The Richmond Kickers played two games in two days this weekend and were, briefly, top of the table in USL Pro. The also set and then extended the USL Pro record for the number of games unbeaten, which now stands at 17 and counting.
The first game, against the lowly Rochester Rhinos, was the first this season in which Richmond was without any players from D.C. United. It was also a choppy affair in which the Kickers lacked crispness in the attacking third. A lovely side volley from midfielder Luke Vercollone put the Kickers up in the 65th minute, but the Rhinos drew even in the 90th minute and thought they had scored the winner in stoppage time. However, if you look at the replay, you can tell that the shot rattled the post and then dribbled across the face of goal, but never went in.
The second game, against the then-third-place Harrisburg City Islanders, featured the return of three D.C. United loanees: Michael Seaton, Conor Shanosky, and Andrew Dykstra. After a testy first half that was mostly devoid of chances of either team, the Kickers offense came alive in the second half. They forced a number of good saves from Nick Noble, whose luck ran out in the 76th minute. Stanley Nyazamba beat one defender and then was off to the races; once he got to the box, he was able to center the ball to Michael Seaton, who had the whole goal open in front of him and easily put it away. All three United players had good games, with Dykstra making four key saves to keep the clean sheet.
Richmond's stint at the top of the table only lasted about 24 hours, with Orlando City getting a draw against the Dayton Dutch Lions to pull ahead by one point; however, the Kickers still have a game in hand over Orlando. This Friday, the Kickers put their unbeaten streak on the line and start their toughest stretch of the year, 3 games in 6 days, against the Phoenix FC Wolves. After this stretch, they will finally return to the friendly confines of City Stadium.