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KICKERS FACE PITTSBURGH IN MID-WEEK ACTION

By Patrick Wood, 07/31/18, 8:00AM EDT

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Watch Live from Highmark Stadium at 7PM on WTVR CBS 6.3 and ESPN+


Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography

RICHMOND, Va. – (Friday, July 27, 2018) – The Richmond Kickers (5-11-3) will travel to Highmark Stadium to battle Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (9-7-3) on a Wednesday night tilt at 7 p.m. The match will be available on the Kickers Official Television Partners, WTVR CBS 6 on their 6.3 sub channel (Comcast 206, Verizon FiOS 466) and can be streamed live on ESPN+. Join the Red Army for the Kickers Official Watch Party Wednesday night at Väsen Brewing Company, located at 3331 W Moore St, Richmond, VA 23230 in Scott’s Addition.  

In the previous meeting this year between the two sides, Pittsburgh walked out of City Stadium with three points, defeating the Kickers 2-1 on June 2. Luiz Fernando put the Kickers on top in the 53rd minute and Brian Shriver was credited with the assist. Neco Brett’s header equalized the contest in the 72nd minute. The Riverhounds took the lead for good in the 79th minute off a Romeo Parkes strike and never looked back. Despite the loss, the Kickers still hold a sizable advantage in the all-time series with a record of 19-9-10 against Pittsburgh.

Richmond is coming off a 3-0 loss on the road at its rival, the Charleston Battery, on Saturday. Nicholas Rittmeyer’s brace powered the Battery in front of the home crowd at MUSC Health Stadium. The scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story as the Kickers outshot the Battery 21-6 while getting shutout. Richmond also owned 60.1 percent of the possession on the night. Giuseppe Gentile came on in the second half and made his presence known, firing five shots. The Kickers sit in 14th place in the Eastern Conference.

Pittsburgh has now lost two games in a row following a six match unbeaten streak from June 2 to July 8. Most recently, the Riverhounds fell to North Carolina FC 2-1 on the road. Daniel Rios gave North Carolina the 1-0 advantage early in the contest. Pittsburgh’s Christiano François notched the equalizer early in the second half after he blasted a shot far post for the goal. Each side appeared ready to walk away with one point until NCFC substitute Wuilito Fernandes struck a one-time effort in stoppage time for a goal to shock Pittsburgh. Despite back-to-back losses, the Riverhounds are still in good shape in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Following Wednesday’s game, the Kickers return home to City Stadium to face Bethlehem Steel FC at 7 p.m. The party starts at 5:30pm for artVA Fest with live music by The Hit List, a collaborative art zone including lessons, performances and installations by Art on Wheels, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Studio Two Three and Wine & Design, plus RVA food trucks and over a dozen craft beers on tap. Tickets are available now at RichmondKickers.com

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Richmond: Forward Luiz Fernando (#71) has progressed throughout the year and scored a goal last time out against Pittsburgh. Fernando also unleashed five shots on Saturday, but couldn’t add to his three goals on the year. Midfielder Yudai Imura (#14) has appeared in all 19 games for the Kickers this season, amassing 1,230 minutes. Imura is a distributor in the middle of the pitch and second on the team with 13 key passes. Goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg (#1) put on a good showing in the friendly against Espanyol with a few saves. The Kickers led 2-1 in the one half he was between the sticks and he started the previous game against Pittsburgh this season.

Pittsburgh: Goalkeeper Daniel Lynd (#33) leads the entire USL with nine clean sheets. Lynd has only allowed 10 goals on the season, holding a 0.63 goals against average. Midfielder Jordan Dover (#5) has a nose for the ball, leading Pittsburgh with 57 tackles and is second on the team with 41 interceptions. Dover has also been a part of the second most action on the team, amassing 1,514 minutes in his 17 appearances. Forward Neco Brett (#9) is Pittsburgh go-to guy when the team needs a goal with eight on the season, five more than the next best. Brett has also collected three assists in 18 appearances.