Richmond, VA (WWBT)- The Richmond Kickers fell to a second consecutive home defeat Saturday evening as defending USLPRO champions Orlando City tallied two goals after a lengthy second half rain delay.
The home side came out confidently after their away victory over Charleston last weekend, but was unable to create any goal scoring opportunities in the opening stages. Striker Jason Yeisley was substituted in the 13th minute after pulling up with a hamstring injury. His replacement, David Bulow, linked up well with fellow striker Matthew Delicâte in the first half but any chances the Kickers mustered were either off-target or saved by Miguel Gallardo.
The match was delicately balanced as the teams left the field for half time, with Richmond edging the possession slightly. Bulow was replaced at the break by Edson Elcock, whose pace troubled the Orlando defense early in the second half, but the match was delayed in the 51st minute due to lightning. After a 40 minute delay, the match resumed and Orlando mounted their first spell of sustained pressure on the Richmond goal.
Orlando made a crucial double substitution before a corner kick in the 60th minute, bringing in Ian Fuller and Dennis Chin for Matt Luzunaris and John Rooney. Fuller's first touch was to play in the corner kick, which was headed over the line by defender Luke Boden to give Orlando the 1-0 lead.
The Kickers nearly equalized in the 70th minute following a corner kick of their own, but Gallardo was on hand again to deny Yomby William's goal-bound header. The Orlando keeper recorded seven saves on the evening. Any hope of a late Richmond comeback was dashed in the 89th minute when Chin raced through for a one-on-one with Kickers goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale. Chin poked the ball over the onrushing keeper, but his effort hit the post and trickled out of play. However, the referee had blown for a penalty against Pascale for making contact with Chin after the shot was taken. Anthony Pulis stepped up to convert the resulting penalty. The match finished 2-0 in Orlando's favor.
Despite the loss, Saturday marked a big night in Kickers' history. Former star player Mike Burke had his number 19 retired by the club at halftime. Burke spent eleven seasons with the Kickers from 2000-2010, scoring 38 goals and dishing out 61 assists in 275 appearances.
Richmond will hope to maintain their unbeaten away record when they travel to Orlando for a rematch with the defending USLPRO champions next Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m.