Fatigued Blues Fall 1-0 in Richmond
Show tenacity in third road game in six-days
Courtesy of Los Angeles Blues
RICHMOND, Va. – The Blues dropped a 1-0 decision away to a well rested Richmond Kickers side on Tuesday, despite a stingy performance in their third road match in six days. While Blues attacker Israel Sesay sent a header off the crossbar in the first half, fatigue started to set in for the visitors after the break and they were unable to recover from Ryan Heins’ 66th minute tally.
The Kickers began on the front foot, mounting numerous attacks in the opposing half throughout the opening stages, but the Blues’ disciplined defending saw Richmond get caught in the offside trap on several occasions.
Matthew Delicâte nearly gave the hosts the lead in the 11th minute when he latched on to Christopher Agorsor’s through ball, his shot being blocked as it appeared headed for the empty net. Michael Callahan was the first Richmond player to put a shot on target, but his long-range effort in the 14th minute deflected straight into goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh’s arms.
The Blues turned defense into offense with a quick counterattack just before the half-hour mark, but Henry Kalungi did well to prevent striker Matt Fondy from going one-on-one with Richmond shot-stopper Ronnie Pascale. The Kickers surged back into the Blues’ half and Heins forced a save from Abedzadeh, followed by an Agorsor effort that was also denied by the Iranian netminder.
Both sides made multiple substitutions in the early stages of the second half, and the 58th minute introduction of Edson Elcock would prove crucial for the Kickers. Elcock’s pace was too much for the travel-weary Blues defense, as the midfielder’s surging run to the byline led to the day’s only goal.
Elcock gathered the ball on the flank and raced past a couple of opposition players before sending a low cross toward the penalty spot. Two Kickers were unable to connect, but it fell kindly for Heins, who placed his shot in the upper corner of the net.
The Blues nearly drew level in the 77th minute, Jason Yeisley fouling Irving Garcia just outside the penalty area and the 24-year-old taking the free-kick himself, only to see it sail just wide of the upright. It would be the final dangerous opportunity of the match, as Richmond held on for a victory by the slimmest of margins.
The Kickers return to action on July 7, as they travel to take on the Wilmington Hammerheads at Legion Stadium. Meanwhile, the Blues will return home to Fullerton’s Titan Stadium to take on defending USL PRO champions and current league leaders Orlando City S.C. this coming Friday and Sunday, July 6 and July 8.
U.S. Women’s National Team star Abby Wambach will be at Fullerton’s Titan Stadium on Sunday for a historic day of soccer in Orange County. For $10, fans will be able to see the Blues’ W-League sister club, the 10-0-1 Pali Blues, take on the Colorado Rapids Women (noon), with an Olympic Send-Off Ceremony being held for Wambach either at halftime or after the match, followed by the men’s USL PRO clash with Orlando (5 p.m.).
Friday will also feature a doubleheader at Titan Stadium, with the Pali Blues taking on the Colorado Rush (3 p.m.) and the USL PRO Blues battling Orlando (7.30 p.m.) on $3 Beer Night. Tickets for both Friday and Sunday may be purchased by calling 714-738-8011 or by visiting www.labluesprosoccer.com.