Opponent: North Texas SC (3-2-4)
Date/Time: Saturday, July 3rd, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Kickers 1, NCFC 2
Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com
Three Things to Kick About
- Broken Promises – Since his arrival Coach Sawatsky has stated that he wants the time to play an exciting, fun-to-watch, high-scoring brand of soccer. Since the end of last season and half-way through this season that has definitely not been happening. The team has scored 12 goals which put them firmly in the middle of the pack. Six of those goals were in two games. The Kickers have taken a total of 106 shots which puts them 3rd lowest in the league and more than 50 shots behind FC Tormenta. You can’t score if you don’t shoot.
- Must-win – By no means is this statistically a must-win game. However, after losing to the league’s worst team this past Friday the team needs to show that they have what it takes to win games. There really was no excuse for losing last Friday. They went into the half up a goal and then proceeded to give up two goals against NCFC. NCFC has only 3 points on the table all of them courtesy of the Richmond Kickers.
- Attendance – Last home game attendance was abysmal. The Kicker only managed to draw 2,009 fans. This weekend could be even worse competing with Fourth of July weekend activities. The Kickers marketing department had done nothing innovative to motivate the casual fans into coming this year. I know it’s unfair to compare the Squirrels and the Kickers but tonight the Squirrels are getting people in the door with a Grateful Dead Night and free bucket hats. Then on Sunday they’ve of course got the fireworks. Had the Kickers moved this game to Sunday the fans could have sat in the stands and watched the Fireworks that will be going off in Dogwood Dell. I’m not asking for a free pony just some innovation.
I drove five hours round trip last Friday to Cary NC, 100% confident in a Kickers win. I was sorely disappointed and instead watched a team that couldn’t put the ball in the net or keep possession for more than a pass or two. They’ve had 5 home games and only won 2 of those games so my confidence has taken several hits. I am however a die-hard faithful (I’ve never pretended to be unbiased on these previews) so once again I’m hoping to see a Kickers team that lives up to their potential.
Kickers 2 – North Texas SC 0
Official Kickers Preview
Richmond would see out the first half holding their early goal over the North Carolina squad. However, shortly after the second half opened, NCFC’s Max Flick whipped a headed ball into the far post from a delivery by Jay Tee Kamara, bringing the scoreline level at 1-1. Approximately nine minutes later, Kamara would score what would become the game-winner for North Carolina. Despite being down a man for most of the second half, the Reds would nearly find an equalizer late with two opportunities near the goal mouth that included Oalex Anderson’s shot being cleared off the line as well as a last-minute header created by a cross from Akira Fitzgerald that went just wide.
Players to Watch
Nil Vinyals (#10) came in off the bench against North Carolina and made 12 passes in the opposition’s half. The last time Vinyals faced off against North Texas SC was in October 2020 when he wore a South Georgia Tormenta FC shirt. The maestro banged in a worldly of a free kick in the waning minutes of the first half for his fourth outside-of-the-box goal of the season.
Juan Pablo Monticelli (#2) has meshed with the Richmond backline well over the start of the season and has contributed a few goals upfront. Monticelli made three tackles, created one chance, and one clearance. With his size and tenacity, Monticelli has been an asset for the Reds on set plays.
Ivan Magalhães (#4) was named Keiter CPA Player of the Match against North Carolina. His defensive talent combined with his attacking output to create the goal for Terzaghi proved his veteran ability and his ability to play
North Texas SC
Michael Maldonaldo (#15) is a highly efficient halfback and had some impressive stats against New England despite the loss. Maldonaldo had an 88.1% passing accuracy, 90% passing accuracy in the opposition’s half as well as four tackles, two clearances, and one interception.
Gibran Rayo (#14) is a creative winger for North Texas and scored a goal against Greenville Triumph several weeks ago in their 3-0 win. Rayo had two shots on goal against New England but had both blocked by NE’s goalkeeper. Rayo will be a danger on the wing going forward.
Thibaut Jacquel (#22) is the leading goalscorer for North Texas SC with three goals but didn’t play the last match against New England. When he’s able to be on the pitch, Jacquel is a player that requires attention from the defense.
Preview: Kickers Face Toronto in Race to Playoff Line
It’s been a rough month (season?) for the Kickers and they’re hoping being back at home can get them the win.
Opponent: Toronto FC 2 (6-8-6)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 24th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Kickers 1 – New England 3
Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com
Three Things to Kick About
- Winless – The Kickers last won a game over a month ago on August 22nd. They have yet to win two games in a row. They have more draws than wins. This is why they’re in 2nd to the last place in the league. The phrase “must-win” gets tossed around a lot but it certainly applies to this game.
- Golden Boot – Emiliano Terzaghi is tied in the Golden Boot race at 12 goals. He’s tied with some dude from Greenville. Greenville plays Foward Madison which are only slighty better than Toronto so no real advantage to either striker on Saturday.
- Weather – It’s going to be freaking perfect this weekend get out there and support you local team.
The Kickers took an early lead against New England last game and gave me hope. For about 20 minutes that hope was a beautiful thing. Then New England scored a goal and my candle of hope flickered but stayed lit. New England scored again and snuffed the candle of hope. Then New England scored for a third time grabbing my stub of a candle threw out the window where it landed in the river of despair and floated away. I think you see where I’m going with this. I’ll still be at City Stadium hoping the Kickers can show some fire and get back on track but I’m not counting on it.
Kickers 1 – Toronto 1
Photos and Game Summary: Crucial Game for Kickers End in Disappointing Draw
The Kickers would have helped their playoff chances tremendously with a win. Instead, they managed a 0-0 draw against the worst team in the league that had just played a game on Wednesday.
Official Kickers Summary
The Richmond Kickers (6-6-7) earned their league-lead tying seventh clean sheet of the season at City Stadium against North Carolina FC (4-10-4) and made their way back into a tentative playoff position as the two sides drew 0-0, Saturday night.
With the sun beating down on the pitch at City Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the whistle was blown and the fourth match-up between the regional rivals was underway. The opening minutes of the match saw both sides jockeying for control of the midfield as they tried to create opening scoring opportunities.
Shortly after, North Carolina crossed a ball from the wing, Robert Kristo received it and tried his luck getting around Esteban Calvo, but Calvo knocked the ball out at the last second for a corner which resulted in a change of possession.
Later on, in the 31st minute, the Kickers would make a precautionary change to lineup and formation as Stanley Alves had to come off with a knock. Nathan Aune would come in for Alves and slot into the midfield as Matt Bolduc, who played at the top of the midfield to start the match, took over for Alves on the right wing.
Several minutes later, Emiliano Terzaghi found himself in space in the corner of North Carolina’s box, picking his head up, he drilled a shot which ricocheted off a defender back into his feet, then had another go at goal which was collected by NCFC keeper Jake McGuire.
With only several minutes remaining in the first half, North Carolina’s Aziel Jackson found space at the top of the box for a shot and tried curling one in, but Akira Fitzgerald got his body ahead of the shot and collected it calmly. The whistle would blow soon after to signal the end of the first half with the deadlock intact.
The second half started with the same intensity that the first half ended with as both sides again worked to earn control in the match. New boy Ethan Bryant — who was enjoying his first home start since signing as a loanee earlier in the month — laid a pass off to Terzaghi at the top of the box, who flicked it with his heel over a defender back to Bryant who volleyed the ball at McGuire in stride and forced McGuire to make an acrobatic save, leaping for the attempt at goal.
Rolling into the 62nd minute, both sides still level at 0-0, Terzaghi received the ball at the top of the North Carolina box, turned and dribbled into space to fire off a shot at the goal which landed just above the crossbar.
Near the 75th minute, Bolanos received the ball on the left-wing, just outside of the North Carolina box and switched the play to Bryant on the other end of the box who teed up for a low-driven shot at goal, but the shot went just wide of the right post and hit the side netting.
The clock was ticking its way into the final minutes of the match and both sides were still powering through a sweltering Richmond night, trying to find the final piece of the puzzle to tip the scales in their respective favor.
With five minutes of extra time allotted to the match, North Carolina had a free kick in Richmond’s half near the midfield line. The kick fell into Richmond’s box and Kristo got his head to it to flick it on target, but Fitzgerald lept towards his post, making an incredible save that guaranteed Richmond their seventh clean sheet of the season. Shortly after, the final whistle blew, and Richmond walked away with a hard-fought point and moved up to sixth place in the table.
The Reds have a short turnaround as they prepare to host Henny Derby rivals Forward Madison FC on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at City Stadium. The last time the two clubs faced each other was in Madison, Wi., back in June with the Reds earning a point and a clean sheet. This time around, the Kickers will have the backing of the City Stadium faithful as they continue their push for a playoff position. Kickoff for the match is set for 6:30 p.m.
|First Half||Second Half||Final|
Richmond: Akira Fitzgerald, Juan Pablo Monticelli, Ivan Magalhaes, Jalen Crisler, Esteban Calvo, Zaca Moran(78’ – Cameron Vickers), Ethan Bryant, Matt Bolduc, Jonathan Bolanos(79’ – Oalex Anderson), Emiliano Terzaghi, Stanley Alves (30’ – Nathan Aune)
Unused Substitutes: Austin Causey, Chris Cole, Mumbi Kwesele, Hernan Gonzalez
North Carolina: Jake McGuire, Britton Fischer(70’ – Malick Mbaye), Parker O’Ferral, Max Flick, Nelson Blanco Flores, Joshua Coan(90’+4 – Selmir Miscic), Aziel Jackson(57’ – Jay Tee Kamara), Robert Frame, Nazmi Albadawi, Nelson Martinez(71’ – Pecka), Robert Kristo
Unused Substitutes: Thorn Simpson, Peter Pearson, Nicholas HollidaySTATISTICS
Referee: Austin Saini
Assistant Referee: William Aten
Fourth Official: Max A. Smith
Weather: Sunny, 90 ºF
Preview: Kickers Face Their Nemesis NCFC
The Kickers are in a log jam in the middle of the table. A win is critical to their playoff hopes and team confidence.
Opponent: North Carolina FC (4-10-3)
Date/Time: Saturday, August 28th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Kickers 2 – Greenville 0
Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com
Three Things to Kick About
- Richmond’s Bane – NCFC has been at the bottom of the standings all season. Yet, the three previous times the Kickers have faced this team they’ve done progressively worse. The Kickers managed a draw when NCFC was up here but most recently lost 4-0 down in Cary. Somehow things just haven’t clicked against this team. The Kickers do have several advantages. NCFC had a game this past Wednesday and turning around and playing another hot humid game on Saturday will be rough. The other advantage the Kickers have is an on-fire Terzaghi. Hopefully, home-field advantage will be the key this time.
- He Scores When He Wants – Emalino Terzaghi has now netted 12 goals this season putting him in a tie for the golden boot. The man is firing on all cylinders and even if the NCFC defense focuses on him the threat of Bolanos and Oalex could make them pay. Emalino’s goal on Sunday was also his 22 in USL1 in just 1.5 seasons.
- Defense – A times this season the Kickers defense has looked shaky. Some of the blame lies in the inability to control the midfield. One player that has been amazingly consistent is co-captain Ivan Magalhães. He has the ability to make the big stop and the smarts to slow play down and allow other players to get into position. Ivan was selected to the Cleer Audio Team of the Week for a second time this year, so I’m not alone in thinking he’s a force to be reckoned with.
If the Kickers don’t win this one it will be both surprising and incredibly depressing. Everything on paper with the exception of the Kickers record against them, points to an easy win. We’ve thought this two times before and been burned. That doesn’t stop us from believeing.
Kickers 2 – NCFC 0