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Penn FC faces Richmond Kickers in quick home turnaround

By Sebastian Oliveira, 07/08/18, 5:15PM EDT

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Rush Soccer's First Team extends its unbeaten streak to seven matches

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Penn FC looks to extend its unbeaten streak to seven matches and its surge up the USL Eastern Conference Standings against the Richmond Kickers on Monday, July 9 at FNB Field.

The match, the last at home until Sept. 8, will also be the second match in four days for Rush Soccer’s First Team. Penn FC previously leaped into the USL playoff picture after defeating in-state rival Bethlehem Steel FC 3-2 on July 6.

Penn FC and the Kickers will square up for the third time this season. Richmond edged the Blue and White in the first matchup, squeaking out a 3-2 win in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup back in May. Penn FC evened up the season series last month in league play -- beating the Kickers 2-1 on the end of its last homestand. The win over the Kickers was the second match of Penn FC’s six match unbeaten streak.

Alongside the unbeaten streak, Penn FC is enjoying a bright run of form by forward Lucky Mkosana. Since his return to the side in the 3-3 draw against Louisville City, where Mkosana notched a brace, the forward has been all skill -- scoring all six of his goals this season in the last four matches.

Mkosana’s form sparked belief and momentum in the rest of the attack, as the Blue and White scored 14 goals in their six match unbeaten run. Richard Menjivar is a facilitator in the Penn FC attack and leads the team with three assists.

Penn FC’s defense will to key in on Richmond’s forwards Brian Shriver and Heviel Cordovés. The attacking duo connected late in stoppage time to end Penn FC’s bid for a clean sheet on June 6. Shriver, who leads the team with five assists, served up the goal for Cordovés. The pair each have four goals on the season which leads the team.

Defender Kyle Venter -- who captained the Blue and White against Bethlehem -- knows the team will need to make adjustments to suppress the Kickers.

“Richmond presents different challenges than Bethlehem does,” Venter said. “Mainly for us, I think we need to look at finishing our chances. We had a lot of chances tonight, and we can make the game a lot easier on ourselves and vice versa. Defensively we need to be a lot tighter, we can’t be giving up two goals. We hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

Head Coach Raoul Voss knows Penn FC is riding high on momentum heading into the match against Richmond, but the team must maintain its focus to see through another result.

“The momentum has been good,” Voss said. “We haven’t been losing for the past six games and that’s been fine. But Monday is a short recovery and they have been rested. We have a very good opponent in Richmond so we’ve got to be sharp -- doing better than today (against Bethlehem).”

The match will kick off at 7 p.m. and gates will open at 5:30 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for Aaron’s Own It’s giveaway of 1,000 pairs of thunder sticks at the front gates. Tickets for the match are available at pennfc.com/tickets.