After an early red card in Week Three, the Richmond Kickers head to Greenville, SC for a second chance to show how they can fare away from City Stadium.
A series of unfortunate events in Lansing ended the Richmond Kickers chance to pick up points in their first road match of the season. But, head coach David Bulow will have positives to focus on from the opening 30 minutes as Richmond controlled the match versus the club that jumped on them quickly during opening weekend.
Exactly why Charles Boateng and Amass Amankona were missing from the 17 (yes) is unknown, but the back five returned from Week Two’s clean sheet. The defense held well until going a man down but will feel most frustrated by the second goal that allowed the Ignite attacker far too much space to cross the ball. Dennis Chin and Braeden Troyer made their debuts with Chin getting the lone goal for Richmond.
The Kickers must put that match—and Lansing’s horrible pitch—in the past and focus on another chance for the season’s first victory.
The Richmond View
Last Time Out: 3-1 loss to Lansing Ignite.
1) Midfield Issue. Richmond Kickers’ best performance of the season was in the 4-2-3-1 formation, with Maxi Rodriguez and Amankona as the two holding midfielders. On Saturday in Greenville, they could be without both. Maxi will definitely be out, his red card was held up by the league office, giving up the captain’s armband for Week Four. Amass missed the Lansing match and his status remains unclear. If he can’t return, I’d look for Josh Hughes to return to the starting XI, given his experience and play alongside Troyer (or Alex Ainscough if Troyer isn’t fit for a full 90).
2) Backline needs to stay. The back five shut down Tormenta’s attack. Then kept Lansing out of the net during their home opener until going down a man. The second goal looked bad, but it shouldn’t call for another switch up just yet. We are waiting to see when Aboubacar Keita is ready for the 18 and Jannik Eckenrode remains a great fullback option on the bench for last in the match.
3) Attacking formation. If the midfield is missing two key starters, how will Coach Bulow change the formation? Will Boateng be available? After scoring, does Chin move into the starting XI, and if so, who makes way? Matt Bolduc had several strong moments against Lansing. DJ, Gallardo, Boateng, Chin, and Bolduc give Richmond plenty of attacking options. Finding the right combination of those players and the formation up top that best suits them remains a key objective towards kickstarting the season.
Special shoutout: Arika Fitzgerald might have had an even better save late in the match, but this one was when the game was still in the balance.
— Richmond Kickers 🦘 (@RichmondKickers) April 16, 2019
Who you should know: Greenville Triumph (2-1-0)
Jake Keegan. The main attacking threat that will test Richmond’s backline. Two goals in three matches including last week’s late winner. He’s let loose 16 shots, far more than the second highest for Greenville at three. Whoever replaces Maxi Rodriguez will be tasked with tracking Keegan throughout the night.
Carlos Gómez. Two assists and leads the team in passing accuracy at 88.9%.
Christopher Bermudez. The third member of Greenville’s attacking trio. Bermudez leads not only his club in chances created but all of USL League One. Eli Lockaby will be tasked with disrupting his flow and preventing him from feeding the ball in from that left-hand side of Triumph’s attack.
— Greenville Triumph SC (@GVLTriumph) April 14, 2019
Who, When & How
Richmond Kickers vs. Greenville Triumph SC
Saturday, 4/20, at 7 PM Eastern Time
Watch on ESPN+