Three Things to Ponder
- Exciting – This game shouldn’t have been exciting. The Kickers kept leaving the door open a crack and the Revs would take advantage. The Kickers offense was also exciting but we don’t know yet if this is just a case of stacking up good against New England or the start of something bigger. The Kickers only other three-goal game was also against New England at the season opener.
- Passion – I’m going to mention it again. Everyone on this team has such passion that it’s impressive to watch. This starts with head Coach Darren Sawatsky. He’s just as passionate (angry?) when up two goals as he is when the team is down three goals. This passion can be a double-edged sword. The Kickers are second in the league with yellow cards but to date no red cards.
- Deep Offense – The Kickers are second in the league with 10 goals. This comes from six different players. Leading the Kickers as you’d expect/hope is Emiliano Terzaghi with three. The fact that five other players have scored makes it much harder for other teams to focus on just one player and hope that stifles the offense.
The Richmond Kickers (3-3-1) equaled their highest scoring total of the season as they earned a 3-2 win over New England Revolution II on Pride Night. The tone of the match was set when the Kickers opened up with a spectacular team goal in the first 26 seconds.
Approximately 30 seconds into the match, a quick exchange of passes between Juan Pablo Monticelli and Nil Vinyals broke through the New England right-flank. Vinyals placed a threaded pass to Jonathan Bolanos who exploded into the box then squared the ball across to Matt Bolduc who set up for a left-footed shot and netted an early goal for Richmond.
After 11 minutes, Revs II made their way into the Richmond defense and managed to get a shot off, but Akira Fitzgerald’s lightning quick reflexes rejected what could have been an equalizer for New England.
At the 30-minute mark, New England equalized after an incisive run into the box which was followed with a shot that Fitzgerald deflected away from goal but fell into the feet of Noel Buck who struck the ball just quick enough to beat Fitzgerald to the punch.
Only 10 minutes later, Vinyals would place a corner kick that would connect with Monticelli for a beautifully-headed goal into the back of the New England net. The first half wrapped up with Richmond holding a 2-1 lead over Revs II.
With the second half underway, Richmond looked to see out their lead with some insurance. In the 51st minute, Victor Falck drilled a deadball down the right wing to a streaking Bolduc. The right-winger squared the ball into the center of the box to Vinyals who was rushing into the danger area. The Spaniard passed the ball to a centrally-placed Terzaghi, who returned the ball to Vinyals just wide of the goal, only for Vinyals to fizz the ball right back across to Terzaghi who finished with a perfect side-footed attempt.
In the 76th minute, New England halved the Richmond lead but the Reds held onto their lead through six minutes of stoppage time to see out their second straight victory over Revs II.
With another win under their belt, the Richmond Kickers are back on the road and headed to Wisconsin on Saturday, June 12 to face Forward Madison for the first Henny Derby of the season. The game is set to kick off at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Team First Half Second Half Final Richmond 2 1 3 North Carolina 1 1 2
Richmond: Akira Fitzgerald, Juan Pablo Monticelli, Ivan Magalhaes, Jalen Crisler (68’ – Nathan Aune), Esteban Calvo, Zaca Moran, Victor Falck, Nil Vinyals, Emiliano Terzaghi ( 88’ – Cameron Vickers), Jonathan Bolanos ( 63’ – Oalex Anderson), Matt Bolduc ( 63’ – Luke Pavone).
Unused Substitutes: Austin Causey, Chris Cole, Hernan Gonzalez
New England: Brad Knighton, Sean O’Hearn, Colby Quinones (69’ – Francois Dulysse), Pierre Cayet, Jake Rozhansky, Michel, Ryan Spaulding ( 68’ – Hikaru Fujiwara), Christian Mafla, Noel Buck ( 45’ – Justin Rennicks), Damian Rivera, Edward Kizza ( 68’ – Ryan Sierakowski).
Unused Substitutes: Joseph Rice, Joseph Buck, Collin Verfurth
Team Shots Saves Fouls Corners Richmond 13 2 18 2 New England 14 4 8 7
Referee: JC Griggs
4th Official: Andrew Charron
Weather: Sunny, 89 ºF
Photos and Game Summary: Kickers Manage a Draw at Home
The league leaders were in town and the Kickers fought them to a draw.
Official Game Summary
The Richmond Kickers (3-3-3) earned a hard-fought point against league-leading Union Omaha (5-1-3) at City Stadium, Saturday night to keep its unbeaten streak for the month of June intact.
With the game underway, the first several minutes of the first half saw both teams holding their shape and Richmond maintaining more of the possession. Eight minutes into the match Union Omaha sent in a cross from the wing that was headed at goal, but Akira Fitzgerald made an acrobatic save to deflect the ball towards the touchline and allow the defense to clear it out of the danger area.
Around the 15-minute-mark, the game opened up more and both sides began passing the ball around with more fluidity. Esteban Calvo made a last-ditch sliding tackle to block an attempted cross from Ethan Vanacore-Decker, then, in the 21st minute, Greg Hurst found space at the top of the Richmond box. Hurst managed to squeeze a shot out, but Fitzgerald handled it with ease.
With seven minutes left in the first half, Richmond was awarded a free-kick just outside of the Omaha box. Ivan Magalhães stepped up to take the kick and tried to place it just underneath the wall to beat the keeper, but it took a deflection and rolled into Rashid Nuhu’s gloves.
Union Omaha broke the stalemate in the 30th minute after Sousa played a cross into a dangerous area. The attacking run of an Omaha player towards the near post froze Fitzgerald on his line, and the ball managed to curl around into the backside of the net.
As the first half was winding down, Richmond sought an equalizer to close out the half holding more of the possession just outside of Omaha’s box. Jonathan Bolanos, Emiliano Terzaghi, and Matt Bolduc all created several opportunities to cut through their defense, but the first half would come to a close 0-1.
At the 56th minute, Luke Pavone sent in a cross from the wing aimed at Terzaghi who dove for the ball as it came across the goal but didn’t get enough distance to connect for a shot. For the remaining 30 minutes of the game, Richmond pushed towards the Union Omaha goal in search of the equalizer.
In the 74th minute, Bolanos was free on the left-wing and turned Sousa around, only to get fouled by Sousa and earn a free-kick to the left of the box. Zaca Moran stepped over the ball, placed it towards the far post, and Jalen Crisler leaped head and shoulders above the Union Omaha defense to send a header at the goal which took a deflection and rolled into the goal netting to tie the match.
Omaha would make a late surge, and in the 88th minute, Akira Fitzgerald made a flying save to keep the scoreline at 1-1 and help see the Kickers earn the point at home.
The Kickers hit the road again to face regional rivals North Carolina FC on June 25. The Reds will look to earn their first points at NCFC since the 2018 season when the two sides faced off in USL Championship. Kickoff for the match is set for 7:00 p.m. ET.
Team First Half Second Half Final Richmond Kickers 0 1 1 Union Omaha 1 0 1
Richmond: Akira Fitzgerald, Juan Pablo Monticelli, Ivan Magalhães, Jalen Crisler, Esteban Calvo, Zaca Moran, Victor Falck, Nil Vinyals (67’ – Oalex Anderson), Matt Bolduc (45’ – Luke Pavone), Emiliano Terzaghi, Jonathan Bolanos (86’ – Hernan Gonzalez)
Union Omaha: Rashid Nuhu, Damia Viader I Masdeu, Ferrety Sousa, Daltyn Knutson, Jake Crull, Tobias Otieno, Ethan Vanacore-Decker(79’ – N’For), Conor Doyle, John Scearce, Devin Boyce, Greg Hurst (88’ – Alihodzic)
Referee: John Matto
Asst. Referee: Ben Pilgrim, Jeffrey Skinker
4th Official: Matt Franz
Weather: Sunny, 90 ºF
Preview: Kickers Face Union Omaha at Home for the First Time
Another frustrating draw, this time on the road. The Kickers still looking for consistency in front of the net.
Opponent: Union Omaha (5-1-2)
Date/Time: Saturday, June 19th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Richmond Kickers 0, Forward Madison 0
Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com
Three Things to Kick About
- Underperforming – If the playoffs were to start today the Kickers wouldn’t be in them. The team for reasons that escape my pea brain can’t seem to string together two good games. When they’re firing on all cylinders they’re one of the top teams in the league but that only seems to happen in short bursts and rarely for a whole game and never in back-to-back games.
- Defense Dependent – The defense has kept us in every game but the offense isn’t doing their part. A team that has 3 clean sheets in 8 games shouldn’t be sitting in 7th place. There are two teams with worst goal differentials that sit higher than us on the table. Last week the team only managed 7 shots. Roughly one shot every 13 minutes.
- Missed Opportunities – I keep going back to the game against NCFC on May 22. It ended in a 0-0 draw. Currently, NCFC has only managed 1 point in its six games and that was against us. If the Kickers continue this trend it will not end well.
In order to protect what little self-confidence I have, I haven’t gone back to see how well I’ve done predicting these games. Omaha is on a two-game winning streak and has displaced Greenville from the top of the table. From the highlights I’ve watched their offense looks really good. This is backed up by three of their five wins being by two goals. The Richmond defense will have to have another outstanding game. I don’t have faith in our offense to do their part. It’s going to be another draw for the boys in red.
Kickers 1 – Union Omaha 1
Official Kickers Preview
The Richmond Kickers (3-3-2) return to City Stadium to face the league leaders, Union Omaha (5-1-2), on Saturday, June 19th. Kickoff for this match is set at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Richmond’s previous outing was an intense rivalry match against Forward Madison which saw both sides playing a physical match with neither able to break the deadlock. The match resulted in a scoreless 0-0 but saw the Kickers earn their fourth clean sheet of the season. Emiliano Terzaghi, Jalen Crisler, Ivan Magalhães and Jonathan Bolanos all kept Forward goalkeeper Chris Brady busy with shots on frame.
Crisler had an impressive game against his former club. Partnered with Magalhães, the center-back duo recorded their eighth-straight match paired together and were a major part of Richmond’s impenetrable defense. Crisler had a passing accuracy of 85.4%, made 10 clearances and had one block. Magalhães made five interceptions, made the most successful passes with 44 and had a passing accuracy of 86.3%.
Union Omaha’s last game was against New England Revolution II and resulted in a 4-2 Omaha win. Connor Presley of Revs II started the scoring for the match in the 23rd minute, then, minutes later, Greg Hurst would score the first goal of his 26-minute hat-trick which would help cement Union Omaha’s league standing. Omaha managed 20 shots against New England and had a passing accuracy of 76.1%.
With the draw against Madison, Richmond will look to take points away from Omaha to reposition themselves in the top 6 of the league table. Union Omaha are on a two-win streak right now and Richmond will look to produce another strong defensive outing to slow down the Omaha attack.
Richmond’s next match will be at North Carolina FC, June 25. The last time the two teams lined up, the match resulted in a scoreless 0-0 draw at City Stadium. This time out, Richmond will look to earn their first league win over NCFC since the two sides faced off in the USL Championship in 2018.
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CBS6 Players to Watch
Richmond KickersIvan Magalhães (#4) was a standout performer against Forward Madison. With a passing accuracy of 86.3%, a shot on goal and five interceptions, Magalhães helped secure another Kickers clean sheet. Look for Magalhães to put in a solid shift and neutralize Greg Hurst in the box.Jonathan Bolanos (#17) started the match against Madison with a bang. With a solo run at the goalkeeper within the first five minutes in the game, Bolanos was able to strike fear into the Madison defense. A threat in front of goal as well as a distributor, Bolanos has racked up both goals and assists to make the Kickers’ attack more potent from the left side.Jalen Crisler (#15) was crucial in keeping a clean sheet against his former club. Crisler had a passing accuracy of 85.4%, made one block, gained possession four times andmade 10 clearances. Crisler and Magalhães will have to be at the top of their game to give Richmond the foundation they need to battle it out with Union Omaha.
Union OmahaGreg Hurst (#9) scored a hat-trick in his outing against New England in all of 26 minutes. The lethal attacker had four shots on target, a 78.9% passing accuracy and made 15 passes into the opposition’s half.Conor Doyle (#22) had an impressive defensive performance against New England. Making four tackles, four clearances, two interceptions and gaining possession eight times. He was a nuisance in the midfield. He also made 27 passes in the opposition’s half.Rashid Nuhu (#24) had a great game against New England despite letting two past him in the stick as he recorded four saves on the night. A top 3 goalkeeper in the league, Nuhu presents a good challenge for the Richmond attack.
Preview: Kickers Looking for a Win
A disappointing draw at home and loss on the road are on the Kickers’ minds as they prepare for New England coming to town.
Opponent: New England Revolution II (2-2-1)
Date/Time: Saturday, June 5th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Richmond Kickers 1, Chattanooga 2
Dave Bulow Honored
The Richmond community is still reeling from the sudden passing of former player and coach Dave Bulow. In a nice act, the Kickers and Richmond Strikers will celebrate his life before the game. There will be more than a few tears shed.
The Richmond Kickers and the Richmond Strikers plan to celebrate the life of David Bulow in a pregame ceremony at Saturday’s June 5 match at City Stadium.Taking place shortly before Saturday’s 6:30 pm kickoff, the ceremony will be led by representatives of both the Kickers’ organization and Bulow’s Richmond Strikers U19 Boys and Girls Elite Teams. A special tribute penned by members of both organizations will be read aloud over the public address during the ceremony. There will be a collection point inside City Stadium where fans can drop off cards or write memories of David that will be presented to the Bulow family.Bulow, a long-time fixture in the Richmond soccer community as a player and coach for the Richmond Kickers’ professional and youth sides, Richmond United academy teams, and, most recently, a coach with the Richmond Strikers youth teams, passed away on May 6, 2021. He was 41.
Three Things to Kick About
- Concentration – Lapses of concentration, attention, call it what you will but those lapses cost the Kickers three points last Saturday. The Kickers were in the driver’s seat right after the start of the second half with a quick goal. This was surprising since the first half the Kickers were mainly traffic cones for a Red Wolves shooting, dribbling drill. The lead was short-lived and the Kickers gave up a goal just six minutes after taking the lead. A draw would have been a decent result but another lapse during a set plan meant more frustration for the boys in red.
- Changes – Credit, where credit is due the Kickers, do seem to be able to adjust tactics and change the game. Coach Sawatsky seems to be able to bring guys onto the field that make a difference in the pace and style of play. The first half and second half were dramatically different in part due to the addition of Stanley Alves but until the quality in the final third changes. One thing that doesn’t need to change is Oalex Anderson he scored and was a constant threat.
- Passion – This team has heart and a bit of a temper. You could see some of that temper in last week’s game. Four Kickers received yellow cards all deserved, there could have been more. The most bone-headed of these yellows was from Oalex Anderson at the end of the second half. He booted the ball straight into the stands. There is no reason for that kind of behavior and had he struck a fan the ramifications could have been much more severe than a yellow card.
- Bonus – With the change in state rules the Kickers will have no attendance restrictions so bring the whole gang.
I hadn’t looked at the table prior to starting this writeup and had assumed that New England was the same team we thumped in the season opener. I was wrong. They’re right behind the Kickers with one less game played. On the plus side, the baby Revs aren’t goal-scoring machines only scoring more than a goal once so far. This gives them a -2 goal differential. I’m confident the Kickers are the better team overall and we haven’t seen their full potential. I’ll continue with my homer bias and give the Kickers the nod but just barely.
Kickers 1 – New England 0