North Carolina FC vs Richmond Kickers
Saturday, August 19, 7:00 p.m. ET | City Stadium| Richmond, Virginia
Social Media: @NorthCarolinaFC
RICHMOND, Va. (August 17, 2023) –North Carolina FC visit the Richmond Kickers for the second time in a 10-day span on Saturday, August 19, at 7:00 p.m. ET at City Stadium. North Carolina enter the weekend on a nine-match unbeaten streak and sit first in the USL League One table for the second straight week.
North Carolina FC kept their unbeaten streak alive with a thrilling 2-1 comeback win at WakeMed Soccer Park against Greenville last Saturday night. North Carolina has proven comfortable playing from behind, having gained 16 points from losing positions in the USL League One this season, more than any other team. Garrett McLaughlin hit the perfect ball past the Triumph keeper to equalize the match early in the second half. Two minutes later North Carolina FC took the lead on a brilliant finish by Louis Perez, his seventh goal of the season, for what would prove to be the match winner.
North Carolina have scored in their last nine matches, netting 19 goals in that span. NCFC is third in goals (36) and second in shots (304) in the league for the season and has an 80% passing percentage. North Carolina will look to avenge a disappointing draw that saw Richmond equalize in the final minute of stoppage time last week.
Scouting the Richmond Kickers
North Carolina and the Kickers will face each other for the third time this season, as NCFC took the first match up, 3-2, at home in May and playing to a 2-2 draw just 10 days ago. Richmond is on a nine-match winless streak since July 1, dropping to ninth in the league table.
Richmond’s strong offensive is led by Emiliano Terzaghi who is third in goals with 10 and tied for 5th in shots (57). Nil Vinyals is second in chances created with 48 and Nathan Anune leads the league in crosses with 95. They are first in passes completed with 9,874 and tied for first in passing accuracy at 82%. The Kickers are also tied for fourth in clean sheets with six. Although the Kickers have dropped to 9th in the league, they will use their experience and relentlessness to give them a playoff push.
Players to Watch
North Carolina FC – Midfielder Louis Perez
Louis Perez has been a standout performer for North Carolina. His goal on Saturday proved to be the game winner against Greenville. Perez has become an honoree on the USL League One Team of the Week for the 8th time this season. He has seven goals and one assist on the season. The consistent effort and precision that Perez showcases make him a threat in the box, and on free kicks.
Richmond Kickers – Midfielder Nil Vinyals
The three-time USL League 2023 Team of the Week honoree is a key part to the Kickers offense. Vinyals is 2nd in chances created (1417), and 5th in crosses with 95, making him the perfect asset to assist league leaders such as Terzaghi. The assist from the corner in their match against Chattanooga marked Vinyals second-straight match with an assist from the corner. It was also his third assist of the season which tied him for the team lead. The strong team mindset of Vinyals sets him apart and gives him the mentality to put the Kickers in the position for a playoff opportunity.
North Carolina FC will return home to WakeMed Soccer Park to take on the Colorado Hailstorm on Saturday, August 26th, with a 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff. The match will stream on ESPN+ and @NorthCarolinaFC will provide social media updates.