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Kickers

Kickers Look to Dethrone Queen City aka Charlotte FC in Open Cup – Preview

An MLS team is playing in City for the first time in about 6 years.

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What is the Open Cup? – Technically, The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a knockout cup competition in men’s American soccer. It is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States. What makes it exciting is that it pits teams from all levels of U.S. soccer against each other. Amateur teams if they make far enough could end up facing top-level (MLS) professional teams. MLS teams have dominated the competition since the league began play in 1996. No lower division team has won the U.S. Open Cup since the Rochester Rhinos in 1999, and none have reached the final since the Charleston Battery in 2008. Our very own Richmond Kickers won the Open Cup in 1995 and in 2011 the Kickers went on the road and beat two MLS Teams the Columbus Crew and Sporting KC. They fell to the Chicago Fire in the semi-final.

1995 Open Cup Winners Richmond Kickers

Opponent: MLS team Charlotte FC (Beat USL1 Greenville Triumph in Penalty Kicks to advance)
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 10th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Kickers beat North Carolina Fusion under 23 team of United Soccer League 2 1-0

Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com

Four Things to Kick About

  1. Destiny – The last time the Kickers won the Open Cup we had a fellow by the name of Jeff Causey on the team. This year we have this fellow’s son Austin Causey on the team. Coincidence, I think not. Both and Jeff are goalkeepers. Will we see Austin in goal tomorrow? I’m beating not but I’m a notoriously bad bettor. Read about that 1995 Kickers Open Cup win here. Yes, this is a repeat from the last Open Cup preview. Still true.
  2. Queen City – This is Charlotte FC first season as a professional soccer team. This means the team hasn’t been in the Open Cup before. We’ll mark that as a slight advantage. They currently sit in 8th in the table out of 14 teams. So they’re definitely not a weak team. They’ve scored 10 goals in 11 games and have a -1 goal differential so they’re also not an offensive powerhouse. This was brought to light in their previous Open Cup that was forced to go to penalty kicks. The players to watch out for include, forward Karol Swiderski who has netted 4 goals so far this season, and midfielder B. Bender who has 3 assists so far.
  3. Nothing to Lose – The Kickers are without a doubt the underdog. Many of the Kickers someday hope to play in the MLS. This chance to play against the top league in the US is an opportunity for these players to show off their skills. I expect they’ll leave it all on the field and play with a passion that we haven’t seen yet. Yes, I expect them to crank it to 11.
  4. Midnight Cookie – The Ukrops name is on the front of the jersey and yesterday the Kickers released a new jersey the Midnight Cookie that puts the so very Richmond/Ukrops Rainbow Cookie front and center. The team will be debuting this new jerseys during the Open Cup. The power of the Rainbow Cookie could be just enough for the win.

Prediction

Anything can happen. If Charlotte comes out flat at all the Kickers need to pounce on that laziness and punish with a quick goal. The longer the game goes on the tougher it’s going to be for the home side. The MLS squad has single players with larger salaries than all of the Kickers combined so it’s going to be tough. In my dream scenario what happens is that Charlotte is so focused on stopping the obvious and well-publicized threat Terzaghi that it leaves the door open for players like Bently to nab a goal. Our defense is stout and should be able to keep us in the game, scoring will need to happen. Will it be enough? I’m doubtful but also refuse to count this team out.

Kickers win in Penalty Kicks after a 1-1 draw.

Tickets are still available here.

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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

PHOTOS & GAME SUMMARY: Kickers Come From Behind to Win

As of right now, the Kickers sit in first place in the league. The next two games are on the road and include a match against the team that is in 2nd in the league.

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Official Kickers Summary

RICHMOND KICKERS: 3 45′ Vanacore-Decker (Ritchie), 56′ Terzaghi (Bentley), 64′ Terzaghi (Ritchie)
FC TUCSON: 1 28′ Calixtro

The Richmond Kickers (10-6-4, 34 pts) returned home with a come-from-behind win against FC Tucson (3-10-4, 13 pts) to sweep the three-game series with eight goals against Tucson’s single goal.

Emiliano Terzaghi scored two goals – tying him for the USL League One lead – and Ethan Vanacore-Decker scored his first goal as a Kicker. Stuart Ritchie tallied two assists and Matthew Bentley recorded one.

The Kickers had the first opportunity on goal early in the match in the 13th minute as Terzaghi played a back heel to Nil Vinyals. He returned the ball to Terzaghi who tried to chip the keeper but was denied by Tucson’s Carlos Merancio.

Tucson crossed the ball into the box and forced Fitzgerald to make a diving save in the 19th minute to keep the game 0-0.

In the 29th minute, Tucson drew first blood as Giovanni Calixtro scored in the far side off a back heel pass from his teammate Franco Perez.

The Roos responded in the 45th minute as Vanacore-Decker scored his first Kickers’ goal in City Stadium. Ritchie received the ball from the wings and found Vanacore-Decker in the box with plenty of space to turn behind the defender. He took the shot into the lower right corner of the net past the reach of the keeper.

In the span of 20 games, the Kickers have scored 19 goals in the first half.

Both teams sought the advantage but it finally came for the Roos in the 56th minute. Vinyals found Bentley onside behind the defender who snuck the ball in the perfect spot for Terzaghi to slide it right into the back of the net after being denied in the first half.

The Kickers continued knocking at the door for more as Jonathan Bolanos received the ball from Vinyals, took on the defenders, and took a shot that hit just outside the net just a few minutes after making his return from injury.

In the 64th minute, Ethan Bryant found Ritchie on the wing. Ritchie then crossed the ball into the box, finding Terzaghi in front of the defender who slid to put the ball past the keeper into the goal. This marked the second goal for Terzaghi and Ritchie’s second assist of the night.

Fitzgerald kept Tucson to only one goal in the 67th minute after denying an open shot from Jacob Crull.

Even in stoppage time, the Kickers had two more opportunities in the box almost back-to-back.

In the first minute of stoppage time, Leonardo Baima received the ball from Stephen Payne who then found Luke Pavone at the top of the box but was unlucky with his first touch.

In the second minute, Payne once again found Pavone on the run toward the end line who found Bolanos in the box but his shot went just wide of the net.

The Kickers are back on the road to face Greenville Triumph SC on Saturday, Aug. 13, for a top-of-the-table clash before traveling to Fresno, Calif. to take on Central Valley Fuego on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The Kickers return home on Saturday, Aug. 27 to take on Union Omaha during ’95 Open Cup Anniversary Celebration Night. Kickoff for the match against Union Omaha is set for 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available 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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Kickers at Home Against Tucson After Long Road Trip – Preview

The Kickers hope to keep FC Tucson in the basement while they scramble into first place.

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Opponent: FC Tucson (3 – 9 – 4)
Date/Time: Saturday, August 6th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Kickers 1 – Northern Colorado 0

Weather Forecast from Weatherbug

This forecast is about as good as it gets in August.

 

Three Things to Kick About

  1. Fighting for First – The Kickers dropped down a bit after two losses and then immediately regained those spots with back-to-back wins. Unlike other seasons the Kickers have been fairly rock steady. Rarely leaving the top 4. This consistency is key and they should be able to keep it up against a last place Tucson.
  2. On the Road Again – The last part of July and early August the Kickers got their fill of travel. They played at home on July 16th but then headed to Fresno on the 23rd. Then it was back to Richmond and a bus trip down to Cary on July 27th. They capped it off by then flying to Colorado to face the Hailstorm on August 6th. Is there a term for worst than jet lag? because I’m sure the team has it right now.
  3. Getting it Down Barely – The Kickers have won the past two games but just by the skin of their teeth. When in Cary on July 27th it was the 90th minute and the Kickers were down 2-1, they stormed back and with two goals and snatched a win. It was one of the most exciting and surprising games I’ve been lucky enough to watch. They followed up that excitement with more heroics in Colorado. The Hailstorm dominated every stat and rarely lost possession. Then in the 32 minute Golden Boot contender Terzaghi blasted a shot from 40 yards into the back of the net. That didn’t change the flow of the game and without Fitzgerald in goal the Kicker would have surely lost.The excitement in Cary shouldn’t be missed.

Prediction

I’m truly worried about this game. The Kickers have missed Jonathan Bolanos who despite missing the last 3? games still leads the league in assists with 7. Not to mention his 3 goals. No word on when he’ll be back but the Kickers are not the same team without him. This combined with the previously mentioned travel makes it a tough match and will test their depth. The Kickers don’t get any real rest either because the next two games are on the road as well. On the plus side Terzaghi is still in the running for Golden Boot with 9 goals and just two behind the leader some dude from Greenville. Bently also seems to have found his form a bit and has notched 5 goals and midfielder Nil Vinyals has 4. The Kickers have offensive depth like no Kickers team I’ve seen. With that being said there is no choice but to go with the home team.

Kickers 3 Tucson 1

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Kickers

Matt Turner Returns and Brings Arsenal – Photos

Former Richmond Kicker and current Arsenal goalkeeper played a friendly up in Baltimore and we’ve got the pictures to prove it.

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Saturday night, Arsenal beat Everton, 2-0, in a friendly preseason game held at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. It gets glossed over but Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner has Richmond roots. Before heading overseas to Arsenal he was plying his trade with the New England Revolution. Prior to that in 2016-2017, he was on loan to the Richmond Kickers. One can only assume (admittedly many will disagree) that these crucial years in Richmond lead to his current success.  At the very least he gave us enough of a connection to get a press pass.

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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