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Richmond Kickers Home Opener on Saturday

A new season of professional soccer kicks off on Saturday.

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The Richmond Kickers start a new season in a new league, USL League 1, with an almost entirely new team, new owners, and for the most part new opponents. The coach Dave Bulow who had a long history with the Kickers only had half a season as head coach so you can throw him on the “new” pile as well.

The past two seasons have been a miserable slog for the Kicker faithful. The team finished in the bottom of the league both years and missed the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.

The new ownership group 22 Holdings, LLC consists of Kickers mainstay Rob Ukrop, Matt Spear, Alex Deegan, Andy Schwab, Bryce Smith Ben Hayes. They all have a Davidson College connection. All of them attended the college and were part of the ’92 soccer team. Matt Spear the captain of that ’92 team also served as Davidson’s men’s soccer coach for 18 years. Matt has stepped in as the Kickers’ new president.

Coach Bulow was given full control of selecting his roster for this season. He focused on trying to get as many USL Championship players on board as possible and was successful in that mission. Only four players from last year’s team are returning, Conor Shanosky, Scott Thomsen, Matt Bolduc, and Braedon Troyer. A few of the new players to keep an eye on include; Joe Gallardo a forward from Orlando City B, Eli Lockaby a defender who has been playing for VCU, and Daniel Jackson another forward who played for Bollklubben-46 in Finland. You can see the full roster here but for real insight into how this team was formed and the guiding philosophy check the interview with Coach Bulow by the Total Soccer Show.

Now that we’ve got all that housekeeping out of the way we’ll go back to our traditional match preview format.

Preview: Richmond Kickers vs Lansing Ignite

Opponent: Lansing Ignite FC (0-0-0)
Date/Time:
Saturday, March 30 – 5 PM
Weather Forecast from Weatherbug.com:

THREE THINGS TO KICK ABOUT

  1. Everything is new. We know very little about the team beyond what we’ve seen at pre-season and even less about the opponent.
  2. The Kickers will definitely be trying to play it out of the back more and Coach Bulow even mentioned goalkeeper Akira being an 11th field player. This will make for exciting soccer but could also bite the team in the ass if not everyone is on the same page.
  3. Another gem from Bulow’s interview above was to keep an eye on the “shorties”. The Kicker has picked up a few players that are closer to 5′ than 6′ and he stated that they’ve got the speed and skills to surprise both opponents and fans.

PREDICTION

This is a total guess since there are way too many variables. We’ve liked what we’ve seen during the pre-season, we make no pretense at being unbiased, and that combined with a home-field advantage we’ve got to give it to the Kickers.

Kickers 2 – 1 Lansing Ignite

OFFICIAL KICKERS PREVIEW

The Richmond Kickers will open their 27th professional season this Saturday night at 5:00 p.m. as they host Lansing Ignite FC in their first-ever match, presented by Woodfin. This match will mark the start of the 2019 USL League One season. The party starts when the gates open at 3:30 p.m. with live music from the VCU Peppas and craft beer on tap with specials right when the gates open! The Kickers take the field at 5:00 p.m. to face Lansing. The first 1,000 fans through gates will receive a 2019 schedule magnet, courtesy of WTVR CBS 6. Catch this match streaming online through ESPN+ and on the Kickers Official Television partners WTVR CBS 6. Tickets are available now at RichmondKickers.com.
Saturday’s match will be the first-ever meeting between the two clubs, with Lansing fielding a team for the first time. The Kickers were announced as a founding member of USL League One in September 2018, joining nine other clubs for the league’s inaugural season: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, FC Tucson, Forward Madison, Greenville Triumph SC, North Texas SC, Orlando City B, South Georgia Tormenta FC, Toronto FC II and Saturday’s opponent, Lansing Ignite FC.
Richmond will have a new look for the 2019 season, following an ownership change that saw 22 Holdings, LLC purchase the pro team. With David Bulow returning at the helm for his first full season in charge of the Kickers, the Kickers only return five players from the 2018 squad, which includes Greg Boehme, Matt Bolduc, Conor Shanosky, Scott Thomsen and Braeden Troyer. Bulow made it a point to bring in USL Championship calibre talent, adding veteran players such as Dennis Chin, Akira Fitzgerald and Daniel Jackson.
Heading into their first-ever match, Lansing finished their preseason with a record of 3-1-0 behind head coach Nate Miller. Haitian youth international Steeve Saint-Duc lead the way for LIFC in scoring during preseason with four goals. LIFC announced this week that former Charlotte Independence and Des Moines Menace defender Brandon Fricke will be the first captain for the new club.
The Kickers will be back in action next Saturday night, April 6 to host South Georgia Tormenta FC for a 5:00 p.m. kickoff. It’s College Night at City Stadium, with students getting tickets for just $10 at the gate with a valid student ID. Tickets for this match are on sale right now at RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Daniel Jackson (#9) is set to lead the Kickers attack Saturday night after joining the Kickers over the off season. The Pittsburgh native returns to the U.S. after a stint in Finland with Bollklubben-46. Goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald (#1) brings veteran leadership to the Kickers defense. The Wake Forest product brings in a wealth of USL Championship experience split between North Carolina FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Returning to the Kickers backline for 2019, defender Conor Shanosky (#5) will play in his fifth season in Richmond. Over the last two seasons, Shanosky has made 42 appearances, starting in 38 matches and scoring one goal and notching an assist.
Lansing: Coming off an international match with the Trinidad and Tobago national team taking on Wales, midfielder Nathan Lewis (#27) joins Lansing for the start of the USL League One season. Lewis comes to Lansing following 11 appearances for USL Championship side Indy Eleven in 2018. Defender Nick Moon (#14) impressed at a closed-door tryout in January, earning himself a professional contract with Lansing. A product of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Moon scored 13 goals and notched 12 assists over 71 appearances during his four-year collegiate career. Forward Steeve Saint-Duc (#11) brings his Haitian youth national team experience to the Ignite for the USL League One Season. He most  recently featured for the Haiti U20 national team during the 2018 CONCACAF U20 Championship in November.

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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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Mardi Gras Manchester Style

Laissez les bons temps rouler on February 22nd.

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There is no reason to brave the crowds of NOLA for Mardi Gras when you can just head over to Manchester and celebrate with Dogtown Dance Theatre.

Dogtown Dance Theatre presents the 10th annual Mardi Gras RVA on February 22, 2020. It kicks off with a Mardi Gras-themed parade at 3:30PM, beginning at 15th Street and Bainbridge Street.  Folks are encouraged to not only watch but to join in the fun as performers walk the 10 block route.

After the parade things really start hopping at Dogtown’s Theater from 4 PM to 8:30 PM.   There will be many talented performers to enjoy, like RVA Dance Collective and RVA Dance Junior Ensemble, CLAVES UNIDOS, Dogwood Dance Project, Salsa Connection, Richmond Urban Dance, Pole Pressure, Ajna Tribal, SHiNE Dance, and Salsa Rueda.  These performances will showcase a variety of dances, including modern, African, hip hop, belly dancing, Latin and salsa, and many more. You will never experience a dull moment at this spectacular event!

In between acts Elana Lisa and the Hot Mess will keep folks moving. If attendees need a bite or a beer, both will be available from Sophia’s International Cuisine, and Legend Brewing Company respectively.

Tickets for attendance are $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12, and children under the age of 5 may attend for free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the link below.

More information at Dogtown Dance Theatre.

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CARITAS to Install Largest Solar Power System at any Nonprofit in Virginia

More than 1,000 Heliene brand photovoltaic solar panels will be installed starting in Spring 2020 on the roof of the CARITAS Center. The 427 Kilowatts of Solar Arrays Will Save an Estimated $427,000 in Energy Costs.

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CARITAS has signed an agreement with Secure Futures Solar of Staunton to install and operate the largest solar power system at any facility for a non-profit organization in Virginia. Solar arrays on the new CARITAS Center now under construction will provide a total capacity of 427 kilowatts of clean energy, estimated to cut the organization’s electric utility bills by $427,000 over the next 25 years.

More than 1,000 Heliene brand photovoltaic solar panels will be installed starting in Spring 2020 on the roof of the CARITAS Center currently being renovated in the Southside area of Richmond. The solar energy system is expected to cover a substantial portion of the new facility’s energy use by generating enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 72 average homes and to offset 464 tons of carbon dioxide pollution.

According to data on solar installations registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the solar arrays at the CARITAS Center will have the largest capacity of any solar energy system located on a building or elsewhere at the location of a non-profit organization in Virginia. As of 2016, Virginia hosted nearly 38,000 nonprofit organizations delivering vital community services, according to consultancy Independent Sector.

“Innovation is one of our core values at CARITAS,” said President & CEO Karen Stanley. “As we move ahead bringing this bold vision for the CARITAS Center to life, it is important that we integrate new energy solutions into our project. We hope we can lead the way as other nonprofits bring solutions like this to life in their communities.”

Secure Futures will install solar energy equipment at no upfront capital cost to CARITAS and will operate the system under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement. Over that term, CARITAS will buy all the electricity generated by the solar panels located on site from Secure Futures at a cost lower than typically available. CARITAS will use a $17,000 grant from the RVA Solar Fund, administered by the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.

“CARITAS is walking the talk in linking clean energy to community service in Virginia, ” said Anthony Smith, president and CEO of Secure Futures. “Rooftop solar will cut their electric bills, making more resources available for their most vulnerable neighbors break the cycles of homelessness and addiction to reclaim their lives.”

When renovation of the former warehouse facility is completed later in 2020, the CARITAS Center will feature 150,000 square foot of space to house an emergency shelter, a substance-use recovery program for women, 47 apartments for people transitioning out of homlessness, a workforce development center, a furniture bank, and the organization’s administrative offices.

The decision to add solar power at the new facility is consistent with the commitment of CARITAS to effective stewardship of resources that are both financial and ecological. The building will also incorporate about 45 solar tubes, which will filter natural light throughout the Center. Other appliances are ENERGY STAR certified to manage usage and costs. Toilets in the bulding will also feature automatic shut off functions.

CARITAS helps our most vulnerable neighbors break the cycles of homelessness and addiction to reclaim their dignity. For more than 30 years, CARITAS has been providing effective, permanent solutions to individuals and families dealing with the crisis of homelessness and/or substance use disorders in the Metro Richmond area. Its four programs include Emergency Shelter, the Furniture Bank, CARITAS Works, and The Healing Place. Through these four programs, CARITAS provides men and women with the tools to make a successful transition to dignity and self-sufficiency.  You can learn more on the organization’s website at www.caritasva.org.

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Former Ireland Cleaners Back Up for Lease

A prime spot for a new business is now available.

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The plans to convert the Ireland Cleaners into a new improved dry cleaner have fallen through. The spot was purchased about 4 years ago and was destined to be a Malibu $1.95 Cleaners however that’s not happening and the building is up for lease.

Currently on Lindsey’s List

Commercial space located at 4827 Forrest Hill Ave. RVA 23225

3,400 sq ft at the corner of Westover Hills Boulevard and Forrest Hill Ave. Demolition completed and ready for build-out.
Former dry-cleaners. Recent Phase II environmental was completed with no issue.
$4,000/month
Not seeking a buyer.

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