The Richmond Kickers won 4-1 over the Rochester Rhinos, the New England Revolution’s USL Pro affiliate. The Rhinos played like a classic New England team, getting two straight red cards and three yellows to go with them. After a rough first 15 minutes to the game the Richmond Kickers were able to impose their will on the Rochester Rhinos. The Kickers defense was caught sleeping early, as a giveaway in the midfield and a bad missed tackle by the normally solid William Yomby let Matt Luzunaris in alone on Andrew Dyskstra. Luzunaris converted, and it was 1-0 in the 3rd minute. After being on their heels for the first 15 minutes, the Kickers began to figure out the Rhinos and gain more possession. After four shots and give corners in the first half, rookie Nate Robinson ran down the left hand side and put in a cross, which Mike Callahan found and slammed home in stoppage time.
The Kickers opened the second half with the same level of pressure that they showed at the end of the first, putting the Rhinos The game changed in the 51st minute. Joseph Ngwenya was free on the keeper in the box and was taken down from behind by George Kyriasis. Kyriasis was given the red card and Ngwenya converted the penalty to put the Kickers up 2-1. The game was basically over after the red card, as Richmond increased their pressure against 10 men. The third goal was all the work of Nate Robinson, who took the corner and then received the cleared ball back from Sascha Goerres. Robinson made a driving run into the box and crossed the ball to the back post, where it either went in on its own or was poked home by Jason Yeisley.
The game was even more over in the 77th minute, when Tyler Roselund went into a two footed, studs up tackle on Mike Callahan and was given a straight red, leaving Rochester with only nine men. The Kickers added a garbage time goal in the 85th minute, with Vercollone freeing Nyazamba in the box to make it 4-1. The win gives the Kickers 7 points out of three games and leaves Rochester with one point out of four games.
My man of the match was rookie Nate Robinson, who was dangerous all night down the left hand side. Robinson was signed a week before the season’s start, found by the Kickers in the pro team tryouts, after graduating from the University of Detroit Mercy. Robinson put in the crucial cross to Mike Callahan that tied the game and got another assist to Jason Yeisley to make it 3-1. The other player who had a particularly impressive game was Brian Ownby, the Houston Dynamo loanee who was beating his defenders whenever he wanted.
Both D.C. United players who featured in this game, Andrew Dykstra and Conor Shanosky, were solid. Dykstra is settling into his new surroundings here in Richmond and is becoming more confident in his box. He made a couple of good saves to keep Richmond ahead and is looking more and more like the keeper that won the USL Pro championship last season. Shanosky stepped up and intercepted anything that came his way and made former D.C. United man Blake Brettschneider invisible. He also served as the starting point for the Kickers offense, which typically starts with the centerbacks playing the ball out wide to the wingers.
The Kickers are off next weekend and are back in action on May 3, when they go down to Wilmington to play the Hammerheads.