6.1 NTSCvRichmond Preview
Toronto FC II/Lucas Kschischang

North Texas SC vs Richmond Kickers Match Preview | 6.1.19

FRISCO— First place North Texas SC looks to bounce back from its first USL League One defeat against fourth place Richmond Kickers on Saturday, June 1 at 6 PM at City Stadium in Richmond, VA. As always, the match will be streaming on ESPN+.

Current Form
North Texas tasted defeat in a competitive game for the very first time on Wednesday as it fell 3-2 to Toronto FC II at BMO Training Ground in Ontario. Despite the loss, North Texas showed fight and determination to comeback from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the 56th minute through Ronaldo Damus. However, Eric Quill’s men were unable to maintain their fightback and eventually conceded a third goal in the 77th minute which sealed their first USL League One loss in club history. Although no points were gained on Wednesday, North Texas’ two goals meant that the club has found the net at least twice in each of its last four games.

The Opponent
Richmond’s season has been an up and down story thus far. The Kicker’s went winless in their first three games of the season but turned it around with a four-game unbeaten streak that included three shutout victories. Since that impressive run, however, David Bulow’s team have lost two successive games including a 3-2 defeat to bottom of the table Orlando City B. Saturday’s game will pit North Texas’ league-best offense which is averaging over two goals per game against the Kickers’ stern defense which has registered four clean sheets so far this season—second most in the league.

Players to Watch
Ronaldo Damus is the player to watch for North Texas on Wednesday night. The Haitian forward has scored three goals in his last four games and had his best performance of the season in the club’s 3-2 defeat to Toronto in which he scored provided an assist, scored an equalizing goal and made four key passes. Although he’s been lining up as a right winger in Eric Quill’s 4-3-3 system, Damus plays more as an inside forward alongside Ricardo Pepi. The pair have scored five of the team’s last eight goals and will look to continue their fruitful strike partnership against Richmond on Saturday.

Richmond’s player to watch is Joe Gallardo. The forward is USL League One’s second leading scorer with four goals in his nine appearances—just two goals behind Ricardo Pepi. Although he’s the club’s leading scorer with twice as many goals as the next closest player, Gallardo’s contribution isn’t limited to the score sheet. The former U.S. youth international is his team’s most creative player with 13 chances created so far this season, four more than any other Kicker. Playing in the #10 position just behind forward Dennis Chin, Gallardo is instrumental to Richmond’s attack and is the player to watch for his team on Saturday.