Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com
Thursday, August 16, 2012
RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers conclude the 2012 USL PRO regular season campaign this weekend with a pair of road matches against Antigua Barracuda FC on Friday and Sunday night. The two-game road swing will be critical in shaping the final USL PRO standings as five teams battle for the remaining three playoff berths.
This weekend’s matches conclude a late season three-game series against Antigua, with the two teams having last met at Richmond City Stadium on August 3 when the Kickers fired their way to a late 2-0 victory. Second-half substitute Gerson Dos Santos notched the decisive late goal two minutes after entering the match and added an assist on Matthew Delicâte’s 90th-minute tally to keep the Kickers neck and neck with Charleston, Wilmington, Harrisburg, Charlotte and Los Angeles in the standings.
The postseason race continued to heat up last weekend when the Kickers edged the Harrisburg City Islanders 2-1 at City Stadium, to leapfrog into fourth place in the table. Midfielder Stanley Nyazamba gave the Kickers the advantage before an unfortunate own goal leveled the score before the break. Defender William Yomby annulled the earlier mishap by nodding home the game-winner in the 78th minute to put the Kickers within three points of second place.
Meanwhile, Antigua played a two-game series against the Los Angeles Blues, denting their west coast rivals’ playoffs plans, and garnering three points on the weekend. Leading Antigua to its first win since July 1, Orlando Mitchum and Kerry Skepple scored second-half goals to rally from a halftime deficit, taking a 2-1 victory in the first leg at Titan Stadium. Antigua nearly earned a draw on the second leg when Tamarley Thomas drew a foul in the box but Blues goalkeeper Jose Miranda made a heroic save on Quinton Griffith’s resulting penalty kick to disappoint the visiting Barracudas, allowing the Blues to take a 1-0 win.
With the final week of regular season action underway, just nine points separate second-place Rochester from eighth-place Los Angeles. The 2012 USL PRO playoffs will include the top six finishers in the table, with five teams battling for the remaining three spots as Orlando, Rochester and Charleston each clinched postseason berths.
The playoffs will begin August 24-26 when the top two seeds receive a first-round bye. The semifinals, featuring the four remaining teams, will be played the following weekend with the 2012 USL PRO Championship set for the weekend of September 7-9. All playoff rounds will implement a single-game knockout format.