The Richmond Kickers scored four goals, with three coming from former D.C. United man Joseph Ngwenya, to power past the worst team in USL Pro, Antigua Barracuda. Antigua came into City Stadium without a win so far and they are playing all of their games on the road this year.
The first three goals of this match all came from Joseph Ngwenya, and all of them were from the top of the 6 yard box. The first came off of a run by Nate Robinson, who received the ball from Luke Vercollone and crossed from the endline. Ngwenya was there to head it home in the 18th minute. The second goal came off of a bit of a scrum in the box, with Robinson starting it from another endline cross. Michael Seaton got up to head the ball, but his shot was immediately blocked. It fell to Brian Ownby, who crossed it back to Joseph Ngwenya who knocked it home again from the top of the 6. Ownby was subbed off at halftime so that he can make it to Tuesday's Houston Dynamo Reserve League game.
The third goal was again started by Robinson: he was fouled near the corner and took the free kick. Ngwenya was standing close to where he was for his first goal, and again headed it home. Finally, another Robinson endline run (am I sounding like a broken record?) lead to the fourth Richmond goal: his run allowed Luke Vercollone to run on and bury it.
The Antigua goal came on more than a bit of controversy. Nate Robinson was slide tackled from behind, and it seemed like the ball was well out of bounds. Antigua continued to play while the Kickers did not; by the time the Kickers realized what was going on, Antigua had scored. Fans who were down at field level said the fourth official may have even touched the ball back to the Barracuda players for a throw in, but that they just took off running. I'll have to check the tape to know for sure.
Even though he got a hat trick, Joseph Ngwenya is not my man of the match. For me, it has to be Nate Robinson. Three assists on the night and he started the sequence that led to the fourth goal. Robinson was signed a week before the season started, having previously played for the University of Detroit Mercy and the Michigan Bucks of the USL PDL. He came to open tryouts and immediately impressed coach Leigh Cowlishaw and has grabbed a starting stop and has not let go. If he keeps this up, he will not be in USL Pro much past this year.
Conor Shanosky had a good game in central defense, except that he plays a lot of long balls out of the back. When he sprays them wide, they usually reach their intended target, but when they go up the middle, they are usually intercepted. He also had a header that went just wide on a corner kick. Andrew Dykstra also played well, making a number of solid saves. Michael Seaton was quiet most of the night, but he didn't get the ball much; when he did get it, however, he wasn't able to do anything with it. But more experience is always good for the kid, so I'm not worried.
The Kickers are back in action this coming Friday against the Los Angeles Blues.