Apr 12, 2012

USL Action: Kickers battle Charleston on USLNation.com

KICKERS TRAVEL TO CHARLESTON SATURDAY
20th Anniversary Re-Match Kicks Off at 7:30 p.m. on USLNation.com

RICHMOND, VA – (Thursday, April 12, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers and the Charleston Battery swap home field advantage this Saturday, April 14, as they conclude their home-and-away 20th Anniversary derby at 7:30 p.m.  The match will be broadcast live from Blackbaud Stadium on USLNation.com.  Showcasing retro 1993 uniforms, the Kickers will wear a custom green and blue strip while the Battery will wear their black and white striped vintage kit, inspired by the clubs’ first seasons. 

Saturday’s re-match marks the 46th meeting between the two clubs over the last 20 years, with Charleston narrowly leading the all-time series record with 21 wins, 20 losses and four draws.  Despite combining for six league Championship titles (Charleston 1996, 2003, 2010; Richmond 1995, 2006, 2009), the two sides have only met in one high-stakes match, with the Battery stripping the Kickers of the USL Second Division crown in a heated 2-1 affair on August 28, 2010.  

Rivals since 1993, Richmond and Charleston, alongside fellow USL PRO side Charlotte Eagles are the longest, continuously operating professional soccer clubs in the country.  The Kickers first-ever league match against the Battery was on May 1, 1993 at Stoney Field in downtown Charleston.  The Battery claimed the 2-1 victory behind goals from Mario Lone and Nigel James, with Cowlishaw notching the lone goal for the Kickers. 

Most recently, the two long-time rivals opened their 20th Anniversary seasons last Saturday at Richmond City Stadium with the home side dropping a 2-1 decision in front of a record-setting crowd of over 5,000 fans. 

Charleston claimed the lead late in the first half when defender John Wilson beat four Kickers players on a surging run to the touchline before lofting a ball into the box for Jose Cuevas. The midfielder’s looping header beat Richmond goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale and nestled into the far corner for 1-0.  Minutes later, Kickers midfielder Stanley Nyazamba leveled the score when he collected a pass from Matthew Delic√Ęte before losing his marker and curling a shot past Kevin Klasilia into the side netting in first half stoppage time.  The Battery scored the game-winner amid controversy in the 67th minute, when striker Salieu Bundu appeared to dribble the ball over the end line for a Richmond goal kick, but no call was made and Bundu was able to cross into the box for an onrushing Cuevas, who made no mistake from six yards out.

Team of the Week
Midfielder Stanley Nyazamba represented the Kickers on this week’s USL PRO Team of the Week following his valiant attack and lone goal during last week’s affair.  Charleston forward Jose Cuevas was named Player of the Week after netting both goals for his side while defender Colin Falvey was also honored for his defensive efforts.

Next Home Game
The Kickers return to Richmond City Stadium on Saturday, April 21 to host the defending USL PRO Champions Orlando City at 7:00 p.m.  The Kickers will celebrate the career of Mike Burke, one of the greatest players in their 20-year history, by providing free replica t-shirts, courtesy of Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. to the first 1,000 fans through the gate.  Avoid lines at the gate and click and print tickets in advance at RichmondKickers.com.