The first team had an unfortunate start to the season after getting a red card early in the game, forcing them to play a man down for almost the entirety of the game. The Kickers gave up a goal in the fifth minute, but would tie the score at 1-1 a short while later with an impressive team goal ending with Brian Morris tapping in from five yards away. Costly defensive mistakes and an awkward bounce canceled out any great possession the Kickers would enjoy, and they were down 3-1 in the middle of the second half. The Kickers would get a few more chances and ultimately score a PK in the 90th minute, but it wasn’t enough, and would go on to lose 3-2.
As is tradition, the Kickers looked a bit like a drunk mongoose in their first game of the season. While all the instincts were there, but all of the motions seemed discombobulated and a little too fast or too slow. Despite this, a frenetic first half yielded plenty of opportunities for the Kickers to go up one, two or a multitude of goals, notably a David Anderson one on one opportunity against the goalie which he dragged wide. While the opportunities for Richmond County were few and far between, they did pull a few good saves from newcomer Mohammed Keita, who had a commanding if uneventful performance between the sticks. With the game seemingly heading for a 0-0 tie at half time, a nifty corner lead to the ball coming to the top of the box where David Anderson's dink back into the box lead to Kahn hitting the top net with a great finish.
The second half yielded a much more composed performance from the Kickers with the team seeming to grow into the game... besides finishing. Chances poured in with Gio LoMonaco, Antonio Ruiz, Diego Cholula and more creating solid chances to no avail. The scoring was wrapped up with a bit of nifty passing leading to Dennis Kachintsev finding an opportunity to burst into the box and eek out a shot that sneaked into the bottom corner.
Things started a little shaky for the Kickers as Oscar Villada took the position between the pipes playing as the goal keeper. Celtic scored in the 10th minute and put a lot of pressure on the Kickers, Celtic missed two open goal scoring opportunities and one that seemed to be punched out of the net by a Kicker defender.
Khouri Mullings brought things all even on a smooth pass by Aaron in the 25th minute. Khouri had a few more goal scoring opportunities to give the Kickers the lead but that would but those would to wait for the second half. In the second half, the Kickers settled things down, the defense lead by the Big Mikes and Chris Smith they controlled the back line. The midfield of Aaron, Oscar and Ardian moved the ball and created several opportunities. The real difference maker was the appearance of (MVP) Tim Peterson in Goal. Tim made a few big saves to keep Celtic to one goal. Then in the 65th minute, Mark Bau's cross was headed home by Ardian Hasko for the go ahead goal. To finish things off, Stefan Tauber played a little one two with Ardian (MHM) and Ardian finished the scoring for the Kickers in the 85th minute.
The season literally began as it ended last season, with Kickers Legends playing against Doxa Legends, and again, despite pressing for the first 20 minutes, Doxa took the lead with their first shot on goal; the impressive Doxa striker managing to find the top right corner of the net from the far left side of the field, from what looked an impossible angle. What we did different from last season yesterday, was to come back positively immediately from the kick-off, and Dylan Dodd's quick running and one-two passes found himself straight through into the box for the equalizer.
With the score tied 1-1, Kickers continued to press for the winner, and it finally came from our debutant AJ Berlowitz, blasting past the keeper from the top of the box on receiving a nice pass. AJ then provided the assist, off a great passing buildup on the right, for the confirmation goal, Wale tapping in from about six feet with only the goalie to beat.
After taking the two goal lead, of course, we would make it harder and more exciting than necessary by conceding a soft goal with 10 minutes to go, with the marauding Doxa strikers always appearing more likely to equalize than we looked to increasing the lead. Final score of 3-2, avenging for last season's 0-1 loss.