandon Allen. Oscar Umar scored his first goal with the Kickers in the match. In the most recent meeting on May 6, Bethlehem again earned three points from home, beating the Richmond 3-1. Heviel Cordovés notched his first goal with the Kickers just minutes after he replaced an injured Giuseppe Gentile. However, Steel FC rallied with three straight goals to pick up the win.

Richmond is coming off two tough results on the road. Last Saturday the Kickers lost 3-0 to long-time rivals, the Charleston Battery. Despite the loss, the Kickers outshot the Battery 21-6 and controlled 60 percent of possession. Things didn’t get much better in the mid-week tilt against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Wednesday. The Riverhounds won 3-0 from Highmark Stadium, powered by two goals from Neco Brett. Trevor Spangenberg prevented further damage with six saves in the match.

Bethlehem gained three points last Sunday with a 4-1 result at home versus Atlanta United 2. Matt Mahoney got the scoring started with a header off a corner kick in the 16th minute. Aidan Apodaca, Faris and Brenden Aaronson all tallied their first professional goals in the victory. The four goals in the match tied a Steel FC record. Bethlehem sits in 10th place in the USL standings, but just a point outside of the eighth position.

Following Saturday’s match, the Kickers will gear up for two consecutive games on the road. Richmond will make the trip to our neighbors up north and face Toronto FC II on Sunday, August 12. Then, the Kickers will stay in Canada and battle the Ottawa Fury FC on Wednesday, August 15. Both games can be streamed on ESPN+.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Heviel Cordovés (#16) returned to action on Wednesday for the first time since going down with an injury on July 9. Cordovés has scored four goals in his first season with the Kickers. Midfielder Brandon Eaton (#25) entered as a substitute on Wednesday and passed at a 90.1 percent clip. Eaton is hoping to have even more of an impact on Saturday having only played in three games so far this season. Defender Mekeil Williams (#55) has appeared in 17 games from the center back position for the Kickers. Williams and his 59 clearances will be critical in stopping the Bethlehem attack.

Bethlehem: Defender Matthew Mahoney (#48) is the backbone of Bethlehem’s defense, playing in 1,759 minutes, the most on the team. Mahoney is also a threat off set pieces, adding two goals in 2018. Forward Santi Moar (#38) has appeared in 21 games for Bethlehem and leads the team with six assists. Moar has collected three goals so far, including one last time out against Richmond. Midfielder Adam Najem (#24) is a key playmaker for Steel FC, leading the team with 33 chances created. Najem is in his second season with Bethlehem, appearing in 14 games this year.

TABLE

TICKET DEAL

It’s artVA at City Stadium on Saturday, August 4!  The party starts at 5:30pm with live music by The Hit List, a collaborative art zone including lessons, performances and installations by Art on Wheels, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Studio Two Three and Wine & Design – PLUS – RVA food trucks and over a dozen craft beers on tap!

Then, get loud with the Red Army when your Richmond Kickers battle Bethlehem Steel FC at 7pm.

GET TICKETS

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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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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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Richmond BizSense Reporting that Sur La Table has Thrown in the Napkin at Stony Point Fashion Park

I’m not a retail expert but it seems to me that Stony Point Fashion Park is not doing well. Technically not the fault of the mall on this one but still it’s not looking good at the mall.

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The latest retailer to call it quits at Stony Point Fashion Park is Sur La Table. They’re packing up their pots and pans and hitting the bankruptcy highway.

Richmond BizSense.com has the limited details.

An assistant manager confirmed on Wednesday the store would permanently close, along with other stores throughout the country. The manager didn’t know the exact date the Stony Point location would shutter. She referred further questions to the company’s corporate headquarters.

The company announced Wednesday it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It intends to restructure and pursue a sale of the entire company, subject to court approval. In its Wednesday announcement, the company didn’t elaborate on its plans to close stores. The company seeks permission to continue to operate stores during bankruptcy proceedings.

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