RICHMOND, VA – (Tuesday, April 30, 2013) – The Richmond Kickers embark on their first road trip of the season when they travel to Legion Stadium this Friday, May 3 to take on the Wilmington Hammerheads in the first leg of a back-to-back weekend. The match is set for 7:30 PM and will be broadcast live on USLNation.com. The Kickers return to City Stadium 24 hours later to host the Charlotte Eagles and Fiesta Latina on Saturday, May 4. Presented by Arco Iris Latino Market, the fun begins when the gates open at 6:00 p.m. with authentic Mexican and Central American food trucks, draft beer trucks and live Latin music.
The Kickers head into this weekend’s matches following a 4-1 win over the Rochester Rhinos on April 20. After conceding an early goal, the Kickers rallied back with four unanswered goals as Mike Callahan, Joseph Ngwenya, Jason Yeisley and Stanley Nyazamba led the Kickers to their second consecutive victory at City Stadium.
Following a home opening 2-0 win over Antigua, the Hammerheads look to return to winning ways after a grueling west coast swing resulted in 4-0 and 3-1 losses to the Los Angeles Blues and the Phoenix FC Wolves, respectively. Meanwhile, Charlotte are coming off a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds as Christian Ramirez and Christian Meza scored on either side of the half to lead the Eagles to an undefeated 2-0-2 record through their first four games.
Richmond and Wilmington face off for the first time since the 2012 USL PRO playoffs when the Hammerheads ousted the Kickers from the Quarterfinal round in a dramatic 3-2 affair at City Stadium. Earlier that season, the Hammerheads handed the Kickers 2-1 and 1-0 losses in Wilmington to cap off the four-game series with a 3-1-0 record, with the Kickers claiming their only victory over their southern foes courtesy of a pair of stoppage time goals for a 3-1 win last May.
With an extensive rivalry spanning two decades, dating back to the clubs’ inception in 1993, the Kickers hold an all-time series record of 21-11-9 over the Eagles. Most recently, the two clubs split the 2012 series, each claiming a pair of wins on their home turf. The Kickers relied on last-gasp heroics to edge the Eagles 1-0 at City Stadium before suffering their worst loss of the season, dropping a 4-1 decision in Charlotte. The longtime rivals last met in Richmond on July 28, 2012 when the Kickers rebounded from a 1-0 loss in Charlotte the night before, to win 2-1 at City Stadium.
Players to Watch
Kickers: Midfielder Nate Robinson (#14) burst onto the scoring scene in his second professional match, notching a pair of assists in the Kickers 4-1 rout over Rochester. Signing just 24 hours before the home opener, Robinson was discovered at the Kickers 2013 Pro Combine after spending the 2012 season with the PDL’s Michigan Bucks. Forward Michael Seaton (#29) could make his professional debut this weekend, on loan from the Kickers MLS affiliate, D.C. United. The 16-year old Maryland native signed with D.C. as a Homegrown player in January after impressing with United’s Academy. After spending the offseason training with the Colorado Rapids, midfielder Luke Vercollone (#4) has made an immediate impact upon to Richmond for his sixth season. Splitting time between the defense and the midfield, the Kickers workhorse has made 129 appearances and accumulated nearly 11,000 minutes in Richmond.
Eagles: Newcomer Matt Gold (#13) earned USL PRO Team of the Week honors last week for his defensive efforts in shutting out Rochester. The former Toronto FC defender spent two seasons with the San Antonio Scorpions before signing with the Eagles prior to the 2013 season. Veteran midfielder Jorge Herrera (#10) returned to the Eagles starting line up last week after spending the offseason with Atlético Huila in Colombia. Over seven seasons in Charlotte, Herrera has made 102 appearances, recording 31 goals and 28 assists. Leading the Eagles attack in 2013 is midfielder Nate Thornton (#20) whose heroic 90th minute tally led to a 1-1 draw against league-leading Orlando City in April. The third-year pro out of Clemson University opened the season with a goal in the Eagles 2-0 win over Antigua and added an assist in the club’s shutout over Pittsburgh last weekend.
Kickers Fiesta Latina
This Saturday, the Kickers’ Fiesta Latina will feature the festive Latin rhythms of Grupo Miel, who will perform merengue, bachata and cumbia before the game. Authentic food trucks, serving a variety of flavorful Mexican and Central American fare, will be on site while the Loveland Distributing outdoor bar area will feature Miller Lite, Blue Moon and other seasonal beers on tap, providing a unique gathering place for fans before and during the game.
Tickets are $12/adults and $7/youth ages 3-17 and are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com and all Arco Iris locations. Richmond Kickers season passes offer unbeatable value, VIP benefits and incredibly low prices to all regular season home games and are a fantastic way to get together with friends, family and colleagues for an unforgettable entertainment experience - order now!