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Kickers

Kickers Beat Themselves, Fall to Own Goal Against Madison

The Kickers 16 game unbeaten streak at home ended on a dreary Saturday night with an own goal.

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Official Kickers Summary

The Richmond Kickers’ (2-2-1, 7 pts) unbeaten streak at City Stadium ended at 16 games after rivals Forward Madison FC (1-1-3, 6 pts) earned a 1-0 victory against the run of play on a wet and physical night.

The match, like every Henny Derby since the rivalry began in 2019, started physical and persisted throughout the night. The Kickers enjoyed the lion’s share of possession while pressuring Madison’s defensive third. The visitors racked up three yellow cards in the opening 19 minutes trying to slow down Richmond.

Emiliano Terzaghi delivered the best chance of the first half at the 28-minute mark. On the break, Terzaghi played a one-two to Nil Vinyals before the Spaniard released Terzaghi with a through ball. One-on-one with the keeper, Terzaghi laced a right-footed shot across his body as the ball skipped over the wet grass towards the inside of the left post. Madison’s keeper made a diving save to deflect the ball off target and deny the league’s reigning MVP.

While the first 45 minutes ended knotted up at 0-0, the Kickers dominated 61 percent of the possession while taking seven shots to Madison’s two.

As the dreary mist turned to blustery rain, the match became increasingly chippier as the conditions worsened. The Kickers continued to own possession and push towards a go-ahead goal and would finish the match with 18 shots on goal to Madison’s six along with 14 corners to Madison’s one.

However, in the 67th minute, the visitors found an unlikely breakthrough goal. Rojay Smith dribbled the ball precariously down the left sideline before crossing the ball to second-half substitute, Justin Sukow. Sukow cut the ball back to his left foot and hit the ball into the center of the box as Jalen Crisler adjusted to defend the play. The defender turned to open his stance and deflect the ball out of the danger zone, but the ball had enough pace and deflected on target and into the net.

The Kickers pressed for an equalizer and nearly found it in the dying embers of the match. In the seventh minute of stoppage time, Vinyals played a cross into the danger area to the waiting head of Terzaghi who flicked the ball towards the back post. The ball ricocheted off the wrong side of the post and away from the goal, but stayed in play as Dakota Barnathan cycled it back into the box to Stuart Ritchie. The defender, who put in a Keiter Man of the Match performance, chipped the ball further into the box to Nathan Aune who rose above his marker and headed the ball on target. Cruelly, the Madison keeper made a punching save off the goal line to deny the Kickers their last opportunity for a point.

Despite the result, the match still provided the opportunity for celebration as Richmond commemorated 30 seasons of Kickers’ soccer during the pregame and halftime periods almost to the day that the original Kickers kicked off their inaugural game on May 8, 1993. Members of the ’93 team held a meet and greet and autograph session with fans before being honored on the field. The group included defender Liam Behrens, midfielder Matt Borgard, forward Leigh Cowlishaw, defender Scott Davis, goalkeeper Joe O’Carroll, defender Duncan Satchell, and forward Rob Ukrop.

The Kickers remain at home to host Charlotte FC of Major League Soccer in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Round of 32 on Wednesday, May 11. It is the first time the Kickers will host an MLS opponent at City Stadium since the 2015 season. Tickets for the match are on sale at richmondkickers.com/tickets.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Kickers at RichmondKickers.com and on the official team app.

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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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Kickers Announce Initial Roster Decisions

The Richmond Kickers announced initial contract decisions for the 2023 season, Wednesday, with three exercised options and four option declines as the club prepares to defend its 2022 USL League One regular-season title.

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The Richmond Kickers announced initial contract decisions for the 2023 season, Wednesday, with three exercised options and four option declines as the club prepares to defend its 2022 USL League One regular-season title.

“We worked very hard over the past few years to develop our culture here in Richmond, and this past season we put together a great run to win the regular season Championship,” Kickers’ Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky said. “With that success, we didn’t win the games we needed to in the playoffs.

“We have some great young players chasing higher-level opportunities, and we have some players heading to new opportunities. We are adding some good players and at the same time, we are bringing back the backbone of the culture the guys have created.”

Forwards Matthew Bentley and Owayne Gordon and midfielder Chandler O’Dwyer return to the Roos after their contract options for 2023 were picked up by the club.

Bentley finished his first professional season tied for second on the team with six goals and tied for fifth with three assists while starting 18 of 26 league matches. Gordon, a midseason signing, tied for fourth on the team with five goals while also making three assists in 22 league appearances. O’Dwyer made his professional debut in the Kickers’ second US Open Cup match and finished with three appearances across all competitions.

Reigning back-to-back-to-back USL League One MVP and Golden Boot winner Emiliano Terzaghi and 2022 USL League One Goalkeeper of the Year Nominee and Kickers’ goalkeeping coach Akira Fitzgerald have existing contracts for 2023.

The contract options for midfielders Matthew Bolduc, Leonardo Baima, and Christian Molina and goalkeeper Austin Causey were declined by the club.

The 2023 season will be here before you know it! Kickers fans can get ready now by placing a $100 deposit for a 2023 season ticket. With one additional regular season match and two new opponents joining USL League One, City Stadium will be the place to be. Additional information can be found at richmondkickers.com/seasontickets.

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Rostered Players for 2023 as of December 7, 2022 

GOALKEEPERS: Akira Fitzgerald

DEFENDERS: 

MIDFIELDERS: Chandler O’Dwyer

FORWARDS: Emiliano Terzaghi, Matthew Bentley, Owayne Gordon

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PHOTOS & GAME SUMMARY: Heartbreak at City Stadium as Kickers Lose Semi-final Match

The Kickers has all the advantages going into the Semi-final but couldn’t score and fell short and lost by one goal.

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Official Game Summary

RICHMOND KICKERS: 0
CHATTANOOGA RED WOLVES SC: 1 86′ Mentzingen (Villalobos)

The #1 seeded Richmond Kickers’ season ended in the USL League One Playoff Semifinals, presented by Hisense, after falling to the #4 seeded Chattanooga Red Wolves 1-0, Saturday night.

The night began as a celebration as the Kickers were set to host their first home playoff match since the 2014 season. For a second-straight outing at City Stadium, the Kickers hosted over 5,500 fans after enjoying a capacity sellout during the regular-season finale.

Typical for a matchup between the Kickers and the Red Wolves, the match was physical throughout.

In the 8th minute, Jonathan Bolanos fired off a low-rolling shot that the Red Wolves’ keeper spilled. Emiliano Terzaghi pounced on the opportunity to get the rebound, began to dribble around the keeper and was tripped to the ground as the goalkeeper clumsily attempted to stop Terzaghi. However, the foul was not called and the Red Wolves resumed play with a goal kick.

Later in the 23rd minute, Nil Vinyals took a free kick from outside the box. The cross found its way into the box and Jalen Crisler got his head to the ball and redirected it toward the goal. The keeper was only able to deflect the attempt, and Simon Fitch was able to get the ball into the goal. However, Crisler was deemed offside by the sideline official and the goal was disallowed.

Then, in the 39th minute, a red card was shown to the Red Wolves’ David Texeira after committing a serious foul against Ethan Bryant, bringing Chattanooga’s numbers down to 10 on the pitch.

Both teams returned to the locker room at halftime tied 0-0 and both were looking for the go-ahead goal in order to move on to the final.

More opportunities came in the 74th minute when Dakota Barnathan crossed the ball over to Owayne Gordon on the right side of the pitch. Gordon then crossed the ball into the box to find a crashing Vinyals, but the Red Wolves’ keeper was able to make the save.

In the 84th minute, Zaca Moran took an enterprising shot from outside the 18-yard box but the ball went just over the crossbar.

With the Kickers pushed forward, the Red Wolves were able to capitalize on their one real chance of the night on a counterattack in the 86th minute. Chattanooga’s Rafael Metzingen raced up the field before hitting a curling effort that bent around and into the net.

Richmond pressed for an equalizer as time-wasting from the visitors allowed for nearly 10 minutes of added time, but the ball did not find the back of the net for the hosts.

The Kickers’ will now tie a bow on the season in the next week as end-of-season awards are announced. Currently, Bolanos and Terzaghi are nominated for Most Valuable Player, Akira Fitzgerald is nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year, Crisler is nominated for Defender of the Year, Bryant is nominated for Young Player of the Year, and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky is nominated for Coach of the Year.

As the Kickers prepare to defend their regular-season title in the 2023 season, fans can now place deposits for 2023 season tickets. Fans can do so at richmondkickers.com/seasontickets.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Kickers at RichmondKickers.com and on the official team app.

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Preview: Kickers in Semi-final Battle Against Chattanooga

A win on Saturday means the Kickers will host a Championship game at City Stadium.

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Opponent: Chattanooga (12 – 11– 7)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 29th, 6:00 PM half an hour earlier than normal
Last Result: Kickers 1 – Greenville 1

Weather Forecast from Weatherbug

A little chilly but no rain. Fall ball at its finest

Three Things to Kickabout

  1. One Mistake – The Kickers achieved the harder task of winning the League. The brutal aspect of a tournament like this is that one single mistake or injury can send a team crashing out of the final. The Kickers haven’t been mistake-prone in general but the fear is always there. The Kickers have an experienced squad so mistakes aren’t likely. The Kickers have also been able to come back from behind this season many times so as long as the mistake isn’t in the final minutes. I think all is good.
  2. Offense Powerhouses – The Kickers have an amazing +19 goal differential. Chattanooga has an impressive +13. The next closest team sits at a measly +2. Kickers had a record high 54 goals and Chattanooga 53 goals. These teams like to score so don’t expect a laid back, see what happens approach from either team. The players to keep an eye on for the Kickers are Terzaghi (Golden Boot Winner for the third time in a row),  Jonny Bolanos (Most Assist in the League and 6 goals), and Owayne Gordon with 5 goals. Owayne has been a super sub for the Kicker and when he enters the game the dynamic definitely changes. On the Chatttanooga side there is Juan Galindrez with 13 goals and Moe Espinoza with 8 goals.
  3. Home Field Advantage – Last playoffs the Kicker had to play back-to-back games on the road against the same team Tuscon FC. They couldn’t get the job done.  The last home game for the Kickers a record-setting 6,000 fans showed up to support their team. There should be just as many on Saturday. This plus a pitch they know is going to be the boost the team needs. The Kickers record at home is 8-2-5 which not super impressive does give the advantage to the Kickers.

Prediction

It is without exaggeration that I say this is the best Richmond Kickers team I’ve ever seen play. They have all the pieces to win the championship. The worry as mentioned above is that one mistake can send it all crashing down. I don’t think we’ll see any mistakes on Saturday. Last time Chattanooga was in town the Kickers won 3-0. This Saturday will be a similar result.

Kickers 2 – Chattanoogo 0

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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