May 8, 2012

Kickers in USL Action Saturday Against Harrisburg

Richmond SPCA Paws on the Pitch Night at City Stadium, 7pm

RICHMOND, VA – (Tuesday, May 8, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers return to Richmond City Stadium to host the Harrisburg City Islanders and Richmond SPCA Paws on the Pitch Night this Saturday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m.

The Kickers hold a 9-3-5 record over the City Islanders, having last met on June 17, 2011 at City Stadium for a lively affair that saw 25 shots on goal.  The Kickers were stopped three times by the crossbar before eventually succumbing to a 1-0 loss after allowing the lone goal of the match during first half stoppage time.  The two clubs battled to a 1-1 draw in Harrisburg early in 2011 and meet again this weekend for the first time during the 2012 campaign.

Last time out, Kickers midfielder David Bulow converted a stoppage time penalty kick to earn a point on the road in a 1-1 draw against the Dayton Dutch Lions last Saturday night.  Trailing for 90 minutes, the Kickers conceded a goal in the second minute when forward Gibson Bardsley connected on a Joel DeLass cross. 

“The Dayton game was a major disappointment for all concerned, but although we did not get the result we needed, all credit to the team for digging deep and battling until the dying minutes to earn the draw,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Head Coach and Director of Soccer.  “We have outshot every opponent we have faced so far but have yet to convert our chances into goals. From past experience, Kickers teams have found success from having multiple players contribute to scoring goals. This week will be spent with that one focus in mind as we look to kick start the season.”

Meanwhile, the City Islanders dropped a 2-1 decision to the Charlotte Eagles during their regular season home opener last Friday.  A one hour, 22-minute lightning delay gave way to a back-and-forth affair that saw Harrisburg squander the lead, conceding two Eagles goals in a span of seven minutes.

Richmond and Harrisburg are scheduled to meet twice more this season, with the Kickers making the trek to Skyline Sports Complex on Friday, June 1 before returning to City Stadium to close out the Kickers home season on Saturday, August 11.

Players to Watch
Kickers:  Newcomer Christopher Agorsor (#15) recently signed with the Kickers after stints with the Philadelphia Union and Real Salt Lake.  Following a prolific high school career, the speedy forward made 20 appearances at the University of Virginia before training with Manchester United and CD Nacional in Portugal.  Midfielder David Bulow (#10) notched his first goal of the season last weekend, converting a stoppage time penalty kick to level the score for the Kickers against the Dayton Dutch Lions.  The fan favorite finished second on the team in scoring in 2011 with 10 goals and three assists for 23 points overall.  Rookie defender Shane Johnson (#3) has made an immediate impact with the starting lineup out of Longwood University, starting and playing every minute of all five matches this season.  A native of Ashburn, Virginia, Johnson notched three goals and six assists, while contributing to 17 shutouts in 71 appearances during his collegiate career.

City Islanders:  In his sophomore season with the City Islanders, former New York Red Bulls midfielder Sainey Tourey (#20) is picking up where he left off, adding an assist during Harrisburg’s 2-1 loss to Charlotte after leading the team in 2011 with six assists.  Also looking to add speed and firepower is newcomer Yann Erka (#7).  Signing with Harrisburg just prior to the 2012 season, the Ivory Coast native spent the 2011 campaign with the French Ligue 2 side Châteauroux.  Veteran defender Dustin Bixler (#3) returns for his eighth season and will once again anchor the Harrisburg back line that allowed just 30 goals and posted six shutouts en route to the USL PRO finals last season.

Richmond SPCA Paws on the Pitch Night
The Richmond Kickers are proud to partner with the Richmond SPCA for the fifth annual Paws on the Pitch Night when they host the Harrisburg City Islanders this Saturday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m.  Fans are encouraged to bring their four-legged companions along with them to enjoy pet-friendly vendors, the SPCA Tail Wag’n adoption vehicle and professional soccer at Richmond City Stadium. 

The evening benefits Central Virginia’s oldest non-profit, no-kill humane organization dedicated to the principle that every life is precious.  As a national leader in humane education and care, the Richmond SPCA is aggressively tackling the problem of pet overpopulation through adoption, rehabilitation and spay/neuter.  The organization saves the lives of more than 3,000 homeless animals each year and cares for approximately 350 cats and dogs daily.

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