RICHMOND – The New England Revolution II came to City Stadium Saturday night on a roll, with two straight road wins in USL League One play. Their hosts, the Richmond Kickers, barely registered as a speed bump as New England rolled out of town with its third straight road win, a 4-0 shutout of the Kickers.
It was only the second time Richmond could not muster a goal this season. The other time was a scoreless draw against South Georgia Tormenta FC on July 28.
New England got a pair of goals in each half. The first goal in each half was recorded as an own goal – both bad ricochets off Richmond players in front of the net – and a third score came off a one-on-one penalty kick by Nicolas Firmino inside the box.
New England’s final came from Damian Rivera off a pass from Mayele Malango. Richmond goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald got a hand on it but could not deflect it out of the net.
“We laid an egg tonight. I take responsibility,” said Richmond head coach Darren Sawatzky. “We weren’t prepared as a team to compete against a team that’s in form. Kudos to New England for pumping some goals on us. That’s tough, man. That one stings a little bit.”
Richmond had its share of chances, especially in the first half when a score could have changed the complexion of the match. But none of their shots could get through.
Sawatzky said his team is trying to build a winning culture.
“Good teams . . . and good cultures, they find ways to win games even when things don’t necessarily bounce your way,” Sawatzky said. “I felt it was a little unfortunate. I thought that if we could have nicked a goal in we could have shaken things up a little bit.”
The Kickers remain two points behind No. 2 Union Omaha in the USL League One standings, 22-20. The Greenville Triumph remain comfortably on top of the list with 31 points, while the Chattanooga Red Wolves SC are just two back of Richmond with 18 points.
Only the top two teams will make the league’s one-game playoff.
Saturday’s game was the first of a stretch of three games in a eight days for the Kickers. Richmond hosts Orlando City B at City Stadium tonight at 6:30 p.m. They finish the run at North Texas SC Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Dave Lawrence can be reached at email@example.com.