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Valor Game Preview: Philly Comes To Washington

Jon Stark
Thursday April 20, 2017

After an early bye, the boys in red, white and blue are ready to get back to business. The Soul (1-0) are coming to town and will square off against the Valor (1-0) 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22nd at Verizon Center. The game will broadcast live on Monumental Sports Network. Only one will remain undefeated.

This will continue to be a season of first's as Washington and Philadelphia meet for the first time. Coming off a week of rest and still pumped from that big win in Week 1, there's no doubt the Valor will be ready to roll. The Soul played the Tampa Bay Storm last week, a close game where fullback/linebacker Mykel Benson finished with 17 carries, 4th most in AFL history and the most in any game in the last five years. The defending ArenaBowl Champs won 56-52.
Much like the Valor's first game, this one will be lit, Jimmy "The Commissioner" Gordon won't be turning on the bat signal this weekend. With one rushing TD and three solo tackles in the last game, there's a good chance we might see more. 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Tracy Belton is also gonna bring the pressure to Philly's offense. Belton, who played for the Soul last season, came up big against Baltimore in Week 1, a stat line of five solo tackles, four assists and two interceptions sat at the top of Washington's defensive column.
Could we see more carries from Mykel Benson? It's possible but maybe not to the tune of 17. Philadelphia's Head Coach Clint Dolezel will be looking to exploit whatever weakness he finds, either on the ground or in the air, so expect some deep passes from quarterback Dan Raudabaugh too. The Soul has quite the wide receiver corps highlighted by Darius Reynolds and 7-year veteran Sean Kauleinamoku. This will be SK's first trip to Verizon Center, the speedy WR only put up 49 yards last week, last season averaging about two touchdowns and 80 yards per game. Speaking of pass catchers, the Valor's Mike Washington, Superman himself, should make another appearance in the end zone.

Continuing with their schedule of promotional games, and if you haven't figured it out by now, it's Superhero Night at Verizon Center. The first 200 kids in the door get a cape, you can pick them up outside of Section 108! If you're active on social media you'll see the Soul and Valor showing off their own superheroes leading up to this weekend. Oh and if you get a chance, check out @ValorHour on Twitter, they're the #1 Washington Valor Podcast in the Universe. I had the honor of stopping by as their FIRST. GUEST. EVER. this week. They also drop a little preview of this week's Valor/Soul 

Jon studied Business Management at the University of Pittsburgh and is originally from Maryland. An avid DMV sports fan, he often attends Capitals, Orioles, Wizards and Redskins games. Now a Washington Valor season plan holder and columnist for ArenaFan, he`ll be at every home game covering the team. He spends his free time with friends and family and freelancing graphic design projects. You can follow Jon on Twitter @5FIFTY3
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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