Opponent: Ottawa Fury FC (11-13-5)
Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 15th – 7 PM
Weather Forecast from Weather.com:
THREE THINGS TO KICK ABOUT
- Moving on Down – The USL doesn’t follow the English model of promotion and regulation between the various leagues. That won’t stop the Richmond Kicker from dropping out of USL D2 down to D3 next year. The reason is money. The Kickers don’t have enough. Details with a more positive spin here.
- Not Good – The team currently has a -37 goal differential. Top of the table Cincinnati has +30 goal differential. Then next closest team to the Kickers, Toronto FC has a -28 goal.
- There’s a chance – According the USL website’s League Standings the Kickers are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet. I have neither the desire or the math skills to figure out how that is possible.
Last home game I predicted a 3-0 loss for the Kickers. I was wrong. The Kickers loss by an impressive, I’ve never seen something quite as horrific 6-0. Things will get better this week. I don’t see them losing by as much.
Kickers 1 – Ottawa 3
My Home Games W/L prediction record to date: 50% correct
KICKERS OFFICIAL PREVIEW
The Richmond Kickers (6-18-4) return home to City Stadium after a three-match road trip to host Ottawa Fury FC (11-13-5) and Oktoberfest presented by the Hof. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with authentic German oompah music by The Sauerkrauts, stein-hoisting competition, and seasonal craft beers on tap.Then, the Kickers will take on Ottawa at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
Saturday night’s match will be the fourth meeting between the two clubs, with Richmond looking for their first victory as Ottawa has taken a victory in all of the prior meetings. Just a month prior, the Kickers made the trek to TD Place Stadium, falling to the Fury 0-2 on August 15. Carl Haworth put the home side ahead after eight minutes, scoring on a free kick just outside the Richmond box. Steevan Dos Santos pounced on a loose ball and squared a pass to Tony Taylor in the 84th minute to double the Ottawa lead late.
Richmond will look to bounce back after a narrow 1-2 defeat on the road at the hands of the Charlotte Independence Saturday night. Alex Martinez slotted a ball through for Éamon Zayed in the fifth minute to put the Independence ahead early in the match. A mistake by Trevor Spangenberg in the 58th minute allowed Jake Areman to get the second goal for Charlotte. Raul Gonzalez was able to pull a goal back for the Kickers in the 72nd minute, when Prince Agyemang fed the ball through for Yudai Imura. As he was going to be tackled, Imura laid the ball off for Gonzalez to run onto and get the goal.
Ottawa is coming off a thrilling 4-3 road victory over Toronto FC II last Thursday night. Tony Taylor opened the scoring after just four minutes for Ottawa. Cristian Portilla scored a second for the Fury in the 37th minute. Toronto leveled the score in the 47th minute with goals coming from Jon Bakero and Tsubasa Endoh. Thomas Meilleur-Giguère put Ottawa ahead again in the 69th minute, just as Toronto would draw level again through Jordan Hamilton from the penalty spot five minutes later. Adonijah Reid netted the game winner for Ottawa in the 78th minute to seal all three points for the visitors.
The Kickers are back on the road next Saturday night, heading down to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies September 22. Four days later, the Kickers return to City Stadium to host the Eastern Conference leading FC Cincinnati and Cider Fest. The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. with live music, RVA food trucks, and Happy Hour specials on over 20 ciders and craft beers. Kickoff for the game is at 7:00 p.m. Both matches will be available live on WTVR CBS 6.3 (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466) and streaming online on ESPN+. Tickets for the FC Cincinnati match are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Richmond: Midfielder Raul Gonzalez (#27) has scored in two-straight matches, bringing his tally for the season to three goals and one assist. The University of Memphis product is in his second season in Richmond has five goals and two assists over 49 appearances. Midfielder Yudai Imura (#14) picked up his first assist of the season, to go with his two goals this season. A native of Tokyo, Japan, Imura signed with the Kickers after a successful tryout in 2015 and has gone on to make 92 appearances over four seasons, scoring 15 goals and adding five assists. Midfielder Brandon Eaton (#25) slotted into the right back role last Saturday night, and contributed seven tackles and a passing accuracy of 80%. Eaton is in his second professional season, after making one appearance for the Kickers in 2017.
Ottawa: Forward Carl Haworth (#9) added his third assist of the season last Thursday in Ottawa’s 4-3 victory on the road against Toronto FC II. The Canadian international scored his second goal of the season in the last meeting between these two clubs August 15. Forward Tony Taylor (#99) leads Ottawa with five goals this season in 27 games, including a goal in their last outing against Toronto. Taylor joined the Fury after spending the 2017 season with the Jacksonville Armada where he scored three goals in 12 games. Goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau (#16) is tied for first in the USL for clean sheets this season with 12, along with Matt Pickens at Nashville SC. On loan from the Montréal Impact, Crépeau made three league appearances and four Canadian Championship appearances for the first team in 2017.
There are 16 teams in the Eastern Conference, somehow the Kickers are not sitting at the absolute bottom and still have a good chance of not being the absolute worst team in the East.
It’s Oktoberfest, presented by The Hof, at City Stadium on Saturday, September 15!
The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with authentic German oompah music by The Sauerkrauts and seasonal craft beers on tap! Then, get loud with the Red Army when the Kickers take the field to take on Ottawa!