PREVIEW: Kickers vs Toronto FC II

PREVIEW: Kickers vs Toronto FC II

Two games remain in the Kickers’ season and they’re both at home. Finishing strong is on everyone’s mind.

Photo from Saturday's loss against Chattanooga

Opponent: Toronto FC II (8-10-8)
Date/Time:
Wednesday, Oct. 2nd, – 7 PM
Last Result: Kickers 1 – Chattannooga 2

Weather Forecast from Weatherbug.com:

THREE THINGS TO KICK ABOUT

  1. Finish Strong – The hope was that the Kickers would finish strong and maybe with a lot of luck sneak into the playoffs. That didn’t happen and the Kickers haven’t won since Sept 7th. Only two games remain to make some sort of statement.
  2. So Foul – The Kickers will be without defensive standout Braedon Troyer after a questionable red card on Saturday. That game on Saturday the Kickers had two players out due to red cards. So everything is coming up red but not in a good way. Let’s hope that trend ends on Wednesday.
  3. Goals – One goal in the past four games doesn’t make for exciting or winning soccer. Significant improvement will need to be made over the off-season if the Kickers hope to compete next year.

PREDICTION

On paper, the Kickers could win. Toronto is on the basement stairs but only one step above. The Kickers will be at home so they’ve got that going for them. Both teams had to play on Saturday so no advantage there. I’ve been pretty optimistic about my predictions this year and see no reason to change my failing methodology.

Kickers 2 – Toronto 0

 

Official Kickers Preview:

The Richmond Kickers (8-13-5) will host the first of two matches this week starting Wednesday night as they host Toronto FC II (8-10-8) at City Stadium for Breast Cancer Awareness Night. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the first 400 fans, ages 14 and up, will be given a Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirt presented by the VCU Massey Cancer Center. The midweek match will also be College Night for all the students in the Richmond area. Students with valid college ids can purchase $6 tickets at the booths outside the stadium. Finally, fans over the age of 21 can take advantage of Happy Hour specials from 5:30-7 p.m. that include $1 PBR can beers and $3 off craft beers and wine. Tickets for the match are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

With a series that goes back to the 2015 USL Championship season, the Kickers hold the overall advantage with a record of 6-3-2. This match will be the third and final meeting between the two clubs in USL League One this season. The first match was back on July 26 at BMO Training Ground, with the Kickers giving TFC II their first home loss of the season behind a 2-1 road victory. Toronto got on the board in the 19th minute with a goal from Matthew Srbely. Scott Thomsen stepped up for a free kick in the 35th minute, which he puts in towards the near post only to have the ball knocked in when Eric Klenofsky lost control of the ball. Josh Hughes was the hero in the 48th minute, putting away a saved Joe Gallardo penalty. The teams battled to a 2-2 draw at City Stadium on August 17. The Kickers held on to a 2-0 lead at halftime with a brace by Daniel Jackson. The visitors pulled level in the 87th minute after the tying goal from Terique Mohammed.

Richmond closed out the road portion of their 2019 USL League One schedule, falling to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, 1-2. The Kickers were reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute after Braeden Troyer was sent off with a straight red card after a challenge from behind that lead to a penalty for the Red Wolves. Ualefi found the back of the net, despite Akira Fitzgerald guessing correctly a minute later. Sito Seoane slipped through the Kickers backline to put Chattanooga up 2-0 in the 32nd minute. Mutaya Mwape switched the field for Charles Boateng, who settled and fired a shot on frame for his first league goal in the 65th minute.

Toronto claimed a 1-0 victory in their last home match of the season over South Georgia Tormenta FC last Friday night. Jayden Nelson set up Franco Ramos Mingo in the 23rd minute for the lone goal of the night. Eric Klenofsky made three saves to earn his third clean sheet of the season.

The Kickers will host their final match of the season against Orlando City B and Fan Appreciation Night this Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Fans over the age of 21 can partake in the extended Happy Hour special from 5:30-7 p.m. and enjoy $3 off their craft beers and wine. After the match has concluded, fans under the age of 14 are invited to partake in a post-match shootout at the North End goal. Meanwhile, fans are also invited to a post-match meet and greet with the players from 9-9:30 p.m. Tickets are available now at RichmondKickers.com.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Charles Boateng (#77) has been a spark for the Richmond attack in recent weeks. The striker scored an absolute banger against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC that earned a Goal of the Week nomination from USL League One. Previously, against the likes of North Texas SC, Boateng proved to be an impact sub that changed the dynamic of the attack. Boateng has an opportunity to have another eventful night against a Toronto defense that has conceded 44 goals which ranks second worst in the league. Forward Mutaya Mwape (#80) combined with Boateng during the Chattanooga match where the Zambian winger served up an arching cross that put Boateng in position to score. Mwape’s pace with or without the ball always requires the attention of opposing fullbacks and he’s able to open up space for other players to play more forward. If Mwape and Boateng continue their partnership from the Chattanooga match, they will have the opportunity to wreak havoc against the Toronto. Midfielder Matt Bolduc (#11) has been the maestro in midfield for the Kickers. Bolduc leads the team with six assists on the season, and his influence in the center of the park allows him to make runs and distribute to the forwards. The midfielder is always looking to play the ball into dangerous areas as evidenced by his 17 chances created that ranks second on the team. Look for Bolduc to ignite the Richmond attack.

Toronto: Forward Jordan Perruzza (#77) is the main goal scoring threat for Toronto, and the major defensive target for the Kickers. The need to shutdown Perruzza is a simple calculus based on the previous two matchups. The Kickers won at Toronto when Peruzza did not score, and the Kickers drew at home when Peruzza did score. Shutdown Perruzza — who is the second leading scorer in the league with 12 goals — and get three points. Midfielder Matthew Srbely (#50) is another offensive threat requiring containment from the Kickers to win a second match this season against Toronto. Srbely currently leads the MLS affiliate with five assists and he even notched the opening goal in the first matchup between the clubs. Keeping him off the ball and unable to create will go a long way in securing a win at City Stadium for the Reds.Midfielder Luca Petrasso (#39) is the other creator in the Toronto midfield. Currently, he ranks tied for ninth in the league with 35 chances created on the season. His facilitation has provided three assists for the MLS affiliate while he has even notched two goals.

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About Richard Hayes 3898 Articles
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 and/or beer.