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PREVIEW: Kickers vs North Texas

The season hasn’t gone well for the Kicker faithful and it’ll be an uphill battle as the League’s top team comes to town on Saturday

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Opponent: North Texas SC (9-2-3)
Date/Time:
Saturday, July 13th, – 7 PM
Last Result: Kickers 0 – 1 Chattanooga

Weather Forecast from Weatherbug.com:

THREE THINGS TO KICK ABOUT

  1. Community – Watch this video produced by USL League1
  2. Loss – On July 2nd Charlie Slagle Vice President of Community Engagement and Gameday Experience for the Richmond Kickers passed away.

    “We are stunned for the loss of a tremendous friend and person,” added Richmond Kickers Pro President and General Manager, Matt Spear. “Charlie was a force of nature who lived our “Joyful, Authentic, United” mission to the fullest. What was so powerful about Charlie is that he never met a stranger – he loved people and his energy was infectious. He made a massive community impact the past six months here in Richmond. Charlie deeply believed and activated that soccer was an inspiration and unifier. Charlie was a pivotal reason that I chose to attend Davidson, that I served our alma mater, and that I focus on servant leadership.” [Read Full Statement]
  3. Time – The Kickers are fast running out of time and need to start getting points, any points.

PREDICTION

The Kickers had a long break and managed to fit in two friendlies during that time. The won 6-0 over DC United U-23s and on Tuesday beat Lionsbridge FC (Newport News) 5-0. I think it was a nice confidence boost for the Kickers but these two teams are not even close to the quality that is coming to town on Saturday. I think we’ll see better play from the Kickers but not a better result.

Kickers 0 – North Texas 2

 

OFFICIAL KICKERS PREVIEW

The Richmond Kickers (3-8-3) will be back within the friendly confines of City Stadium on Saturday evening to face North Texas SC (9-2-3) following their two-game road trip. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be available on WTVR 6.3 (Comcast 206, Verizon 466) and streaming online at ESPN+.

In conjunction with hosting North Texas, the Richmond Kickers will be Honoring Our Heroes with the Virginia War Memorial Foundation. All first responders with ID will receive a special ticket offer.

This will be just the second match between the two clubs this season. North Texas leads the season series after earning a 3-0 win, June 1, at City Stadium. The scoreline did not necessarily reflect the on-field play for Richmond who dominated possession and created chances in the attacking areas during both halves.

After a disappointing scoreless drought during the month of June, the Kickers are looking to finish their chances in the final third of the field while building on the stronger defensive performances the team strung together since the match against North Texas. The Reds have owned possession in their most recent matches on the road while earning one clean sheet and nearly earning two more at South Georgia Tormenta FC and Chattanooga Red Wolves SC.

The Kickers found their scoring form over the holiday off week during a friendly at USL League Two side Lionsbridge FC. The squad is looking to that 5-0 win on the peninsula — including goals from prominently featured players like Joe Gallardo, Jannick Eckenrode and Charles Boateng — as a building block for the rematch against the USL League One leaders.

In the case of the league leaders, North Texas experienced its first dip in form and was held scoreless for the first time this season on Sunday after a 0-0 draw at home against Greenville — the first time this season that North Texas had dropped points at Toyota Stadium. Of course, the team is also without the services of Ricardo Pepi who recently signed a contract with North Texas’ parent club, FC Dallas. Pepi scored in the match against the Kickers, and his absence will allow the Richmond defense to key-in more aggressively on the rest of the North Texas attackers.

The Kickers will wrap up their two-game homestand on Saturday, July 20 when they square off against Orlando City B at 7:00 p.m. at City Stadium. Tickets are available now at RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Defensively, Richmond can compete with the best teams in the league. But it’s their lack of scoring in the last month and a half that has stalled the team’s momentum. Forward Joe Gallardo (#10) continues to be a weapon on offense. Gallardo is one of two players for the Kickers that have registered double-digits in shots with 25, good for third-most in USL League One. Defender Eli Lockaby (#17) has been one of the more consistent players in the backfield for Richmond. Following his USL League One Team of the Week nomination after his performance at Tormenta FC, Lockaby posted solid numbers in the road loss to Chattanooga two weeks ago. With 16 clearances and 21 interceptions highlighting his season numbers, Lockaby continues to play quality defense in front of Akira Fitzgerald (#1). Speaking of Fitzgerald, the Richmond goalkeeper is a star among the ranks of the other USL League One goalies. His 37 saves ranks third-highest in the league and the five clean sheets he’s posted ranks fourth in League One play.

North Texas: North Texas SC leads USL League One in shots and goals and forward Ronaldo Damus (#11) has played a large part in their success. The 19-year-old is the league leader in goals with 9 and has 27 shots (16 on goal) on the season, leading the team in both categories. Midfielder Arturo Rodriguez (#10) is the only player on the team to have started and played in all 14 games. He is third on the team in shots and has three goals this season. But what’s most impressive is his ability to move the ball around in the offensive zone. He leads the league in chances created with 30. He has been an important piece to the teams puzzle on offense as they’ve rattled off a league-leading 28 goals and 205 shots this season. Captain Brecc Evans (#4)leads North Texas SC on the defensive side of the ball. After playing just one year of college soccer at Cal Poly, where he was named to the Big West All-Freshman team, Evans signed a two-year contract with North Texas in January. Although his professional career is just a few months old, Evans has shown he can compete at the next level. He leads the team in clearances (29) and is second on the team in interceptions with 12.

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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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Hill Standard’s Website is Live

More details on the latest development on Forest Hill Avenue.

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Nearly weekly on local social media the question comes up, What are they building next to the school (4910-20 Forest Hill Avenue)? You will no longer have to explain that it’s a mixed-use pair of buildings that will include apartments, a brewery, coffee shop, and an ice cream shop. Now you can simply give them this link (https://www.hillstandardrva.com/hill-standard-richmond-va/) and send them on their merry way.

If you’re thinking of moving in, one-bedroom apartments start at $1,225 while a two-bedroom will start at $1,943.

If you’re thinking of getting a beer, the Veil satellite brewery is planning on being open in September.

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Request an Open Street

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As cities across the world have struggled with Covid-19 there have been a couple of interesting side effects. There have been fewer cars on the road and people have been spending more time outside. Open/slow streets are streets that either limit or are completely closed to car traffic to allow for easier walking, skating, and bike riding. It obviously won’t work everywhere but if you’ve got a spot in mind let the city know. A couple of spots that absolutely won’t work but are interesting to contemplate/dream are Nickel Bridge and Riverside Drive.

Another use for open/slow streets would be to allow local restaurants to create patios in parking lots, or parking spots so that they can take a step back into profitability.

Here is the official pitch:

Bike Walk RVA is partnering with the City of Richmond to survey where we need Open Streets for walking and biking safely during the pandemic as phases of reopening are drawing closer.

Cities across the US and the world are reopening space to people on foot and bike to allow them more space to spread out safely during the pandemic, including essential workers, those needing to get fresh air and exercise, and, more recently, diners of restaurants with outside seating.

Mayor Stoney has heard the call for open streets in Richmond and is setting up two processes, one for restaurants to expand onto the sidewalk (where walkways may need to be moved into a temporary expanded sidewalk in a parking lane or travel lane) and one for pedestrian space with a focus on health and equity.

Since the beginning of the stay-at-home orders, Bike Walk RVA has worked with nonprofit, government, and advocacy partners to build out a concept for Open Streets in Richmond, including a draft citywide list of possible locations based on things like the Bike Master Plan, Richmond 300 master plan, traffic volumes, health and equity indexes, and the GRTC network as a launching off point. That full list is the basis of the following survey and can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jugBR3fU5IXPUkmCMdC6pb_Pmp2bRbvrifNCzB4O79w/edit?usp=sharing and mapped here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1L81sla0jqQs1vB7EmYys2pT5x1UuKdAr

Results from this survey will be shared with the mayor’s administration and city council. We respect your information and will not share elsewhere. Please share this survey with any city resident and civic group, especially those whose voices may not already be a part of this conversation.

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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 or RACC.

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Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: Eastern Towhee
Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Length: 6.8-8.2 in (17.3-20.8 cm)
Weight: 1.1-1.8 oz (32-52 g)
Wingspan: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)

Quick Facts (Courtesy Cornell Lab)

  • Eastern Towhees are birds of the undergrowth, where their rummaging makes far more noise than you would expect for their size.
  • The Eastern Towhee and the very similar Spotted Towhee of western North America used to be considered the same species, the Rufous-sided Towhee. The two forms still occur together in the Great Plains, where they sometimes interbreed.
  • Eastern Towhees are common victims of the parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird. Female cowbirds lay eggs in towhee nests, then leave the birds to raise their cowbird young. In some areas cowbirds lay eggs in more than half of all towhee nests. Towhees, unlike some other birds, show no ability to recognize or remove the imposter’s eggs.
  • Eastern Towhees tend to be pretty solitary, and they use a number of threat displays to tell other towhees they’re not welcome. You may see contentious males lift, spread, or droop one or both wings, fan their tails, or flick their tails to show off the white spots at the corners. Studies have shown that male towhees tend to defend territories many times larger than needed simply to provide food.
  • The oldest known Eastern Towhee was a male in South Carolina, and at least 12 years, 3 months old.

Blueberry at Richmond SPCA

Have you been on the search for a cat that has many layers of personality? Has a swagger in his step? Is handsome, affectionate and always seeks the spotlight? Yep, this is me benevolent Blueberry! Almost anything I do is with exuberance. Why, I may just inspire you to be an artist; I can drape myself on the sofa and you can begin to paint your masterpiece – me! And lastly, I have one tiny favor that I need to ask is that you please do not get me confused with a chicken, because I love to chirp! Now that you have read about me all you need to do is rush here to the Richmond SPCA!

Age: 4 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Brown
Declawed: No
ID: 31616720

Adopt Blueberry 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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