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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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Black Bear Spotted in James River Park

I can barely contain my excitement about a bear.




The black bear is not the bear being reported but rather a placeholder bear from Wikipedia until someone gets a picture.

Reported by Stephanie on the Woodland Heights Facebook group:

My husband was out on a long ramble with our dog and the dog became very keyed up as they got to the top of the pedestrian bridge at 42nd st. Husband looked down in time to catch a glimpse of a bear.
The bear was seen entering the underbrush near the bottom of the steps. This was at 11:40 this morning.
Sorry, no photos. 😕
This is not the first time that they have seen bears in the park at about this time of year.
So, heads up, neighbors!
While not common black bears in James River Park are not unheard of. As recently as this past June there was a black bear on the North Bank trail that eventually wandered into town. Full story on the June bear here.



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Halloween Howl Takes the Dogs Online this Year

You have a week to show off your pooch’s best trick and/or costume.




Halloween Howl has been a long standing annual tradition in Forest Hill Park, bringing our community together with dogs and their people to benefit Friends of Forest Hill Park and Ring Dog Rescue. The Howl has included dog/owner games, best pet trick competition, costume parade and refreshments. Ring Dog Rescue participated with their adoptable dogs, and CritterTown BathHouse provided a Pooch Pad as well as free nail clipping for a donation to Ring Dog Rescue. The Friends of Forest Hill Park Junior, Middle and High School park volunteers, judged the events and awarded prizes. This year due to COVID health concerns, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Senior Jacob Lee, has created a virtual event page for our event so we can continue to host it this year! We greatly appreciate Jacob’s time and talent!

For more information on Ring Dog Rescue go to

For more information on Friends of Forest Hill Park and the Junior Group go to

How it Works

Please register for the Halloween Howl event below. We hope you will consider making a donation as well. Half of the donations will go to Ring Dog Rescue and and the other half to Friends of Forest Hill Park.

Upload a picture of your dog in his/her costume or a short video of your pet’s best trick by Saturday, October 24th at Noon. The Friends of Forest Hill Park Junior will Judge the following categories, and prizes will be awarded:

  • Best Pet Trick
  • Best Dog/Owner Duo
  • Best Costume Overall
  • Cutest Costume
  • Scariest Costume
  • Judges Choice

You will be notified by email Sunday, October 25th, and winners will be posted on this site. We appreciate your support and hope you enjoy until we can resume our live event in the park!

Register Here



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Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by SPCA.




Where Spotted: Reedy Creek
Common Name: Red-eyed Vireo
Scientific Name: Vireo olivaceus
Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)
Weight: 0.4-0.9 oz (12-26 g)
Wingspan: 9.1-9.8 in (23-25 cm)


Quick Facts (Courtesy of Cornell Labs)

  • The red iris that gives the Red-eyed Vireo its name doesn’t develop until the end of the birds’ first winter. Then the brown iris the birds were born with becomes dull brick red to bright crimson in different individuals.
  • Some find the Red-eyed Vireo’s song unending and monotonous. Bradford Torrey wrote in 1889, “I have always thought that whoever dubbed this vireo the ‘preacher’ could have had no very exalted opinion of the clergy.” But each male sings 30 or more different songs, and neighbors have unique repertoires. Over 12,500 different Red-eyed Vireo song types have been recorded.
  • On May 27, 1952, Louise de Kiriline Lawrence counted the number of songs sung by a single Red-eyed Vireo seeking a mate on his territory 180 miles north of Toronto. He sang 22,197 songs in the 14 hours from just before dawn to evening, singing for 10 of those hours.
  • From the 1920s to the 1940s Red-eyed Vireos expanded west into Utah and Oregon and northeast into Newfoundland. The most likely cause is new shelterbelts and landscaping, particularly where eastern tree species were planted. Since the 1970s, however, numbers in the Big Basin region of the West seem to have fallen steadily.
  • Several subspecies of Red-eyed Vireos remain resident in South America or migrate only within that continent.
  • The Red-eyed Vireo’s magnetic compass guides migration between continents. But fat stores seem to influence migration paths when the birds encounter the Gulf of Mexico. Fatter birds head across the Gulf, while leaner birds hug the coastline or travel inland around the Gulf. Cloud cover also makes routes near land more likely.
  • The oldest known Red-eyed Vireo was at least 10 years, 2 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operation in Maryland.

If you’re a fan of original content like those photos above be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.

Vander at Richmond SPCA

Hey there! My name is Vander and I was transferred to the Richmond SPCA from Texas. I can be nervous in new situations, so I need someone that will proceed with things at my pace. Are you a patient person that is willing to take things slow for a pup like me? If so, I might be a great fit for you! Please call the nice folks at the Richmond SPCA adoption center at 804-521-1307. Thanks!

Age: 4 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: White / Black
Size: XL (dog size guide)
ID: 45395097

Adopt Vander at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

To reduce visitor traffic, during the COVID-19 outbreak they are scheduling adoption appointments beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Please leave your phone number in a voicemail or email and an adoption counselor will call to set an appointment for you to meet with a pet. Email the adoption center or call 804-521-1307.



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