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March to the Match: Richmond Kickers

WHO: Richmond Kickers, 26 points, 6-2-8, 3rd place in Eastern Conference

WHAT: Louisville City’s 15th USL match

WHEN: Saturday, July 4, 2015 at 7:30 PM EDT

WHERE: Slugger Field

WATCH: The game is on the 4th of July on what is shaping up to be a great summer night capped off by fireworks. We expect you to be there, but if you’re trapped under something heavy and can’t get to Slugger Field, here’s the live stream:

WHO, AGAIN? You remember. We’ve been talking about this all week. The Richmond Kickers, the bunch that thinks a cleat to the knee is more of a love-tap than career-ending contact. The Richmond Kickers, the team that thinks United Passions was an instant classic. The Richmond Kickers, the team that’s been permanently banned from Applebee’s for knocking the legs off all the tables (there are no other sit-down restaurants in Richmond whose tables aren’t bolted to the floor).

Richmond sits three points ahead of Louisville City, but that’s on two more “games” played, and I say “games” because those two “games” were only 45 minutes long thanks to weather. Their form over the last five games is D-D-L-D-D, which is satisfying. The Kickers have only scored two goals in those five games. They appear to be a fairly streaky team, having won four in a row in April. Their record since then, though, is 2 wins, 6 draws, and 2 losses in the league. Doesn’t get much more average than that.

From a player-personnel standpoint, we know what to expect, no matter who’s on the field: a lot of hacking. Or at least you’d think so. The Kickers have been whistled for 147 fouls in league play this season, while they’ve drawn 180. By comparison, Lou City’s been whistled 133 times and have drawn 128 fouls. George Davis IV leads the team in shots on the season with 30, while Matthew Delicate leads the team in goals with six on just 14 shots. Delicate hasn’t played nearly as many minutes this season as you might expect, however. Also be on the lookout for #17 Brian Ownby and #22 Jason Yeisley, who have 4 goals each. Ownby also leads the team in assists on the season with four.

The Kickers have tended to score early in games this season, and tend to shoot more in the first half than the second. It’ll be important for Louisville City to have their heads on a swivel early in the game before it gets into a rhythm.

This gets us to Mike Callahan, destroyer of cruciate ligaments. He’s played in 14 games and started eight. He’s taken five shots the entire season. He has as many shots on goal as he does yellow cards, two. He thinks Bud Light Lime is craft beer. He LOVES Nickelback. He’s genuinely concerned about Sepp Blatter’s general well-being. He probably uses Internet Explorer. He still uses “yo Mama” jokes. Let’s let him hear it on Saturday.

STATISTICAL COMPARISONS OF DUBIOUS VALIDITY:

Purple Heroes Jerkfaces
Goals For 26 22
Goals Against 14 15
Shots Bourbon Probably MixxTail
TSR 0.604 0.484
Corners 100 65

PRE-GAME TWEET GAME: If you haven’t been keeping up with #HateCallahan memes or #RichmondFacts on Twitter, you’ve been missing out. Granted, just about all of the #RichmondFacts tweets are mine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read them.

SO, WILL LOUISVILLE CITY WIN? It’d be nice. Control the midfield and I think City wins. Let’s do it.