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GAME SUMMARY & PHOTOS: Kickers Out of the Open Cup

This past Wednesday the Kickers and a small band of the Red Army traveled down to Cary, NC as the Kickers faced NCFC in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. It didn’t go well.



Ackwei (Gallardo) 34’

North Carolina FC 4
Fortune (Ewolo) 16’, Kristo (Dunvernay) 62’, Kristo (penalty) 61’, Chester (Perez) 70’

Attendance: 1,553

All photos by Suzane Velasco









The Kickers held tough for a half. Going into the break it was tied 1-1. The second half, however, was all NCFC. The Kickers were punished for several defensive mistakes. As one of the few Kickers fans that traveled down it’s worth mentioning the warm welcome the Red Army (Kickers supporters group) received from the Oak City Supporters (NCFC supporters). There were beers, stories, scarves, and food shared before the game. It’s the way rivalries or competitions, in general, should be handled.  Sharing company and camaraderie before and after, with 90 minutes of passion and plenty of insults thrown back and forth. I travel and support the Richmond Kickers but also I do it out of love of the sport and it’s always nice to find like-minded individuals.



The Richmond Kickers run in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup came to an end on the road against North Carolina FC Wednesday night. Wahab Ackwei scored his first goal of the season to draw the game level through halftime. Three second half NCFC goals downed the Kickers on the road.

Three minutes into the match and Charles Boateng nearly continued his run of form in the Open Cup. Pouncing on a loose ball, Boateng made a run at goal, sending his shot just wide to the left of the target.

Another threat came from Boateng two minutes later. Scott Thomsen played a corner short to Joe Gallardo. He continued to move the ball towards the center of the pitch to Braeden Troyer. Troyer chipped the ball in for Boateng at the near post, putting his header just to the right of goal this time.

Searching for the opener, Darrin MacLeod had enough of a touch on the ball to deny Boateng in the 7th minute. Nick Retzlaff picked up control of the ball from Matt Bolduc. Retzlaff found Boateng in position, slipping the ball through for the Ghanian. MacLeod blocked the ball enough for Caleb Duvernay to clear out of danger.

Akira Fitzgerald was called into action in the 13th minute to deal with a long range effort. Robert Kristo picked up control of the ball and found space outside of the Kickers box. He decided to go for it from about 25 yards out with Fitzgerald coming up with the easy save.

NCFC broke the deadlock in the 16th minute. Austin Panchot sent in a cross into the Richmond box, as the ball pinged around, finally falling to Ulrich Ewolo. He laid the ball off for Andre Fortune to go for the shot at the top of the box, putting it to the left of the diving Akira Fitzgerald.

Wahab Ackwei leveled the score for Richmond in the 34th minute. Matt Bolduc brought down a deflected cross, putting it right to the feet of Joe Gallardo. He took a touch and flicked the ball across the front of goal, right as Ackwei crashed the back post to put it into the back of the net.

The home side went ahead in the 52nd minute. Before the ball rolled out for a goal kick, Caleb Duvernay chipped in a cross picking out Robert Kristo at the top of the six. He leapt to beat Ackwei to the ball, heading it into the goal and past Fitzgerald.

A penalty was awarded to NCFC to get the third goal of the night in the 61st minute. Wahab Ackwei tackled Robert Kristo from behind, picking up a yellow card in the process and forcing the referee to point to the spot. Kristo stepped up to take the kick, forcing Akira Fitzgerald the wrong way.

Mutaya Mwape nearly had a chance to pull a goal back for Richmond in the 83rd minute. Joe Gallardo went down after a hard challenge from Duval Wapiwo, earning a yellow card for the tackle. Mwape stood over the free kick, and tried to sneak his shot in towards the near post, putting it wide to the right.

Another shot from Mwape in the 86th minute forced a save from Darrin MacLeod. Matt Bolduc won the ball right on the midfield line and pressed towards goal, playing the ball out to Mwape making a run up the right flank. He cut back to get around his defender and let a shot go, as MacLeod is there to make the stop.

A fourth goal for NCFC would come in the 70th minute. Manny Perez picked up control of the ball as it came loose on the right side. With space, he went for the cross low and in front goal, slipping through the pack. Yamikani Chester made a run towards the far post to pounce on the opportunity, finding the back of the net.

The Kickers get right back to USL League One play Saturday night as they travel down to face Greenville Triumph SC at Legacy Early College for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. This match will be available to stream live on ESPN+ and shown locally on WTVR CBS 6.3 (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466). Stay up to date with the Kickers at


NCFC 1 3 4
Richmond 1 0 1


NCFC GK Darrin MacLeod, Caleb Duvernay, Aaron Guillen, Tim Mehl, Manny Perez; Duval Wapiwo, Tommy McCabe (77’ – Graham Smith), Donovan Ewolo (68’ – Yamikani Chester), Dre Fortune, Austin Panchot (45’ – DJ Taylor), Robert Kristo

Unused Substitutes: Alex Tambakis, Steven Miller, Ben Speas, Marios Lomis

Richmond GK Akira Fitzgerald, Scott Thomsen, Ivan Magalhães, Conor Shanosky (63’ – Josh Hughes), Wahab Ackwei, Braeden Troyer (63’ – Eli Lockaby), Nick Retzlaff (63’ – Mutaya Mwape), Maxi Rodriguez, Matt Bolduc, Joe Gallardo, Charles Boateng

Unused Substitutes: Joe Rice, Greg Boehme, Dennis Chin, Daniel Jackson


NCFC 14 3 15 5
Richmond 10 4 7 3


10′ NC Andre Fortune (Ulrich Ewolo)
34′ RIC Wahab Ackwei (Joe Gallardo)
52′ NC Robert Kristo (Caleb Dunvernay)
62′ NC Robert Kristo (penalty)
70′ NC Yamikani Chester (Manny Perez)


47′ NC Tommy McCabe
53′ NC Andre Fortune
61′ RIC Wahab Ackwei
82′ NC Duval Wapiwo





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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Nathan Burrell Leaving City Parks and Recreation for State Gig

When Nathan moves into his state position at the end of the month, the city will have to work hard to find a worthy replacement.



Anybody that has done any significant amount of volunteering in James River Park has run across Nathan Burrell. He’s one of those hard-working, kind of quiet guys that simply gets things done. Thoughtful and passionate he has been a part of the park system for the past 17 years.

Nathan took over as Superintendent of the Park system in 2013 after equally well-known Ralph White retired. Most recently in 2018, Nathan was promoted to facilities maintenance manager of the city parks department. This chapter of his professional life is coming to a close. Yesterday he announced that he would be leaving the parks department to take a job with the state government as deputy director with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Nathan’s last day will be January 29th, if you seem out in the park be sure to give him a hearty thank you from all of us that use the park on a daily basis. has more:

He said he accepted the new job “with a heavy heart and gratitude.”

Burrell said that over the past 17 years, he had witnessed Richmond change from a “capital of the South” mentality to a city that sees itself as one of the best places to live, work and play in the nation, which is related to enjoying and preserving James River Park.

He mentioned several improvements at the park during his time, including “the development of over 40 miles of single track trails, multiple river access points, the development of a mountain bike skills course, legitimization and expansion of a bike jump park, increased operational and capital funding for James River Park System and … a master plan to guide and further protect it into the future.”



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Detour on Buttermilk

The trail will remain the same once the work is completed. They’re just taking care of a ramp that’s seen better days.



From RVA Trail Report:

ATTENTION: There will be a detour in effect on Buttermilk starting tomorrow and lasting several weeks. The wood and brick ramp just west of the Reedy Creek parking lot is being completely re-built. The detour is well-marked, just follow the yellow arrows and signs. This project is being completely funded by a generous donation to RVA-MORE from an individual who wishes to remain anonymous. Thanks to all to helped make this happen !!



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Richmond Reporting on Continental Coming to Manchester

A new restaurant for the Manchester area.



The Continental Westhampton is a staple for diners on Grove. Eventually, those of us South of the river will have our very own Continental to call our own at 609 Hull Street. Continental brings to the table a diverse menu that you can check out here. I highly recommend the meatloaf.

From the full-article on Richmond

Giavos said Continental Manchester will be a similar concept to his Continental Westhampton that’s been open for eight years along the Libbie-Grove corridor.

“We decided to take the ‘W’ in Continental Westhampton and flip it upside down for Manchester,” he said.

“It’ll be neighborhood-friendly, accessible, not too expensive. Hopefully it’ll be good for that neighborhood. There are so many young professionals over there, hopefully I can bring something that’s a needed commodity.”

According to the article no date is set for projected opening.




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