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Preview: Kickers Face Top of the Table Greenville

After a tough road loss the Kickers are hoping to rebound against a very strong Greenville team.

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Opponent:  Greenville Triumph FC
Date/Time: Saturday, May 18th, 7:00 PM
Last Result: 0 – 1  Loss at Chattanooga
Up Next: Away vs South Georgia Tormenta FC, Saturday May 25th, 7:30 PM

Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com

It’s likely to be a wet one.

Three Things to Kick About

  1. So Close – Last week the Kickers were looking pretty good against Chattanooga. However, the same demons seemed to plague the team. Sierakowski’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced out, Bosua missed a sitter, and various other attempts by the Kickers strikers were collected by the Chattanooga keeper. A draw seemed likely but then once again the defense didn’t successfully clear the ball and gifted the Red Wolves with a late game-winner. The team is showing just enough promise to not give up hope but the clock is ticking and hope is fleeting.
  2. Shellow – Ryan Shellow again proved that he’s a starting keeper despite the loss. Ryan Shellow was named to the USL League 1 Week 8 Team of the Week. He comes up with athletic saves but a backline continues to make the smallest of errors to prevent the Kickers from getting their first clean sheet in league play. The defense isn’t helped by a complete lack of offensive fire power. We expect Ryan to be in goal again on Saturday.
  3. Emi – The financials of the Richmond Kickers are kept under lock and key in a box under Rob Ukrop’s bed so we don’t know this for a fact but it’s safe to assume that Emiliano Terzaghi is the highest-paid player on the roster. He hasn’t been in the starting 11 since late last year. Various injuries both new and old have kept the 3 time Golden Boot winner from joining the team. Structuring your offense on a lynchpin and then having that lynchpin out has the expected result. Hoping that someday soon we’ll see Emi take the field or get a substantial update on his path to recovery. It goes without saying but I’m saying it anyway Emi and the Kickers need to wait until he’s a 100% and not rush him back. Yes, I’m a bit contradictory here but such is the logic of a sports fan.

Prediction

It is super hard to be optimistic about this one. Greenville sits comfortably at the top of the table with 13 points and 4 wins while the Kickers languish back in 7th place with 5 points and only 1 win. There are a few glimmers of hope. The Kickers are playing better but still not good enough to get a win. Greenville is coming off a loss. The Kickers technically beat Greenville in the Jägermeister Cup (which I’m still having trouble taking seriously) but even that had to go to PK’s.

As I said these are just glimmers, not beacons. Greenville beats the Kickers in every team stat both offense and defense. It’s on offense that it gets truly concerning. Greenville has 14 goals, 89 shots, and a conversion rate of 20%. The Kickers have 8 goals, 77 shots, and a conversion rate 15%. The defense doesn’t look better, Greenville has 2 clean sheets the Kickers have 0 clean sheets and goals conceded Kickers have let 12 in (second worst in the league) and Greenville has let in 8.

I hate to do it but I’m not seeing an option. Greenville is leaving Richmond with 3 points.

Greenville: 2
Kickers: 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.