#Lexington

Lexington look to rock Richmond back to Virginia

The Boys in Green return home from Knoxville to Toyota Stadium for a two-match home stand kicking off against a recent foe in the Richmond Kickers. Lexington SC (6-6-11, 24 points) comes home after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to rival One Knox, a match that saw Coach Sam Stockley practically throw every attacking player he could at the Knoxville 10-man side but could not break through. Richmond comes having dropped 2 straight matches and riding an 8 match-winless streak – having last won way back on July 1st against Chattanooga.

The Kickers desperately need a win as their once hopeful playoff expectations have faded each match week with their winless streak, going 0-2-3 in their last 5. The reigning regular season champions of USL1 are also trying to avoid becoming the first-ever USL1 side to miss the playoffs after finishing top of the league the previous season; North Texas did miss the playoffs in 2020, but the pandemic shortened the season and made the playoffs just the final between the top 2, while North Texas finished in 3rd. The Kickers will be looking to get back on track in trying to avoid going over 2 months without a win, so do not expect a gimmie game for Lexington – are there any gimmie games in the USL1 anyway? However, they will likely need to find some of that magic they had when their last game with Toyota saw them score 2 quick goals within the first 15 minutes of a knuckleball and a beauty of a free kick from Nil Vinyals. The Roos have the offense – leading the league in possession and 3rd in accurate passes – to get back in the win column, especially with Terzaghi leading the way with 10 goals (tied for 3rd in the league), but can the rest of the team finally help out Terzaghi? 

Lexington is coming into this match looking to brush off losing the barrel in Knoxville and to continue their revenge tour against the rest of the league after their slow start to the season. Hopefully, Ates Diouf will be back from the injury he picked up in the first half against Fuego, as his absence was deeply missed in the Lexington attack last match, but Lexington (like Richmond) needs to show that they are a complete team that can put in a full 90 dominate performance that lives up to the potential this roster has – which I fully believe they can do against the Kickers. Coach Stockley assembled a squad of young, talented players who thrive on counter-attacking football and can score in bunches. This ability to score in bunches as the club continues to raise the goals per match charts to 7th with 1.4. Lastly, it has to be noted that Lexington only lost to Knoxville by 1 goal – an unstoppable curly one – in a game that they dominated offensively after winning 2 straight matches. Lexington is the side with the momentum heading into tomorrow night; the question is, can they keep it in front of the home crowd like they have for most of the year?

The key to success for both squads will come down to their backlines and the likely keeper battle of Knight vs. Fitzgerald. As noted above, Lexington dominated Knoxville in all offensive categories (largely because Knox parked the bus in the 2nd half – which is what any team would do). Still, they could not find the equalizer because of One Knox keeper Sean Lewis. If Fitzgerald can perform similarly for the Kickers, then it could be another long night for Lexington. However, Amal Knight of Lexington must be noticed because he may have allowed 1 goal versus Knox, but he did match Lewis with 3 saves. Both keepers will be crucial in snuffing out the 2 dangerous attacks – so it will simply come down to which one blinks first.

Players to Watch

Lexington SC

Nico Brown – the sometimes overlooked member of the Lexington attacking; Brown has been just as dangerous as Diouf, scoring just 1 less goal in open play. He was a menace against Knoxville with his speed and 2 shots on target. I expect Richmond to be more worried about Diouf, which could lead to Nico getting just the right amount of space he needs to make Richmond regret overlooking him.

Richmond Kickers

Nil Vinyals – the man who got a brace against Lexington last time is also the Kicker’s best overall attacking threat and will likely be looking to continue his luck against Lexington when his club desperately needs it. Can he catch lightning in a bottle again? 

Photo by Lexington Sporting Club 

Author

  • Jon Hunt

    Jon Hunt is an avid and enthusiastic soccer podcast host. Originally from the Detroit area, he now resides in central Kentucky. Jon brings passion and his love of soccer history to the Bluegrass Soccer Cast community. His ultimate goal is to continue the growth of soccer in America with a focus of the thriving soccer scene in Kentucky. #ProRelForUSA

Lexington look to rock Richmond back to Virginia

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