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PHOTOS & GAME SUMMARY: Kicker Fall Short in Rain Delayed Home Opener

The biggest positive to take from the game was the sold-out attendance with 6,000 folks there to cheer on the Kickers.




Official Kickers Game Summary

RICHMOND KICKERS 1 25′ Gordon (Belmar)
CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE 2 13′ Dimick (Kelly), 62′ Spielman (Ibarra)

The Richmond Kickers (1-1-1, 4 pts) suffered their first loss of the 2023 season after falling 2-1 to first-place Charlotte Independence (2-0-1, 7 pts) in the Kickers’ Home Opener that included a 6,000 person capacity sellout and a nearly two and a half hour weather delay.

Despite the less-than-favorable conditions that started the day, the City Stadium faithful showed out in droves to start the 2023 regular-season the way the 2022 regular season ended: with a capacity sellout.

However, the visitors struck first in the 13th minute. Dane Kelly received the ball with his back to the goal and laid it off to Clay Dimick as he rushed into the box. The defender opened his hips and curled a rolling shot inside of the far post.

Richmond found their equalizer in the 25th minute when wingers Kharlton Belmar and Owayne Gordon linked up for a gorgeous first Kickers’ goal of the season at City Stadium.

Michael Hornsby prevented a ball from crossing the backline, catching the Charlotte defender off guard, and he played a ball back to Belmar on the left wing. Belmar took a couple of touches to set up and lofted a cross into the box that dropped perfectly to Gordon who crouched low to deftly head the ball into the net.

It was Gordon’s first goal of the 2023 season and Belmar’s first assist of the 2023 season. Belmar previously scored in week 2 at Greenville which was the team’s first goal of the season.

The Kickers kept up the pressure as they searched for a second goal before the end of the first half. Richmond racked up 30 final third entries and 14 entries to the box along with 8 shots.

Charlotte broke the stalemate again in the 62nd minute. Following a Richmond foul on Charlotte’s right side, roughly 35 yards out from goal, Miguel Ibarra played a cross into the box that Nick Spielman was able to guide into the net.

Richmond again pushed for an equalizer, owning nearly 60 percent of the possession in the second half. In the 81st minute, an unexpected storm passed by the Richmond area bringing steady lightning strikes and causing a stoppage in play.

The delay began at 7:45 p.m. and did not end until 10:08 p.m. as the lightning persisted and canceled two restarts.

With roughly nine minutes of regulation and seven more minutes of stoppage, the Kickers nearly found their equalizer as Nil Vinyals delivered two dangerous crosses from corners in the waning moments of the match.

The Kickers remain at City Stadium despite taking a break from league play next week as they prepare to host Cleveland SC in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Second Round. The match against the NPSL side is set for Thursday, April 6 at 7 p.m. Doors are set to open at 5:45 p.m. and, for the first time at City Stadium, the Kickers will host a $1 PBR Happy Hour from gates opening until kickoff. Tickets are available at

For a cost as low as $10 per match, Kickers fans can save the most with Season Tickets while unlocking exclusive perks and experiences. With one additional regular season match and two new opponents joining USL League One in 2023, City Stadium will be the place to be! Additional information can be found at

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Download the Richmond Kickers mobile app for news, contests, and more!

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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.