Richmond Kickers 4-1 OKC Energy: Kickers control their first-ever meeting

Steven Christy

The Kickers are on a hot streak, winning their last three games by at least three goals.

For the middle game in a three game span, the Kickers looked energetic and in-control in their first ever meeting with the Oklahoma City Energy. The Kickers played their first US Open Cup match on Wednesday, and will travel to Chicago to play the Fire Reserves on Sunday. With this in mind, the Kickers tried to play conservatively and on the counter, which worked well against the struggling Energy.

The first Richmond Kickers goal was scored after only 31 seconds, and was a simple attack starting with a through ball played to George Davis IV. His shot was saved, but Matthew Delicate was on the trailing run and able to clean up. After that goal, the Kickers were content to keep 10 players behind the ball, only venturing out on attacks occasionally. The second goal came after a George Davis IV worked a loose ball down into the corner, where it was poked away for a corner kick. There was a goalmouth scramble after a corner kick by Mike Callahan; after the first shot was saved, William Yomby's powerful header crossed the line before being batted back across by the goalkeeper. the assistant referee called the goal, and the Kickers were up 2-0.

The third goal came in first half stoppage time, and started with a long ball from Conor Shanoksy that was headed on by Matthew Delicate to George Davis IV. Davis IV's first cross was headed away, right back to him; Davis IV then took on Sporting Kansas City loanee Kevin Ellis, who thought the ball had gone out of bounds. Davis IV blew past him and poked the ball to Alex Lee, who slammed it into the net.

Four D.C. United players started the game: Joe Willis, Conor Shanosky, Christiano Francois, and Michael Seaton. Leigh Cowlishaw's teams normally line up in a 4-2-3-1, but this iteration looked even more explicitly like a 4-3-3. Seaton played as one of the wide forwards in this formation, with him and George Davis IV switching winds throughout the game. We mostly see him as a center forward, and his touch on the ball while playing wide confirmed that thought. However, getting more time as a wide foward at this point in his career will help him develop an even more well-rounded game. In the second half, he played as the center forward, and was rewarded with a great poached goal in the 89th minute. Francois played as the top of the midfield three, and was mostly anonymous, despite flashes.

The Kickers are back in action tonight, playing against the Chicago Fire Reserves right after the Chicago Fire play Sporting Kansas City.

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