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PREVIEW: Kickers Face Playoff Nemesis Chattanooga

Revenge is a dish best served at City Stadium. Chattanooga knocked the Kickers out of the playoffs last year and the Kickers are looking for payback.

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Opponent:  Chattanooga (2-5-2)
Date/Time: Saturday, June 3rd, 7:00 PM
Last Result: Kickers 1 – Tormenta 1

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Three Things to Kick About

  1. Vinyals Returns – Nil Vinyals came off the bench last Saturday so barring a training setback he should be in the starting lineup. With the midfielder back in action expect the midfield to look better and hopefully more in control of the ball. In theory that control should lead to more transition into attack and more goals.
  2. Everyone Scores – So far this year seven different Kickers have scored, with midfielder João Silva leading the pack with 3. The latest goal was a beautiful Olympico but Sukow that must be seen to be believed. Don’t whine at me that it was a cross. It goes into the books as a goal and will be celebrated as such. So far 8 goals have been produced by the midfielders and defenders. Meanwhile our forwards, you know the guys paid to put the ball in the net have racked up 4 goals.
  3. Hot Ticket – It does my jaded heart good to see the amount of support in the stands the team is getting this year. Every game so far has had over 5,000 in attendance. This is well over the 3,500 or so we averaged last year. I’m not sure what switch flipped in the community but I’m glad to see it happen. The drawback is longer lines for food and drink but the Kickers are addressing that with more trucks. If you’re looking for a drink don’t forget there are multiple beer stations you don’t have to go straight for the building in the center of the concourse.

Prediction

The Kickers had a tremendous season last year until their first playoff game. In that game, despite being a man up for the majority of the game they ended up losing to Chattanooga by a goal. The fans, coaches and certainly the players remember the night a little too well. A win would have meant hosting the Championship Game in City Stadium, instead, it ended with a crushing defeat. Revenge will be on everyone’s mind and Chattanooga is not having a great season. The Red Wolves sit in second to last place and have a -8 goal differential. If ever there was a time for the Kickers to rack up some goals and get their scoring mojo flowing this is it. I predict it will happen.

Kickers 3 – Chattanooga 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.