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Preview: Kickers Take on Loudoun in Open Cup Match

Loudoun United is a USL Championship (Tier 2) team while the Richmond Kickers are a USL1 (Tier 3) team.

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Opponent:  Loudoun United
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 16, 7:00 PM
Last Result: 2-2 Draw Away at Forward Madison
Up Next: Home vs. Spokane Velocity, Saturday, April 20th

Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com

Perfect weather for soccer.

Three Things to Kick About

  1. Defense – With one exception in the past 5 games the Kickers have given up at least two goals. That is less than ideal. Our buddy Alex over on League One Updater summed it up best in his latest USL1 Power Rankings, “With newcomer center back Gui Franca also on the injury list, duties have fallen to 17 year old academy product Griffin Garnett. While Garnett has punched well above his weight and shown moments of brilliance, it’s not a long term solution. It’s also one that teams tend to exploit, putting a lot of weight on him.” Depending on a 17 year old isn’t sustainable but again Griffin is doing a great job but it’s a case of boys against men.
  2. Emi MIA – The Kickers offense is honestly starting to look pretty good. It would be looking dare I say awesome if our Golden Boot winner Emi Terzaghi was back on the pitch or at least the bench. Since the start of the season Manager Sawatsky has been saying Emi’s close. However he hasn’t even been on the bench for the last two games. Hopefully there hasn’t been a setback behind the scenes and on Wednesday we see the return of El Rey.
  3. Maxi – Maxi Rodriguez got his first goal of the season on the road against Madison. It has to be in the running for Goal of the Year and made ESPN’s Sports Center Top 10.

Prediction

The Kickers could have drawn North Carolina FC or Loudoun United for this game. We lucked out in two ways. Firstly we were randomly selected as the home team and secondly, we drew the decidedly weaker of the two teams. Loudoun has finished near the bottom of Championship table since their founding and this season hasn’t started of much better. Don’t get me wrong, a budget comparison will still but them miles ahead of the Kickers but this game is winnable. The question is will the Kickers just bunker to make up for their weakness in defense and hope to counter or will they go all out and try to get a quick lead. The quick lead path hasn’t worked out much for the Kickers due to their frustrating inability to keep a lead. I’m going a defense battle.

Kickers 1
Loudoun 1 
Kickers advance in PKS

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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.