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Kickers

Preview: Kickers Face Defending Champs

The Kickers are back home after another two-game road trip. Only four regular season games left.

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Opponent: Union Omaha (8 – 2 – 10)
Date/Time: Saturday, August 27th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Kickers 1 – Central Valley Fuego 1

Weather Forecast from Weatherbug

Three Things to Kick About

  1. Perception – I came riding in on my horse to write about the horrible skid the Kickers are on. Then I checked the actual facts. The Kickers have won 3 out of the last 5 and have a draw and loss. That’s pretty darn good and I should be thrilled. The problem is that this team is so strong that anytime they lose it seems more shocking than normal. The Kickers are in an excellent position late in the year and I should be happy and content with the recent results. Then again when have you ever met a content soccer fan?
  2. Golden Boot and Golden Gloves – When you have the league’s leading goal scorer (12 goals)  in Emiliano Terzaghi and the league’s leading goal stopper in Akira Fitzgerald (73 saves) you gotta feel pretty confident. There are some concerns. Terzaghi is goal scoring machine is also a yellow card-getting machine. There is a chance that he might be on the bench due to yellow card accumulation but the league hides it’s rules so well I can’t determine that for sure. Then there is the fact that Akira has had to make 73 saves. If our defense were a little tighter he wouldn’t have to work so darn hard. I’d hate to see the Kickers record if we didn’t have someone like him in front of net.
  3. Final Stretch – There are only 4 (including this one) games left for the Kickers at home. Barring an implosion, we’ll at least get to one or two playoff games. The Kickers sit in 2nd place. If they finish in first they’ll get a first round bye and will host all games at home. Hosting duties would include the championship. There are a lot of factors in play. The battle for that top spot is tight. Greenville has 38 points, Kickers have 35, and Union Omaha has 34, and Chattanooga is in the mix with 32. Win and hope for Greenville to stumble is the best scenario but we’ll be keeping an eye on the table in these final weeks. Union Omaha has two games in hand so we’ve got that to worry about as well. A win on Saturday will be crucial.

Prediction

I nailed the last home game prediction so I’m drunk on over-confidence. Union Omaha has an amazing and perhaps sleep-inducing number of draws with 10. The Kickers have scored 14 more goals and taken 23 more shots than Omaha so that’s nice. The not so nice is that they’ve conceded 11 less goals and have 3 more clean sheets. This will be a game of Kickers throwing everything they can at Omaha and hoping to get one by.

I’m not happy with this prediction and hope I’m wrong. If the Kickers are on fire which they have done before this prediction could be way off.

Kickers 0 Union Omaha 0

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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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Photos and Game Summary: Kickers Give Up Lead Settle for Draw

For the second game in a row the Kickers had the lead and gave it up for a draw.

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Official Kickers Game Summary

RICHMOND KICKERS  1    36′ Bryant (Bolanos)

CENTRAL VALLEY FUEGO FC  1 69′ Crisler (Own Goal)

The Richmond Kickers (13-7-7, 46 pts) extended their unbeaten streak to six with a 1-1 draw against visiting Central Valley Fuego FC (9-10-8, 34 pts), Saturday night, as Jonathan Bolanos recorded his 11th assist of the season, the most in a single season in league history, and the club set a new attendance record of 5,304 fans.

While Central Valley enjoyed the majority of the chances in the first half, it was the Kickers who capitalized with their lone shot on target.

In the 36th minute, Ethan Bryant found an open space and took the dribble, finding Bolanos who was making a wide run. Bolanos carried the ball forward before cutting the ball back to Bryant in space just outside the 18-yard-box. The midfielder took a touch and shot a rocket into the top corner of the net, giving the Kickers the lead going into the locker room.

The Kickers continued to press for more chances in the second half, and every chance became more and more dangerous.

In the 52nd minute, Matthew Bentley took the ball from the defensive half and was able to find Nil Vinyals. The Spaniard found Bolanos with a pass who rifled it to Bentley who made a run into the box. The forward had enough time to get off a point-blank shot but it was saved by the charging Fuego goalkeeper.

Immediately after, Akira Fitzgerald was able to save a low near post shot from Central Valley’s Maxi Schenfeld.

Another near chance came in the 62nd minute when Emiliano Terzaghi crossed midfield with the ball and saw the Fuego goalkeeper off his line. The Argentine ripped a shot that caught the keeper off guard but didn’t curl enough en route and went just wide of the goal.

In the 70th minute, Central Valley leveled the scoreline from a corner kick. Fuego put the ball in a dangerous area that appeared to take a touch off a Kickers player in the box before crossing the line resulting in an awarded own goal.

The Kickers would control the remaining minutes of the match as Fuego went down to 10 men in the 80th minute after Sergio Chavez collided with Owayne Gordon in transition and received his second yellow of the night.

In the 85th minute, Stephen Payne received the ball and dribbled all the way into the box, crossing the ball to a charging Ethan Vanacore-Decker. The sub got to the ball but his one-time effort went just over the crossbar.

Two minutes later, the Kickers were rewarded with a corner kick. Vinyals took the kick and found Jalen Crisler who moved ahead of his marker and got his head on the ball. However, his effort would go just over the crossbar.

With the point against Fuego FC, the Kickers extended their lead in the USL League One standings and currently sit five points ahead of second-place Greenville Triumph SC. Richmond still holds serve on earning the first spot in the league playoffs with three matches remaining in the regular season.

The Kickers have two upcoming road matches on Saturday, Oct. 1 at South Georgia Tormenta FC and Saturday, Oct. 8 at Forward Madison FC before returning home to host Greenville Triumph SC in the USL League One regular-season finale. The club will host Fan Appreciation Night. Kickoff on Oct. 15 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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Preview: Kickers Hope to Put Out the Fuego

Barring a catastrophic collapse, the Kickers will be in the playoffs. The goal now is to finish 1st or 2nd to get a bye and a home playoff game.

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Opponent: Central Valley Fuego FC (9 – 10– 6)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 24th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Kickers 2 – Chattanooga 2

Weather Forecast from Weatherbug

In a word, “perfect”.

Three Things to Kick About

  1. Missed Opportunity – Last game on the road the Kickers gave up a 2 goal lead to settle for a draw. This is not terrible news. The Kickers still sit in first place but as it stands with 4 games left in the season, no team has clinched a playoff berth yet. Those two points lost in the draw as opposed to a win could end up having major consequences.
  2. Every Game Matters – This is a semi-repeat of the last home game talking point. Playoffs in USL award the higher ranked team home field. With only 4 games left and the top 3 separated by only 5 points every single point matters in getting that crucial home-field advantage. The Kickers have 7 losses on the season 5 of which have come on the road. Eight of their thirteen wins have been at home. Home cooking matters and the Kicker know this. I don’t know what kind of chaos would have to happen for the Kickers to miss the playoffs at this point but the fact that it could still happen makes me nervous.
  3. We’ve Got the Goals and Goal Scorers – The Kickers lead the league with 50 goals. Most will quickly say, “Well duh, we’ve got Terzaghi”. They aren’t wrong. Terzaghi leads the league with 16 goals so far. What is impressive is that there are 12 other Kickers that have also scored. If a team focuses too much on Terzaghi there are 12 other players to worry about. On the top of that worry list are Bolanos and Bentley with 6, Vinyals with 5, and super sub Gordon with 4. This team can score and other teams should be afraid.

Prediction

The team will be disappointed with that last game. Fuego is not a powerhouse and sit in 8th place out of 11. They’ve only had 31 goals to Richmond’s 50. The only spot the Fuego lead the league is in fouls with a whopping 402 which translates to 82 yellow cards and 3 red cards. Unless something goes sideways this should be an easy win for the Kickers.

Kickers 2 Fuego 0

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PHOTOS: Kickers Come From Behind and Ends the Torment(a)

The Kickers moved to the top of the table with this win.

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Official Kickers Summary

The Richmond Kickers (12-7-5, 41 pts) moved back into first place in USL League One after having the weekend off as they defeated South Georgia Tormenta FC (9-9-6, 33 pts) with three unanswered goals in a 3-1 comeback. Jonathan Bolanos scored two goals and recorded one assist and Emiliano Terzaghi scored one goal. Stuart Ritchie also recorded an assist.

Both teams started off very physical with the visitors taking the edge after drawing a penalty in the ninth minute. Adrian Billhardt was able to convert the penalty, giving Tormenta the lead early in the match.

The Kickers pushed for the equalizer but entered the locker room trailing. Tapping into the resilience that pushed the team to earn 14 points from a losing position previously, the Kickers went to work out of the break.

The determination was rewarded in the 55th minute as Bolanos received the ball from a throw-in out wide, made the turn, and found Terzaghi making the run in between two defenders. Terzaghi was then able to take a touch, look up, and calmly put the ball into the back of the net, curling it out of the keeper’s reach.

In the 70th minute, Owayne Gordon found Nil Vinyals at the top of the box to create a play. Vinyals then found Bolanos on the outside run and Bolanos took the opportunity to shoot, however, the shot was saved by the Tormenta keeper, TJ Bush.

In the 72nd minute, Ritchie took the ball up the wing and found Bolanos making a delayed run into the box. The forward slotted the ball with a one-touch shot into the lower far post corner to give the Kickers the 2-1 lead.

Akira Fitzgerald helped the Kickers maintain the 2-1 lead by keeping the ball out of the net after a Tormenta free kick just outside the 18-yard box.

Bolanos was not ready to call it a night after one goal and one assist.

In the fourth minute of seven minutes of stoppage time, Bolanos was able to collect the ball with the help of Gordon. He then dribbled the ball in between two defenders, forced the keeper to come off his line for a 1v1, beat the keeper, and then put the ball into an open goal to secure the Kickers a 3-1 win and increase the team’s season goal differential to 17.

Bolanos now leads the league with 10 assists – tying the league’s single-season assist record with six matches remaining in the season – and Terzaghi leads the Golden Boot race with 15 goals.

The Kickers return to the road to take on defending USL League One champs Union Omaha on Wednesday, Sept. 14th. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Then the Roos will then travel to Chattanooga to take on the Red Wolves before returning home to take on Central Valley Fuego on September 24th. The September 24th match will also be a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Night. Tickets for the match 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.

RTD also has a quality summary with post game interviews from Coach Darren Sawtsky, Johnathan Bolanos, and Emiliano Terzaghi.

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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