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Preview: Kickers to Face Hailstorm on Saturday

I really hope it doesn’t hail but I wouldn’t be surprised. Two games at home and many hours of delays due to storms.

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Opponent:  Northern Colorado Hailstorm (1,0,1)
Date/Time: Saturday, April 15th, 6 PM
Last Result: Open Cup Win 3-1 over Cleveland SC, last league game was a loss to Charlotte 2-1

Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com

Chance of storms, great, just flipping great.

Three Things to Kick About

  1. Only One Nil – Midfielder Nil Vinyals has been a bright spot in a so far unimpressive (but not bad) start for the Kickers. His work earned him USL1 Player of the Month Honors.Kicking off his fifth season in League One and third in Richmond, the Kickers’ Spanish midfielder earned Player of the Week honors in Week 2 after he assisted his side’s 12th-minute winner in Greenville. Vinyals helped the Kickers to an unbeaten 1-0-1 start with his 87% passing accuracy, 17 duels won, 14 recoveries, five dribbles completed and four chances created across two matches.”It has been a great start of the season for the team where we showed that possession-based football will allow us to be consistent throughout the season, which ultimately helps me be more involved during games,” Vinyals said. “I’m happy to have won this award, and I’m excited to see more Kickers players and staff be nominated in the future.”
  2. Weather – Not sure how Kickers pissed off the Weather Gods but they’re super angry. By my rough calculations, the Kickers and their fans have had to endure over 6 hours of weather delays in only two games. Soccer prides itself on being a two-hour experience from start to finish. It hasn’t been that this season at all. The forecast has a chance of thunderstorms. All eyes will be on the skies when not on the pitch.
  3. Goals – It’s important to have goals in your personal life. It’s even more important to have lots of goals if your a soccer team. So far the Kickers have not been an offensive powerhouse. They scored 3 against Cleveland but that’s an anomaly since they’re an amateur team. In league play over three games they’ve managed two goals. Their opponent for the night has scored 3 goals in only two games. It’s basic you gotta shoot to score and the Kickers aren’t shooting. Only 14 shots over 3 games and of those only 6 were on target. The Hailstorm in two games have 14 shots on target.

Prediction

My third item to kick about sounds a bit gloomy but there is a ray of hope. The Kickers have posted two clean sheets in three games, including one with backup keeper Wil Palmquist. Starting keeper Akira Fitzgerald has been out on family leave welcoming a child into this world. No word on if/when he’ll be back although he was on the bench for the Open Cup game last week. I keep waiting for the offense to start clicking or adjusting to Terzaghi being shut down and exploiting that focus on one player. The team has had over a week to rest and prepare for this game. I think/hope/pray that this is the game where the pieces all come together.

Kickers 2 – Hailstorm 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.