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KICKERS TAKE ON NORTH CAROLINA AT CITY STADIUM SATURDAY

By Patrick Wood, 06/29/18, 10:00AM EDT

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Gates Open at 5:30PM for BBQ & Bluegrass, Kickoff at 7PM


Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography

RICHMOND, Va. – (Friday, June 29, 2018) – The Richmond Kickers (4-8-2) are set to host North Carolina FC (4-7-3) for the second time this season Saturday night at City Stadium. This match will be the first under new Kickers Head Coach David Bulow. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with BBQ & Bluegrass, presented by Smohk, with live music by the Cary Street Ramblers, craft beer and BBQ. Kickoff for the match is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be featured live on the Kickers Official Television Partners WTVR CBS 6 on their 6.3 sub-channel (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466) as well as streaming online on ESPN+. Tickets are available now at RichmondKickers.com

The Kickers and North Carolina FC will meet for the second of three total meetings this season Saturday night. In the first meeting, the Kickers came out on top claiming a 2-1 victory over the visiting North Carolina FC. NCFC got on the board first as Stephen Miller connected with Daniel Rios at the top of the six yard box for the opener in the 43rd minute. Richmond leveled the score in the 77th minute behind a penalty kick from Yudai Imura. Brian Shriver set up Raul Gonzalez for the game winner in the 83rd minute to give the Kickers all three points. 

Richmond comes into Saturday’s match on the heels of a 1-1 draw with the Charlotte Independence last Saturday night. Brian Shriver gave Richmond the early advantage as he put away a cross from Raul Gonzalez that took a slight deflection off a Charlotte defender just six minutes into the match. Cordell Cato brought Charlotte level in the 20th minute. Kay Voser found Cato making a run in behind the Kickers defense. Cato took a touch to get around Trevor Spangenberg and followed the ball into the net.

North Carolina FC were able to hold the defending USL Cup Champions Louisville City FC to a 2-2 draw last Saturday at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. Daniel Rios headed in a cross from Kyle Bekker in the 11th minute to take an early lead. Goals from Paco Craig and Ilija Illic gave the visitors the lead. NCFC responded in the 87th minute as Rios put away his second of the night from Tiyi Shipalane to earn a point at home.

Following a nine day break, the Kickers return to action on the road as they travel up north for two straight, first heading to Penn FC Monday, July 9. They will then travel to MSU Soccer Park to face New York Red Bulls II Friday, July 13. Both matches will be able to stream online through ESPN+, with the Penn FC match available live on the Kickers Official Television Partners, WTVR CBS 6 on their 6.3 sub-channel (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466). 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Brian Shriver (#21) continues to be the Kickers main offensive weapon, having a part in 10 of the Kickers 15 goals this season (4 goals, 5 assists, 1 penalty drawn). Shriver netted his fourth goal of the season last Saturday night in the 1-1 draw with the Charlotte Independence. Defender William Yomby (#2) made his first start of the season last Saturday night, marking his fifth appearance this season. The Bafoussam, Cameroon native has made 245 appearances for the Kickers since joining the club in 2009, scoring 11 goals and adding five assists and contributing to 80 shutouts. Defender Scott Thomsen (#10) returned to the Kickers starting lineup for the first time in league play since April 14 on the road against Louisville City FC. He nine appearances when he signed for the Kickers mid-season in 2016, contributing one goal and one assist on route to the 2016 USL Playoffs.

North Carolina: Forward Daniel Rios (#14) leads North Carolina FC in scoring, with eight goals this season including two in their last outing against Louisville City FC. On loan from Chivas Guadalajara, Rios is in his first season with NCFC having made 38 appearances with 17 goals on loan to Atlético Zacatepec and Coras de Tepic over the last two seasons. Midfielder Kyle Bekker (#10) comes into Saturday’s match leading NCFC with six assists this season. The Canadian international signed with the club in the off season after spending 2017 with the San Francisco Deltas (NASL). Goalkeeper Alex Tambakis (#1) played in all 14 matches for North Carolina they year after stints with Sporting Kansas City and Atlanta United. He has recorded a 1.43 GAA and has made 44 saves this season.