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.
USL has gone through some changes in the off season, and nearly every MLS team has added their own baby team and given them creative names like New York Red Bulls II and handy-me down uniforms. Seriously, I won’t be surprised if some player names are just duct tape covering up higher paid players names for the MLS squad. The USL now has two divisions, East and West, with 12 teams in each division. When I have an extra weekend to kill I’ll figure out how the playoffs will work with all these new additions. Another big change is the hiring of a 1975 graphic design firm to create a new USL logo.
The Kickers had some changes as well. Woodfin is a news sponsor so now they’ve got a German Shepherd on their shirt. This might make the Kickers the only USL team with cross-species images on their jersey. That should mean something right? Pictures point to a general sprucing up including a mural.
It’ll be interesting to see if Yudai Imura (#14), a 5’10” native of Tokyo who’s never played in the US, can integrate with the team. Keep an eye on new/returning player Brian Ownby. Ownby (#22) is a midfielder with two years experience in the MLS with the Houston Dynamo and played on loan with the Kickers in 2013, scoring 7 goals. Matthew Delicate (#7) is back, and that’s a good thing for the team and getting the ball in the back of the net. Defensively William Yomby (#2) also returned with the core of veteran defenders so no real worries there–despite the season opener.
Defender Conor Shanosky (#5) who made 35 appearances over two seasons for the Kickers is now playing for Louisville City FC. Conor was a fan favorite here in Richmond so don’t be surprised if he gets a little love from the normally loveless Red Army.
Kickers (0-1-0) played last week and came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie up with Wilmington. Louisville played St. Louis last week and won 2-0 so have the slightly more impressive record of 1-0-0. However Louisville is a brand new club so knowing what to expect is nearly impossible. Kickoff is at 5:00 PM but a little drunk birdie told me that members of the Red Army will begin tailgating around 2:00 PM on the hill and all are welcome.
RVANews Soccer Guru
|Yudai Imura approached the Season Ticket holder event with great enthusiasm. I expect to see that enthusiasm translate on the field into goals but what doesn’t translate are the Japanese insults I hope he throws with abandon. Also whenever I see the word Cooper (the name of their supporters group) all I can thing of is Sly Cooper (reference so few of you will get) and I hate raccoons, so an easy win.||0|
|This week’s trivia question: How many people can fit into City Stadium?
Answer: Show up at 5 on Saturday (ok, really more like 3 or 4 to tailgate) and find out for yourself. Hint: Section O is the place to be in the stadium.As a bonus, you’ll get to see the Kickers beat Louisville 2-1. And in case you didn’t know or forgot, Louisville is the old Orlando team, who were kinda <insert favorite insult here>.
|Purple. It’s a color that I am not a fan of. Naturally, that means that because I do not like it, the Kickers will take a nice victory for the home opener. I have a funny feeling someone new gets a goal for the Kickers.||0|
Total Soccer Show
|The Kickers climbed out of a 2-0 hole last week to tie 2-2 with Wilmington, and I expect them to stay above ground against USL newcomers Louisville. Here’s to a 2-0 win for Richmond in front of a lively crowd at City Stadium. Bonus prediction: I’m going to land a frisbee right in the middle of that target thing.||0|
RVA News 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 the advice from lawyers) about the incident with the scooter and the Flaming Hoop of Death. He’s also 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 every thing he says about footsoccerball naturally carries more weight because he says it 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 post haste.