Richmond Kickers (5-12-8) vs Charlotte Independence (12-5-8)
2017 USL Regular Season
Date: Saturday, September 2, 2017
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Stadium: Sportsplex at Matthews, Matthews, NC
All-Time Series: 2-4-3
At Charlotte: 0-3-2
TV: WTVR CBS 6.3 (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466)
Online: USL Match Center
RICHMOND, VA — (Friday, September 1, 2017) — The Richmond Kickers (5-12-8) heads south to take on the Charlotte Independence (12-5-8) at the Sportsplex at Matthews in their third and final meeting of the 2017 season. Kickoff is scheduled at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen live on the Kickers Official Television Partners WTVR CBS 6 via their 6.3 sub channel (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466) and on the USL Match Center.
Richmond trails in the overall series with a record of 2-4-3 over the last three seasons. Saturday’s match will be the third meeting this season. Charlotte travelled to Richmond June 24, and saw a goal in each half from Enzo Martinez to take all three points at City Stadium. The Kickers were able to secure a draw and shutout on the road at the Sportsplex at Matthews July 26. Charlotte will be without the services of Alex Martinez after he was handed a four-match suspension by the USL Disciplinary Committee this week.
The Kickers will be looking to continue their win streak after they claimed a 3-1 win over long-time rivals, the Charleston Battery last Saturday. Heviel Cordovés put the Battery up just after two minutes, The Kickers responded in the 17th minute as Sunny Jane scored his second goal in as many games to level the score. Oliver Minatel doubled the Kickers lead as Jane fed the ball to him and he put it past Odisnal Cooper to score his second of the season. Late into stoppage time, Yudai Imura converted a free kick chance from about 25 yards out to seal the Kickers second win in a row and all three points in a very heated rivalry.
The Independence will be looking to bounce back after falling at home to Toronto FC II last Saturday night. Team leading scorer, Enzo Martinez gave Charlotte the lead in the 21st minute, followed by Jame Siaj doubling the lead in the 32nd minute. Alex Martinez was sent off in the 49th minute, forcing the Independence to play down a man for most of the second half. Toronto took advantage in the 69th minute, scoring three goals in seven minutes to steal the victory on the road.
Richmond has a rare midweek match up coming next Thursday night, September 7 as they travel to take on Orlando City B at 7:30 p.m. at the new Orlando City Stadium. The match will be available to stream online through the USL Match Center.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Richmond: Defender Braeden Troyer (#31) picked up his first assist since the 2015 season on Sunny Jane’s opening goal last Saturday as the Kickers took a 3-1 win over Charleston. Troyer has played in 23 matches this season, starting every one of those matches. The University of South Carolina product signed with the Kickers before the start of the 2015 season after a successful showing at the Kickers Pro Combine. Midfielder Yudai Imura (#14) scored his first goal of the season in the dying moments of the Kickers win over Charleston. The native of Tokyo, Japan lead the Kickers in scoring last season with 10 goals while adding three assists. Imura signed with the Kickers follow a three-day tryout in January of 2015. Forward Oliver (#9) netted his second goal of the season last Saturday night, after making 12 appearances since joining the Kickers in the off season. The dual German/Brazilian national spent the 2016 season with Puerto Rico FC, where he made nine appearances and scored one goal.
Charlotte: Midfielder Enzo Martinez (#19) leads the Independence in scoring with 14 goals along with five assists in 21 games this season. He tied for the lead in scoring last season with nine goals and added five assists in 28 games. Martinez signed with Charlotte in their inaugural season in the USL In 2015 following a stint with the Carolina Railhawks (now known as North Carolina FC) where he made 21 appearances and scored six goals in 2014. Midfielder David Estrada (#11)has five goals in 24 matches this season for the Independence. Estrada signed with Charlotte in February of 2016 after starting the 2015 season with Sacramento Republic FC and finishing it with Orange County Blues (now known as Orange County SC). Last season, Estrada netted six goals and added two assists for Charlotte over 30 matches. Midfielder Jorge Herrera (#10) has found the back of the net on 12 occasions while also adding five assists this season in 22 games. That follows a 2016 season that saw him score seven goals and added two assists in 30 games. The Colombian national joined the Independence for their first season in the USL following a long run with the Charlotte Eagles from 2007 to 2014.