The Richmond Kickers used an offensive explosion against the worst team in the league, Antigua Barracuda, to ride to an easy 4-0 victory. The win moves them into a tie for second place in USL Pro with 25 points from 11 games and at least one game in hand over all of the teams around them. These were points that the Kickers had to have, because their winter is coming: after next week's home game against Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves, the Kickers go on a 9 game road trip. The first goal was all a product of Jason Yeisley, who held the ball well right at the endline before crossing it back across the face of goal. Nate Robinson made a hard run in from outside the box and met the ball about 7 yards out, slamming it low and to the far post.
The second Kickers goal had more than a bit of luck. Jason Yeisley started it by deflecting a pass off of a Antigua player, which hit Nate Robinson in the face. Robinson was able to collect the ball and pass it off of another Antigua player. The second deflection left Brian Ownby all alone with the ball at his feet and he finished it cleanly past the Antigua keeper. Ownby also scored the third goal on the rebound, after the Antigua made a mess of a save.
The final goal was just the icing on the cake, the first professional goal for rookie (and VCU product) Joseph Haboush. He received a pass from Joseph Ngwenya at the top of the 6 yard box and put it away through traffic.
My man of the match is a tie between both of the Kickers’ wingers, Nate Robinson and Brian Ownby. Robinson had a hand in both of the first two goals, scoring one and assisting on the other, while Ownby scored the second and the third. When these two are able to play together is when the Kickers are at their most dangerous, springing counterattacks and pinning teams back with their speed.
The only D.C. United player in this match was Andrew Dykstra, who had a typically sold game in the goal for the Kickers. I am still impressed by his distribution, with accurate throws reaching the edge of the center circle. I am also impressed by the Kickers’ ability to usually play the ball out of the back on the ground, rather than punting it upfield. They are able to keep possession well, recycling opportunities rather than giving the ball away.
The Kickers last home game of their epic stand is next Saturday at 7pm, when they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves.