July 31, 2013 - United Soccer League (USL) - Charlotte Eagles
Charlotte, NC - The Charlotte Eagles are set to host the league-leaders Richmond Kickers to cap off a five-game homestand on Friday, August 2nd at 7 pm. The Kickers are coming into Friday's game with a 21-game unbeaten streak, 12-0-9 and 45 points. Charlotte had it's 11-game unbeaten streak snapped against Phoenix FC on Saturday, July 27th and currently sits in 5th place in the USL PRO Standings.
The win on Saturday was the first road win in franchise history for the first-year Wolves of Phoenix FC. Robert Paul scored twice for the Wolves who also received goals from Donald Toia and Cameron Vickers. Wolves goalkeeper Neal Kitson recorded the shutout after making nine saves on 14 Eagles shots in the second half. The loss was only the second defeat for the Eagles at home this season and only their third defeat all season.
Richmond comes into Friday's contest after battling the VSI Tampa Bay FC to a scoreless draw on Sunday, July 28th in front of 2,537 fans at City Stadium. Kickers goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, on loan from DC United, recorded his league leading eighth shutout of the season. Dyksra is one of six players on loan to the Kickers from Major League Soccer's DC United. Defender Taylor Kemp, Midfielders Joseph Ngwenya and Connor Shanosky and Forwards Michael Seaton and Cody Townsend have all joined the Kickers this season. Richmond also has another Major League Soccer player on loan; Brian Ownby is spending the season with Richmond from the Houston Dynamo.
The Kickers are making the most of the players they have received from the MLS clubs as Ngwenya is leading the team in scoring with seven goals and three assists. Ownby is second in scoring with five goals and five assists while Seaton has added five goals and one assist for Richmond.
The 21-year rivals will meet for the second time this season after playing to a thrilling 3-3 draw in Richmond on Saturday, May 4th. The Kickers used goals from Brian Ownby and Stanley Nyazamba to take an early advantage, but Charlotte rallied back with goals from Drew Yates and Stefan Smith in the second half to level the match. Shaun Francis scored what looked to be the game winner in the 90th minute on a volley from the top of the penalty area. Connor Shanosky scored with seconds remaining in stoppage time to earn a point for the hosts.
Richmond will travel to Charleston following Friday's matchup with the Eagles. Charlotte will travel to Harrisburg on Wednesday, August 7th before returning home for Camper Appreciation Night on August 10th, as they host Antigua Barracuda FC in the regular season home finale.
Tickets for Friday's match can be purchased at www.CharlotteEagles.com