The Richmond Kickers (0-1-1) will take their first road trip of the season, heading to Cooley Law Stadium this Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. to face Lansing Ignite FC (1-1-0) for the second time this season. This match will be available live on WTVR CBS 6.3 (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466) and streaming online on ESPN+.
This match will mark the second of three meetings between the two clubs. Lansing took a 3-2 victory at City Stadium just two weeks ago in the season opener for both teams. LIFC went into halftime holding a 2-0 lead behind goals from Tumi Moshobane and Xavier Gomez. The lead increased to three goals for LIFC after Kevin Coiffic notched a goal just after halftime. Maxi Rodriguez pulled a goal back in the 68th minute set up by Daniel Jackson. Joe Gallardo converted a penalty in the 76th minute to get the Kickers within one, but Lansing was able to hold off the effort by the Kickers.
Richmond comes into this match after battling South Georgia Tormenta FC to a 0-0 draw at City Stadium last Saturday night. The Kickers out shot their opponents 9-7, including three massive first half chances by Charles Boateng, who made his first appearance of the season. Akira Fitzgerald and the Kickers backline held strong to earn the club’s first clean sheet of the 2019 season, behind the Kickers keeper making three saves.
Lansing will be looking to avenge a 1-2 road defeat at the hands of Greenville Triumph FC. LIFC jumped ahead in the 27th minute with a goal from Ricky Lopez-Espin, taking the 1-0 lead into the break. Jake Keegan leveled the score for Greenville in the 53rd minute. Things became chippy in the match, with both Ricardo Perez and Tumi Moshobane seeing red cards, reducing Lansing to nine men. With five minutes to go, Greenville capitalized on their advantage as Kevin Politz headed away the game winner.
The Kickers are back on the road next Saturday night as they make the trip south to take on Greenville Triumph FC at Legacy Early College. Kickoff for that match is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be shown live on WTVR CBS 6.3 and online through ESPN+. Stay up to date with the Kickers at RichmondKickers.com
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Richmond: Goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald (#1) picked up his first clean sheet of the season behind three saves last Saturday in the 0-0 draw with Tormenta FC. The native of Chiba, Japan joined the Kickers after spending the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL Championship. Forward Joe Gallardo (#10) has one goal in two starts this season, scoring in the season opener against Lansing. Gallardo signed with the Kickers after last joining Orlando City B in the USL Championship. Midfielder Matt Bolduc (#11) has played every minute for the first two matches for the Kickers this season. Bolduc is in his third season in Richmond, coming off 14 appearances for the Kickers in 2018.
Lansing: Defender Kevin Coiffic (#17) scored the game winner in the first meeting between the two clubs back on March 30 at City Stadium. The Lorient, France native is in his first professional season after playing at Young Harris College. Midfielder Xavier Gomez (#10) has a goal and an assist this season for LIFC, both of which coming against the Kickers. Gomez signed his first professional contract with Lansing after four years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Goalkeeper Michael Kirk (#1) has manned the nets for Lansing’s first two matches of the season. Kirk brings two years of USL Championship experience to Lansing after stints with Rio Grande Valley FC and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.