I know that you all missed me these past two weeks; I missed you too! Surprise of all surprises, the Richmond Kickers had two 1-0 games since I last talked to you. One was a victory against the LA Blues, while the other was a loss to the Wilmington Hammerheads. A lack of multi-goal games has been a theme for the Kickers this season, and one that leaves them tied for the very last playoff spot.
However, tonight’s opponent is the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, who are currently 6 points behind the Kickers and gave up 3 goals in their last match. If ever there was a time for a rebound win, especially at home, this would be it.
However, the Kickers have some reinforcements for this game. Ethan White and Long Tan have been loaned from D.C. United to the Kickers for this match, and club legend Mike Burke has been persuaded to come out of retirement and help with the rest of the season. And as I write this, the Kickers have announced the signing of midfielder Phillippe Davies, most recently with the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 team, which plays in the USL PDL. All look to be available for tonight’s game, but which will start? Find out below.
Game Time: 7:00pm
Video: As with all Kickers home games, there is no streaming.
Lineup: Averaging out the past two matches leaves me with a lineup like this:
Goerres White Yeisley Vercollone
Heins Dos Santos Callahan Fogelsong
As for the newcomers, I expect Ethan White and Long Tan to start. Tan is the first Chinese player in MLS and is a speedy and creative forward. However, he was traded to D.C. United after a fallout with the Whitecaps front office over playing time. With only one game in town, Tan would be a good bet to give Agorsor at least a little rest. I do not expect Mike Burke to get many starts, especially not right now; he’ll be more of a late game assassin, whipping in deadly free kicks.
Phillippe Davies could be a surprise starter in the center or on the right wing, but I would see him most likely fitting into Gerson Dos Santos’s attacking midfield spot. Benjamin Massey, who writes about the Vancouver Whitecaps for SB Nation, describes him as such: “Quality. Central playmaking MF who can also go down right wing. Not much of a shooter. Really improved defensively in 2011.” Massey also thinks that Davies could be a leading USL Pro player quickly. I wouldn’t mind seeing him start that journey tonight.
Prediction: Nothing less than 3 points is acceptable. 2-0 win for the Kickers, with goals from Delicate and Tan.
What are you drinking: No drinks tonight, as I am in the press box. However, I have a nice Alewerks Brewery (formerly Williasmburg Alewerks) witbier waiting for me at home.
As for all gamee, I’ll try to get a live blog going after the jump. Feel free to join in!