The Richmond Kickers (3-9-3) suffered defeat at home to the league leaders North Texas SC (10-2-3) at City Stadium Saturday night. Two goals in the first half from Thomas Roberts and Callum Montgomery sealed the victory for the visitors in front of 3,321 at City Stadium. Richmond United Academy product Key White made his professional debut for the club coming on in the 32nd minute.
North Texas took the lead after 11 minutes. Thomas Roberts pounced on a loose ball in the midfield and started to drive towards the goal. With space, Roberts cut back to his left foot and chipped a shot around Akira Fitzgerald for the opener.
Three minutes later North Texas doubled their lead. Off a corner kick, Arturo Rodriguez picked out Callum Montgomery at the near post, leaping to head in a shot into the back of the net for the second goal of the night for the visitors.
The Kickers nearly pulled a goal back in the 16th minute. Greg Boehme slipped Dennis Chin through the North Texas backline. As he went for his shot, Carlos Avilez came sliding in to make the stop.
Five minutes into the second half, Eli Lockaby had a chance to get Richmond back into the match. Maxi Rodriguez played the ball out to Lockaby on the wing. Lockaby played a give and go with Rodriguez, finally playing it back to Lockaby making a run into the box. He let a shot rip forcing Carlos Avilez to stretch and get a hand on the ball to push it away from danger.
Richmond was reduced to ten men in the 89th minute when Jannik Eckenrode was issued his second yellow card of the night, forcing the referee to show him a red card.
The Kickers are back at City Stadium next Saturday night to host Orlando City B and Fitness Night, presented by Sports Backers. Tickets for that match are available now at RichmondKickers.com.
|First Half||Second Half||Final|
Richmond GK Akira Fitzgerald, Ivan Magalhães, Wahab Ackwei, Conor Shanosky, Matt Bolduc (45’ – Eli Lockaby), Maxi Rodriguez, Jannik Eckenrode, Greg Boehme (32’ – Key White), Joe Gallardo (72’ – Josh Hughes), Dennis Chin, Mutaya Mwape
Unused Substitutes: Joe Rice, Sam Moore, Braeden Troyer, Charles Boateng
North Texas GK Carlos Avilez, Jonathan Gomez, Callum Montgomery, Brecc Evans, Jorge Almaguer, Alfusainey Jatta, David Rodriguez (67’ – Tanner Tessman), Thomas Roberts, Arturo Rodriguez, Ronaldo Damus (20’ – Oscar Romero), Ricardo Pepi (88’ – Bicou Bissainthe)
Unused Substitutes: Eduardo Cortes, Cesar Murillo, Tanner Tessmann
|11′||NTX||Thomas Roberts (Ronaldo Damus)|
|14′||NTX||Callum Montgomery (Arturo Rodriguez)|
Offseason Changes Begin Early for Richmond Kickers as President Matt Spear Steps Down
Matt Spear joined the Kickers in January of 2019 as part of 22 Holdings took over the club. Rob Ukrop also part of 22 Holdings reamins
The Richmond Kickers announced this morning that President Matt Spear will be leaving the organization to focus on his family.
Full Statement from the Richmond Kickers.
Richmond Kickers Pro Soccer President Matt Spear has stepped down from his role to focus on his family. The former sports marketing entrepreneur and college head coach joined the Kickers in January of 2019 as 22 Holdings took over as the new ownership group, and quickly made his mark on the Richmond sports landscape.
“I am so grateful for my experience with the Richmond Kickers,” commented Spear. “Rob Ukrop leads the growing ownership group with the bold transition and new chapter for this special, storied club. My focus and goals started with mission, culture, and community. Success on the field, adding investors, improving the stadium/fan experience and raising the organization’s trajectory follow purpose and people. I have loads of confidence in the tremendous folks at the club such as Darren Sawatzky to push towards deeper impact and great results. And thank you fans and friends in RVA – you are essential elements of the club’s spirit and drive. Go Richmond!”
During Spear’s leadership, the club has crafted a new core mission, vision and principles, built out a strong leadership team with new hires including Sporting Director and Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky, and Vice President of Sales and Operations, Camp Peery. With Spear’s decision-making in 2019, the team improved from a 9th place finish to one win away from the club’s first Final appearance since 2010. Finally, he led the push for the first major renovations at City Stadium since 1994 with nearly $2 million worth of investments over the last 18 months.
“It is a difficult day knowing my long-time friend, Matt Spear, has chosen to leave our organization to focus on his family, but the entire RVA community is thankful for his efforts to unify our community through soccer,” said Rob Ukrop, Kickers Chairman. “Matt has always been a tremendous leader, and his energy and enthusiasm has been contagious for our team both on and off the field. He has helped our club create a solid foundation to continue building on, and we know Matt and [his son] Beck will be back in town to cheer on his beloved Kickers with his many Richmond area friends in the Red Army and beyond.”
The Kickers completed a much improved season this past Saturday. The team finished fourth in the league and just missed out playing in the Championship Game in an abbreviated season.
Photos and Game Summary: Kicker Miss Out on League Championship with Saturday Loss
Heartbreak in City Stadium on Saturday as the Kickers miss out on their chance to play in the USL League 1 Championship.
Official Kickers Summary
The Richmond Kickers (8-6-2) fell at home to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (6-5-4) Saturday night at City Stadium. Greg Hurst put the visitors up in the 57th minute. Oalex Anderson scored his second goal in as many matches to level the score in the 64th minute. Mark Hernandez scored the winner for Chattanooga in stoppage time.
Eight minutes into the match Akira Fitzgerald needed to make a stop. Ricardo Ruiz played in an outswinging pass into the Richmond box. Greg Hurst managed to get a foot on the ball as Fitzgerald palmed it away from goal.
Wahab Ackwei came away with a big block in the 24th minute to keep the visitors off the board. Ricardo Zacarias was working the left wing with no real options. He squared a pass for Greg Hurst at the top of the box. Ackwei got in front of the shot to make the block and eventually clear it from danger.
The Richmond keeper was put to work again in the 29th minute with a point blank save. Josue Soto found Ricky Ruiz making a run in behind the Richmond backline. He got to the endline to get a cross into the box. Hurst again looked for a one-time effort that was denied by Fitzgerald.
Mutaya Mwape forced a save from Alex Mangels in the 36th minute. Mumbi Kwesele noticed Mwape making a run in space up the right side. The Zambian continued his run before trying to sneak in a shot at a tough angle. Mangels came away with the grab.
A long range effort in the 41st minute was once again stopped by Fitzgerald. After Soto laid the ball off, Zacarias looked to try his luck from about 25 yards out. Fitzgerald knocked it down and then pounced on the loose ball before Hurst could get to the rebound.
Chattanooga struck first in the 58th minute. Conor Doyle picked up control of the ball inside the center circle, taking one touch to play the ball through for Greg Hurst to run onto. He got a touch around Fitzgerald as he was coming off his line and put his shot into the net for the goal.
Richmond responded six minutes later from Oalex Anderson. Ryley Kraft floated in a free kick that came out to Matt Bolduc on the left wing. Breaking away from his defender, Bolduc found the opening to whip in a cross. Anderson was there with no one to stop him for his match tying header. That was his second goal in as many matches to pull the Kickers level.
The Kickers nearly jumped ahead in the 78th minute. Luke Pavone played a pass short to Bolduc as he was looking like he was making a run towards the right wing. He then cut back across the top of the Chattanooga box, launching a shot that Mangels needed to save.
The Red Wolves took the lead again in second half stoppage. Jason Ramos got control of the ball in front of the Chattanooga bench. He sent in a cross as Mark Hernandez made a near post run, getting a foot on the ball to slide it past Fitzgerald.
With the result in the Union Omaha match, the Kickers have been eliminated from contention for the USL League One Final.
|TEAM||FIRST HALF||SECOND HALF||FINAL|
Richmond: Akira Fitzgerald, Scott Thomsen (80’ – Stanley Alves), Wahab Ackwei, Kyle Venter, Luke Pavone, Victor Falck, Mumbi Kwesele (45’ – Greg Boehme), Ryley Kraft (78’ – Emiliano Terzaghi), Matt Bolduc, Gianluca Cuomo (45’ – Oalex Anderson), Mutaya Mwape (45’ – Jonathan Bolanos)
Unused Substitutes: Lee Johnston, David Diosa
Chattanooga: Alex Mangels, Uchenna Uzo (70’ – Ronaldo Pineda), Leo Folla, Jason Ramos, Jonathan Ricketts, Josue Soto, Tanner Dieterich, Conor Doyle, Ricardo Ruiz, Greg Hurst (90’ – Alexi Jaimes), Ricardo Zacarias (65’ – Mark Hernandez)
Unused Substitutes: Nicholas Amponsah, Nikolaos Pettas
|57′||CHA||Greg Hurst (Conor Doyle)|
|64′||RIC||Oalex Anderson (Matt Bolduc)|
|90′||CHA||Mark Hernandez (Jason Ramos)|
Assistant Referees: Ben Pilgram, Nicholas Seymour
Fourth Official: Nickrod Fateh
Preview: Kickers One Win From Championship
With a win against Chattanooga on Saturday the Kickers would face Greenville for the USL League Championship.
Opponent: Chattanooga Red Wolves (5-5-4)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 24th, 6:30
Last Result: Kickers 3 – Orlando 1
Weather Forecast from WeatherBug.com
Three Things to Kick About
- Daryl Grove – It’s with an extremely heavy heart we share the news of the passing a Richmond soccer legend Daryl Grove. Daryl was one half of the Total Soccer Show and devoted to the growth of soccer and was an all-around great guy. He will be missed.
- Terzaghi – Leading Golden Boot winner didn’t make the trip down to Orlando on Wednesday after picking up a knock on Saturday. Every single Kickers fan is hoping to see him on the field this Saturday.
- Win and In – It’s that simple. The more complicated version is that the Kickers need to tie Omaha’s result. Omaha kicks off after the Kickers game so the Kicker just have to win and take any guesswork out of the equation.
I’m honestly too nervous to think rationally and feel that predicting anything but a win will cast bad vibes on the team. So gotta go with a Kickers win.
Kickers 1 – Chattanooga 0
Official Richmond Kickers Preview
Midfielder Mutaya Mwape (#10) scored his first goal the season to level the score against Orlando Wednesday. The Zambian made his 12th appearance this season, and seventh start to go with an assist. Forward Stanley Alves (#9) made his third start of the season and scored his first professional goal against Orlando. A product of University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Alves has played in ten matches in his rookie season. Forward Oalex Anderson (#15) scored his first goal for the Kickers as the insurance goal at OCB. Joining later in the season, Anderson made his second start and fifth appearance for Richmond.
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Greg Hurst (#11) leads Chattanooga in scoring with seven goals this season. He sits tied for second overall in the league behind Emiliano Terzaghi with his ten goals. Forward Mark Hernandez (#20) has four assists this season to lead the team. The Anaheim, Ca. native also has three goals in 11 matches this season for the Red Wolves. Goalkeeper Alex Mangels (#24) is in his second season in Chattanooga and holds a 1.14 goals against average heading into Saturday’s match in Richmond. The product of the University of California, Berkeley has three clean sheets through 14 matches.