Prior to every home game a panel of so-called experts will predict the outcome of the Richmond Kickers game. Each expert receives one point for each correct prediction. At the end of the season the winner gets a trophy and pack of gum.
This year in USL (United Soccer League) a crop of new teams sprung up. Most of these new teams have a direct affiliation with a team in MLS (Major League Soccer), the highest league in North America. These new teams were given fancy names by adding the number two to big brother’s name. Thus, we have the New York Red Bulls II. I suppose the use of Roman numerals does make it a bit more regal and gives the impression of history, but you can’t avoid that these are new teams with very little grassroots support. Red Bulls II home attendance average for the year to date is 533 and that number is generous.
The Kickers are coming off an impressive Wednesday night win, defeating the Jacksonville Armada 3-0. The game was never in doubt and the Kickers controlled the action from start to finish. This was a dramatic change from the previous league game against Pittsburgh. This will be the Kickers’ fifth game in 14 days, so expect full use of substitutes. Richmond native Ryan Taylor is expected to start as goalkeeper and was impressive in his last outing.
The Red Bulls 2 have a Richmond connection in young, only 18 years old, midfielder Derrick Etienne (#36) who happened to score last weekend against Montreal. Derrick has committed to attend the University of Virginia in the fall, and is the son and nephew of former Kickers players Derrick and Darrell Etienne. The other player of note is defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste (#36) who is on loan from the MLS Red Bulls and will be familiar to those that follow MLS.
The game kicks off on Saturday, May 30th, at 7:00 PM. Read the official game preview. The Kickers are working with Puritan Cleaners 100K Meals program, benefiting FeedMore, for this game. Puritan Cleaners will be on-site at City Stadium to collect non-perishable food items and tickets purchased in advance online will cover 25 nourishing meals and are also only $10 instead of the customary $12.
D.C. United and New York Red Bulls (the big brother) have a rivalry going back to the first years of MLS. In honor of that ongoing brouhaha Kicker will be tapping a special keg of Corruption from DC Brau. It’s a tasty IPA that’s well worth trying.
RVANews Soccer Guru
|The team is a walking billboard for an energy drink. The only way this team wins is if the team builds an actual billboard in front of their goal and Ownby kicks the ball so hard it bounces back into the Kickers net for an own goal. The reason our keeper doesn’t stop it is that he has dozed off from the lack of any viable scoring threat from the Red Bulls.||3|
|The first MLS2 team coming to town this year. This should be the bounce back that the team needs after a pretty tough month. Kickers get the win and in impressive fashion.||3|
|I drank a Red Bull once. I have to agree with many to say that it really is not the best tasting drink in the world. And who ever said it gives you wings must already be a bird, because I definitely did not get any wings. Kickers win this one because, what other result would it be?!||4|
Total Soccer Show
|“I’ve got a bad feeling about this, Chewie.” NYRBII’s young Cameroonian striker Anatole Abang has been scoring for fun and this will be the Kickers’ fifth game in 14 days. But I can’t predict a defeat to NY without incurring the wrath of the Red Army’s DC United contingent, so I’m going to say 1-1.||5|
RVANews Soccer Guru (Richard Hayes): All of Richard’s soccer knowledge comes from playing FIFA on the original Playstation and standing in bars, drinking, and yelling at the television. He also helps run RVA DCU and is a member of American Outlaws Richmond Chapter, which mainly involves drinking and yelling at televisions.
Red Army (Matt Myers) — Reigning Champion: Matt was sent off by Leigh Cowlishaw in a summer camp scrimmage as a pre-teen but has not held that against the team. He’s coming to grips with being a relatively old man now after seeing the youngsters in the Red Army and on the Kickers roster. He’s also attended way more matches than he should admit to, especially for having lived in Richmond a total of one out of the last 13 years.
Richmond Kickers (Kickeroo): The Kicker from down under. He doesn’t really like anyone who isn’t a fan of the Kickers. A daredevil who will pretty much try anything and everything but would rather not talk (on advice from the lawyers) about the incident with the scooter and the Flaming Hoop of Death, he’s also a sensitive marsupial who enjoys long walks on a dew-covered soccer field and watching the sun set behind the goal post. He also shares something with the new Kickers beer, Kick It Hunny hops.
Total Soccer Show (Daryl Grove): Daryl is English, so everything he says about footsoccerball naturally carries more weight because he says it in a British accent. He is also part of the excellent local radio show and podcast Total Soccer Show that keeps track of all soccer related things in an intelligent and fun way. If you’re not listening to the Total Soccer Show, you need to change that posthaste.