Richmond Kickers

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Richmond Kickers
Richmond Kickers Logo.png
Full name Richmond Kickers Soccer Club
Nickname(s) Kickers
Founded 1993
Stadium City Stadium
Richmond, Virginia
Ground Capacity 22,000
Owner Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club[1]
Head Coach Leigh Cowlishaw
League USL Pro
2013 Regular Season: 1st
Playoffs: Semi-Finals
Website Club home page
Current season

Richmond Kickers Soccer Club is an American professional soccer club based in Richmond, Virginia, United States. Founded in 1993, the team plays in the USL Professional Division (USL PRO), the third tier of the American soccer pyramid. Prior to USL PRO, the Kickers have had numerous spells throughout the second, third and fourth divisions of American soccer. The team has played in the third division of American soccer since 2006, and are among the oldest continuously operating professional soccer clubs in the United States.

The team's home field is the 22,000-seat City Stadium, where the club has played since 2003. The team's president is Richmond native, and former Kickers player, Rob Ukrop, who is also an heir to the area's Ukrop's Food Group chain. The team is coached by Englishman Leigh Cowlishaw, who has held coaching duties for the last 12 years.

The Kickers had two developmental teams: Richmond Kickers Future and Richmond Kickers Destiny. Future played in the men's USL Premier Development League until 2008, while the Destiny left the women's USL W-League after the 2009 season.

History[edit]

The Richmond Kickers were founded in 1993 and played their inaugural season in the United States Interregional Soccer League (USISL), which, at the time, represented the third division of the American soccer pyramid. The team originally played their home matches on the campus of the University of Richmond and targeted players specifically from Virginia.[2] After a poor season in 1994, the club self-relegated to the newly formed fourth-tier USISL Premier League, now known as the Premier Development League. During the 1995 season, the Kickers battled to a 15–3 winning season and went on to win the first ever USISL Premier League championship, defeating the now-defunct Cocoa Expos in the championship. That same season, Richmond won their first, and to date only, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship. The following year, Richmond chose to rejoin the third division, where they reached the USISL Select League championship, only to lose to the California Jaguars in the finals.

For the next nine seasons, Richmond played in the second tier of the American soccer pyramid, earning the Commissioner's Cup twice, in 1998 and 2001, as well as earning two conference championships. However, the club was never able to secure a division two league championship, their closest coming in 2005, when the Kickers fell to the Seattle Sounders in the 2005 USL First Division Championship. After the 2005 season, the Kickers ownership self-relegated the team back into the third division, citing possible financial problems for the club if they remained in the second tier.[3] Since joining the third division, the Kickers have had tremendous success, making it to at least the semifinals of the playoffs each season they have played in the third division. Additionally, the Kickers have won two third division premierships and two third division championships during their spell.

Richmond Kickers have not only experienced league success, but have been perennial contenders in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament. In the 2007 U.S. Open Cup, the Kickers defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy of the first division, Major League Soccer, 1–0 in the third round of competition.[4] The Kickers won their First Round match of the 2008 U.S. Open Cup, beating the Fredericksburg Gunners of the PDL with a final scoreline of 3–0.[5] The Kickers won their second round game over the Western Mass Pioneers 2–1 before being eliminated from the Cup in the third round by MLS side, and defending USOC champion, New England Revolution, 3–0. In the 2011 US Open Cup the Kickers made a cinderalla run, defeating MLS clubs Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City to reach the semi-finals, before falling to the Chicago Fire.

In September 2005, Rob Ukrop's #6 jersey was retired. He was a well-liked soccer player on and off of the field, and particularly notable since he is the son of the influential Ukrop's grocery store CEO Robert "Bobby" Ukrop.

On January 24, 2013, it was announced that the Kickers had signed a multi-year deal to become the USL Pro affiliate of D.C. United.[6]

Colors and badge[edit]

The Kickers primary colors are red and white, having been so since the beginning of the 2001 season.[7] Their kits are manufactured by adidas, as they have been since at least 2009.[8][9] In March 2012, the Kickers revealed a new logo to celebrate 20 years since their inception. Along with the new crest, the club also announced they would be using a third uniform with the colors from their first season in 1993, green and blue.[10] They also have a black kit they have used during the 2013 season.

Richmond Kickers spelled out in blue and red lettering respectively, with a soccer ball underneath.
Richmond Kickers original logo (1993–2011)

Stadium[edit]

Club Culture[edit]

Supporters[edit]

The Kickers official supporters group is the River City Red Army who occupy section O of City Stadium

James River Cup[edit]

The James River Cup was an annual competition held between the Richmond Kickers and the Virginia Beach Mariners (formerly Hampton Roads Mariners) which the team with the most points at the conclusion of all scheduled matches between the two teams would win. The Cup was held every year since 1996 with the exception of 1997 and 2001 when Virginia Beach did not field a team. In 2007, the Virginia Beach team was disbanded.

For the 2008 season, the James River Cup was contested between the Kickers' organization and the Hampton Roads Piranhas organization. The cup went to the organization that had the most points in games between their PDL and W-League teams. The series ended up tied 2–2–1, with the Piranhas winning the Cup on goal difference.

Winners[edit]

Broadcasting[edit]

Many USL matches, including matches from USL Pro, are broadcast on the USL YouTube page as of 2014. Previously, games were broadcast on USL Live.

From 2003 to 2004, Selecta 1320 AM (WVNZ) broadcast select Kickers matches in Spanish; in 2005 they broadcast all Kickers home matches.[11] However, Selecta 1320 AM does not broadcast Kickers matches now.

Roster[edit]

First team roster[edit]

As of March 28, 2013.[12]

No. Position Player Nation
0 Goalkeeper Romig, AndrewAndrew Romig      United States
1 Goalkeeper Taylor, RyanRyan Taylor      United States
2 Defender William, YombyYomby William      Cameroon
4 Midfielder Vercollone, LukeLuke Vercollone      United States
5 Midfielder Callahan, MichaelMichael Callahan      United States
7 Forward Delicâte, MatthewMatthew Delicâte      England
8 Defender Roberts, HughHugh Roberts      United States
9 Forward Hanley, TishanTishan Hanley      Saint Kitts and Nevis
11 Forward Davis IV, GeorgeGeorge Davis IV      United States
16 Forward Arbelaez, JuanJuan Arbelaez      Colombia
17 Forward Yeisley, JasonJason Yeisley      United States
18 Defender Lee, AlexAlex Lee      United States
20 Defender Hall, MatheauMatheau Hall      United States
23 Defender Görres, SaschaSascha Görres      Germany
25 Defender Kalungi, HenryHenry Kalungi      Uganda
27 Midfielder Spitz, ShayShay Spitz      New Zealand
28 Midfielder Asante, SamuelSamuel Asante      Ghana
29 Forward Seaton, MichaelMichael Seaton (on loan from D.C. United)     Jamaica
31 Goalkeeper Willis, JoeJoe Willis (on loan from D.C. United)     United States
32 Midfielder Moreland, LyndseyLyndsey Moreland      United States
36 Defender Basso, StephenStephen Basso      United States
00 Goalkeeper Pulisic, WilliamWilliam Pulisic      United States

Out on loan[edit]

As of March 28, 2013.[12]

No. Position Player Nation
3 Defender Johnson, ShaneShane Johnson (on loan to Wilmington Hammerheads)     United States

Reserves and academy roster[edit]

Further information: Richmond Kickers Academy

Club management[edit]

Front Office and Ownership
Position Staff
General Manager United States Shelley Sowers
Director of Soccer England Leigh Cowlishaw
Technical Director, Travel Programs Ukraine Ihor Dotsenko
Technical Director, Rec. Programs United States John Addison
Director of Financial Services United States Dreama Nunnally
Director of Operations United States Tish Schrock

Last updated: January 10, 2012
Source: Richmond Kickers Official Website

Coaching staff
Position Staff
Head Coach England Leigh Cowlishaw
Assistant Coach United States Ronnie Pascale
Technical Director Ukraine Ihor Dotsenko
Speed and Conditioning Coach United States Reed Kagan
Athletic Trainer United States Cherish Nash

Last updated: January 10, 2012
Source: Richmond Kickers Official Website

Head coaching history[edit]

Dates Name Notes
1993 United States Bobby Lennon
1994 Canada John Kerr, Sr.
1995–1996 England Dennis Viollet Led team to first and only U.S. Open Cup title and to USISL championship
1997 United States Frank Kohlenstein
1998–1999 Northern Ireland Colin Clarke
2000–present England Leigh Cowlishaw

Honors[edit]

Cup[edit]

League[edit]

  • A-League (Second Division)
    • Regular Season (1): 2001

Record[edit]

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League Regular Season Playoffs U.S. Open Cup Attendance
(reg. season)
1993 3 USISL 4th, Atlantic Division Divisional Semifinals Did Not Enter 2,433
1994 3 USISL 9th, Atlantic Division Did Not Qualify Did Not Enter 985
1994 N/A USISL Indoor 2nd, Northern Division Did Not Qualify Did Not Enter 985
1995 4 USISL Premier League 2nd, Eastern Division Champions Champions 1,109
1996 3 USISL Select League 2nd, North Atlantic Division Final Did Not Qualify 1,255
1997 2 USISL A-League 3rd, Atlantic Division Division Semifinals 3rd Round 1,925
1998 2 USISL A-League 1st, Atlantic Division Conference Semifinals Did Not Qualify 2,527
1999 2 USL A-League 2nd, Atlantic Division Second Round Did Not Qualify 2,488
2000 2 USL A-League 2nd, Atlantic Division Conference Semifinals 3rd round 2,192
2001 2 USL A-League 1st, Central Conference Quarterfinals Quarterfinals 2,436
2002 2 USL A-League 2nd, Southeast Division Final 3rd Round 2,431
2003 2 USL A-League 3rd, Southeast Division Did Not Qualify Did Not Qualify 2,273
2004 2 USL A-League 2nd, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Quarterfinals 2,333
2005 2 USL First Division 6th Final 4th Round 2,754
2006 3 USL Second Division 1st Champions 2nd Round 2,341
2007 3 USL Second Division 1st Final Quarterfinals 2,594
2008 3 USL Second Division 2nd Semifinals 3rd Round 2,519
2009 3 USL Second Division 2nd Champions 1st Round 2,874
2010 3 USL Second Division 2nd Final 3rd Round 2,044
2011 3 USL Pro 3rd, American Division Semifinals Semifinals 2,545
2012 3 USL Pro 4th 1st Round 3rd Round 2,433
2013 3 USL Pro 1st Semifinals 3rd Round 2,637

History vs. Major League Soccer[edit]

International Competition[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "KICKERS ANNOUNCE NEW OWNERSHIP GROUP". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Professional soccer comes to campus". The Collegian. 4 March 1993. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Kickers realign into USL2". RichmondKickers.com. 2005-10-25. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  4. ^ "Kickers oust LA Galaxy". RichmondKickers.com. 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  5. ^ "Kickers disarm Gunners in 3–0 win". RichmondKickers.com. 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  6. ^ "D.C. United, Richmond Kickers announce landmark affiliation". D.C. United. January 24, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Kickers Logo Narrative". richmondkickers.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Front of Jersey Sponsor Unveiled". richmondkickers.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Kickers Unveil 2009 Jersey Saturday". richmondkickers.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "'Richmond Kickers unveil new logo'". Potomac Soccer Wire. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  11. ^ "Kickers Expand Relationship With Hispanic Radio Station". richmondkickers.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Richmond Kickers: Official Roster". Richmond Kickers. richmondkickers.com. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]