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Preview: Kickers Open USL1 Season at Home Against Tormenta

It’s the second game of the USL1 season, the Kickers are back in their traditional red kits, and the forecast is questionable.

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Opponent:  Tormenta FC (0-1-1)
Date/Time: Saturday, March 23rdt, 6:00 PM
Last Result: Open Cup – Kickers 1 Christos FC 0
Up Next: Home Game vs. Central Valley Fuego on Saturday April 6th

Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com

It doesn’t look good but it should start improving as the night wears on.

Three Things to Kick About

  1. Injuries – Because USL1 doesn’t require the teams to post any sort of injury list I don’t have an exact number but I put the number of injured Kickers players around 72. Although still a guess the number of injured starters is probably around 4. Late in Wednesday’s Open Cup game young gun Toni Pineda went down with a new injury so unless there is a miracle he’ll be out for at least a couple of games. Three-time Golden Boot winner Emi Terzaghi is still out recovering from finger surgery and was in a full sling on Wednesday so even the April 6th game is optimistic. The line-up we see on Saturday will have little resemblance to our “best” line-up but should be good enough to keep the Kickers in the game.
  2. Addy – The Kicker have scored twice so far, once in the Open Cup and once against Spokane. Adrian Billhardt scored them both. After only two games he has impressed with strong runs on the wings and into the box. Unfortunately, the team often hasn’t seen those runs or lacked the skill to get him the ball. This should change as the season wears on. The situation will also improve once Terzaghi is back giving players two possible options.
  3. Weather – Last year the Kickers led the league in attendance and it all started with a sell-out home opener. Richmonders are timid when it comes to poor weather so the attendance will be disappointing. Even if the rain is light the locals are often afraid of melting so don’t come out. Not going to sugarcoat it, the weather doesn’t look pleasant but if you break it down to the hourly forecasts it gives a reason for hope. I do expect the Kickers to be in the top 1-2 in attendance this year again despite the dismal on-field results last year.

Prediction

As I’ve discussed over the years of doing these previews I’m a hopeless homer. My heart believes we can dig deep and win. My mind points out that we’ve got a ton of injuries and this will be our 3rd game in a week and involved traveling across the country. The heart counters with Tormenta hasn’t found their groove yet and are scoreless plus driving up from Georgia could be compared with flying across the country if the traffic is bad. My mind walks out of the conversation.

Kickers 0
Tormenta 2

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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.