RICHMOND, VA – (Friday, May 5, 2017) – The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium this Saturday, May 6 to host FC Cincinnati and the Bark & Brew Craft Beer Festival. The pet-friendly craft beer festival starts at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Back Seat Drivers, pet-centric vendors, RVA food trucks and over 15 craft beers and ciders on tap. Bark & Brew tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com for $22 and include admission and drinks for two.
The Kickers and FC Cincinnati meet for the first time this season after drawing both games, 1-1, in 2016. Sean Okoli tapped in a 12th minute rebound to open the scoring for FC Cincinnati on June 4th at Nippert Stadium, but Richmond’s late game heroics gave them a 1-1 equalizer in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time. The two clubs concluded the series at City Stadium in August when Sunny Jane scored a rebound just past the hour mark, but Andrew Weideman answered from 30 yards out with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
Last week, the Kickers dropped a 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies on the road. Rowdies forward Deshorn Brown broke the deadlock with a scissor kick volley seconds before the halftime break. FC Cincinnati also dropped points last week, suffering a narrow 1-0 loss to Bethlehem Steel FC. The match remained scoreless until former Kickers defender Hugh Roberts tallied the 87th minute game-winner for Bethlehem.
Saturday’s match is the start of a two-game series between the two teams, and they will swap home-field advantage on July 9 at Nippert Stadium. Following this matchup, the Kickers remain at City Stadium for a rematch of the home opener against Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday, May 13.
Players to Watch:
Kickers: Defender Mallan Roberts (#15) is the only Richmond player to play all 540 minutes this season, also leading the team with 247 passes and percentage of duels won at 63.6. The Sierra Leone native, by way of Canada, also led the team to a clean sheet in the home opener. Forward Samuel Asante (#28) has appeared in five games, starting four, and leads the team in passing percentage in the opponents’ half at 85.7 He is also second on the team in total pass percentage at 81.2. The Sunyani, Ghana native has made 81 appearances over four seasons for Richmond. Alex Lee (#18) is second to only Roberts in minutes with 533 and passes at 207. The Rockville, Maryland native has made 82 appearances over five seasons for the Kickers.
Cincinnati: Midfielder Corben Bone (#19) is tied for the team lead with two assists and is third among starters in pass percentage at 77.7. The 28 year-old from Plano, Texas has been around the U.S., playing for seven teams since graduating from Wake Forest University in 2009. Goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrant (#1) is tied for fourth in the USL in saves (18) and tied for fourth in clean sheets with two. He is one of two FC Cincinnati players that has played all 630 minutes and received the 2016 USL Goalkeeper of the Year award. Defender Matt Bahner (#2) has anchored a backline that contributed to two shutouts this season. The University of Cincinnati product returned to his hometown prior to the 2017 campaign after spending two seasons with the Jacksonville Armada and two seasons with the Harrisburg City Islanders.