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.
Richmond Kickers (9-7-9) have their second to last regular season home game on Saturday against league leader Rochester Rhinos (15-1-8). Let’s take a moment and focus on those middle numbers. The Kickers have a big old fat “7” while the Rhinos have a delicate and demure “1.” Those numbers represent total losses this season, and it doesn’t look good for the home side.
The Kickers were soundly beat by the Charleston Battery last weekend so have their backs up against the wall when it comes to making the playoff cut. Currently they sit just @#$@ points above the line. The up-and-down nature of this team struck again last week. Coming off a victory and facing a Charleston team that they had handily beaten earlier in the season, the Kickers came up short. It should be noted that Charleston keeper Cooper had an outstanding game. How the Kickers will break down an even stronger team is the question of the week.
The only way Rochester doesn’t make the playoffs involves kidnapping and death scenarios too gruesome to detail. The Rhinos have scored a respectable 34 goals this year but the staggering stat is that they’ve only allowed 12 in a total of 24 matches. On the other side of the field, the Kickers have scored a slightly more respectable 38 but allowed 33 goals.
It’s all going to come down to Rochester’s defense. If you want a glimmer of hope, look to the last match these two played, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Official game preview is here, kickoff is at the usual 7:00 PM. Two promotions to be aware of: BLACK OUT, in which the first 300 fans (might be sold out by now) to order will get a ticket and a limited edition black adidas Kickers T-shirt (MSRP $30) for only $15. And Bike to City Stadium for Bike RVA Night, presented by 3Sports and Loveland’s Hop On A Bike. Get tickets for only $8.
RVANews Soccer Guru
|This game is actually the SyFy movie of the week, Rhinosaurus vs. MechaRoozilla. Cut to final scene: All the fans slowly turn as the Kickers came onto the field to face the raging Rhinosaurus. With bated breath, the Red Army waits as Leigh Cowlishaw, played by Corey Feldman, climbs into MechaRoozilla and pulls out his “just so crazy it might work” Zap-O-Matic Ray 2000 made from PBR cans and tattoo guns. Leigh fires, it fails to zap. The Rhinosaurus rages, tramples the team, the fans, the Red Army, and that new tapas place on Broad.||7|
|Well, I don’t think any of us saw this coming. All that means is that every game matters now, and the Red Army needs to and will bring it as hard as possible in the stands. Rochester is good, but they aren’t beating us this season. Of course, I don’t think we’re beating them either. One point this week leading into a true must win situation at Harrisburg on the 12th.||8|
|So we didn’t do so hot. That’s OK, because we will definitely bounce back. I mean, come on, Rhinos? Really? Nobody is a fan of a rhino. Easy. Three points to the Kickers.||8|
Total Soccer Show
|I want to predict a Kickers win, but the Rhinos have only lost one game all season and I’m still reeling from the Kickers’ loss to Charleston Battery last week. Kickers to tie this one, with a few smooth passes from Collin Martin and a little magic from Yudai Imura.||8|
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.