With most fan eyes focusing on the upcoming US Open Cup match between the Richmond Kickers and D.C. United, there are still some league games to go before we get to that titanic struggle. For the Kickers, that means welcoming the Harrisburg City Islanders, the USL Pro affiliate of the Philadelphia Union, to the friendly confines of City Stadium. The Union currently have five players on loan to the City Islanders, all of whom play regularly: Cristhian Hernandez, Don Anding, Jimmy McLaughlin, Leo Fernandes, and Greg Jordan. Their leading scorer is currently Sainey Touray, formerly of the New York Red Bulls' reserves and the Carolina Railhawks.
The City Islanders currently sit one point above the Kickers in the USL Pro standings and this game will be a good test of the team so far this season. The only result that the Kickers have that I would truly call impressive was their 4-1 thumping of the second place Charleston Battery; all of their wins besides that one have come against the bottom of the league.
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: City Stadium, Richmond, Va.
Streaming: As always, Richmond Kickers home games are available on uslnation.com; this one is no different.
Predicted lineup: The lineup for this game will likely be juggled and many starters will likely be substituted early. With that in mind, I think that Andrew Dykstra will start in goal, with Alex Lee, William Yomby, Henry Kalungi, and Sascha Goerres in front of him. I think that one of Luke Vercollone or Mike Callahan, the typical starters in defensive midfield, will get a rest this week and Philippe Davies will start in his place. Nate Robinson and Brian Ownby will be the wide midfielders, with Joseph Ngwenya in attacking midfield and Michael Seaton starting at forward.
Result: The City Islanders are a good team with a dangerous forward and the Kickers are missing half of their opening day defense, in Taylor Kemp and Conor Shanosky. Despite that, I think a 2-1 Kickers victory is still appropriate and will build the tension for the epic struggle coming on Tuesday.
What are you drinking? No drinking in the press box, but a nice bottle of the White House Honey Ale that a friend brewed is waiting for me when I get home.
Follow me here and on twitter for all of the updates for this game. If you watch, let's hear your pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion!