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PREVIEW: Kickers Finish Regular Season and Prepare for Playoffs

The Kickers wrapped up 1st Place in USL1 last weekend but have one last match before the playoffs start.

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Opponent: Greenville Triumph (12 – 8– 9)
Date/Time: Saturday, October 14th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Kickers 1 – Forward Madison 0

Weather Forecast from Weatherbug

Another perfect night for a bit of footie.

Three Things to Kickabout

  1. Championship Preview? – I’m a big advocate of not counting your championship games before you’ve won your semi-final matches but… Greenville currently sits in 2nd place if they win they’ll capture 2nd. Wich gives them a bye in the first round of the playoffs just like the Kickers. However, all the teams in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th could finish in 2nd. So this raises the question does Sawatsky go all out for the win to perhaps push Greenville down or does he sit most of his starters to cut down the risk of injury? I’m betting on starters for the 1st half and then regardless of the score wholesale changes in the lineup to give the likes of Emiliano and Bolanos a rest and play it safe. To complicate the question, Bolanos and Gordon were pulled from the last game with some sort of injury so we don’t know where they stand.
  2. Golden Boot –  Emiliano Tergazhi is in a position to capture his 3rd Golden Boot in a row. Garrett McLaughlin is two goals behind. They both play on Saturday. I’m not one to wish ill on a player (slight lie) but I hope Garrett has a horrible night and picks up a slight ding and has to sit on the bench. Petty? Yes but I’ve never claimed impartiality in these previews.
  3. Coach of the Year – There have been 8 USL1 Coaches of the Month. The latest (September) is Tuscon’s Jon Pearlman his second win. Jon Harkes has won it twice. As has South Georgia’s Ian Cameron. Logically it would seem that Sawatzky is in the running for Coach of the Year, since his team won the League Title. Seems odd that he hasn’t picked up the honor earlier this year. I’m not saying it’s a conspiracy but I’ll be leading an investigation.

Prediction

It’s easy to say this game doesn’t matter but I’m really hoping for a win. The Kickers haven’t lost a game in the past 8 matches. Finishing off the season with 9 game streak would be a nice cap to an already successful season. However, if we’re to win and have one of our key players get injured it would definitely be a pyrrhic victory. I laid out what I think Coach Sawatsky will do and I think the results will be right in the middle.

Kickers 1 – Greenville 1

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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.