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Match Preview: Forward Madison vs Richmond Kickers

September 27, 2022 - United Soccer League One (USL1) - Forward Madison FC News Release

Forward Madison FC will host the Richmond Kickers at Breese Stevens Field on Saturday, October 8th at 7:00 pm CT. The Flamingos' match will take place in Madison, Wisconsin, and the theme of the match is Fan Appreciation Night! The 'Mingos have played well against the Kickers this year, as they're 2-0-0 against them. The last match between these two squads resulted in a 2-1 win for FMFC, thanks to a 82nd minute goal by Matheus Cassini.

The 'Gos head into the USL League One match against the Kickers following a 0-1 loss at home against South Georgia Tormenta FC on September 24th. Looking ahead, Forward Madison will conclude its 2022 season with a match against FC Tucson on October 15th at 9:00 pm CT.

Richmond travels to Wisconsin after tying against Central Valley Fuego FC on September 24th. Before getting to Madison, the Kickers will take on Tormenta on October 1st. After they take on FMFC, they'll conclude their regular season by taking on the Greenville Triumph on October 15th.

Coaches and USL League One 2022 Records:

Forward Madison FC (7-11-10)

Head Coach: Matt Glaeser

Richmond Kickers (13-7-7)

Head Coach: Darren Sawatzky

Key Players to Watch:

Forward Madison

Nazeem Bartman: The South African native has been one of the best on the squad at scoring on his shots and creating chances all season. Bartman ranks fourth on the club in shots (23), fifth in shots on target (7), and second in goals (5). The 29-year-old has also created 16 chances on the season. Expect Bartman to take some quality shots on goal against a Richmond squad that has done an exceptional job of protecting their goal this year.

Cyrus Rad: Rad has been one of the biggest surprises of the season. The 23-year-old came into the season with an unclear defensive role, however he quickly solidified himself as the team's starting left back. The Durham, North Carolina native has not only been effective defensively, but he's also created the most chances of any defender on the club (17) and he ranks second in assists (4). Expect Rad to continue to be solid on the backline and help create chances against an impressive Richmond defense.

Matheus Cassini: The 26-year-old had arguably one of his best matches of the season last time the 'Mingos played Richmond. In that match, the 'Gos were trailing 1-0 in the 78th minute when Cassini provided a beautiful assist to Jeremiah Streng to tie the match up. Just minutes later, a Cyrus Rad cross led to the Cassini game-winning header! After missing the last FMFC match with a red card, expect the Brazilian native to be focused and ready to create chances.

Key Match Up:

Forward Madison FC Goalkeeper vs. Richmond Kickers Strikers

The key match up for this contest is the Forward Madison FC goalkeeper of Raiko Arozarena versus the Richmond Kickers strikers of Emiliano Terzaghi, Jonathan Bolanos, Ethan Bryant, Matthew Bentley, and Ethan Vanacore-Decker. Arozarena wasn't with Forward Madison last time these squads matched up, which should make this an exciting matchup. On the other hand, the Kickers' strikers have been some of the best in the league, Terzaghi leads the league in goals with 16, while Bolanos and Bentley have each contributed six goals on the year. This matchup should be close, as Arozarena will be facing off against arguably the best attacking team in the league. The Kickers currently lead the league in goals (51) and they have the best shot conversion rate in the league at 22%. Arozarena will need to be focused and on his game if he wants to be able to shut down the Richmond attack.

On the other side of the matchup, Forward Madison's defense has improved significantly since Arozarena joined the Pink and Blue. Before Arozarena was loaned to FMFC, the 'Mingos only had one clean sheet on the year. Now, thanks to the Cuban goalie, the 'Gos have a total of five clean sheets. While he's only played in 13 games, Arozarena has taken the league by storm. The 25-year-old already ranks 11th in the league in saves (32), while he ranks 7th in clean sheets (4). Arozarena will need help from the rest of the FMFC defense if he hopes to log a clean sheet against this top-ranked Kickers' attacking squad. Expect this matchup to come down to the final moments.

Keys to the Match:

Control Possession - Forward Madison wasn't able to lead in possession in the first match against Richmond, but they did turn it around in the second match as they controlled possession 56-44. While they won both matches, Forward Madison has had an easier time winning matches when they controlled possession for a majority of the game. Expect coach Matt Glaeser to have his team ready to dominate the possession numbers on Saturday.

Record Set Pieces - In the first match against Richmond, FMFC struggled to record set pieces as they only logged one corner the entire match. While Forward Madison did improve on that in the second match against the Kickers, there's still work to be done. The Flamingos will need to apply pressure offensively in order to do a better job of recording quality set pieces.

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