Richmond Kickers

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Richmond Kickers
Richmond Kickers Logo.svg
Full nameRichmond Kickers Soccer Club
Nickname(s)Red Army
Founded1993 (25 years ago) (1993)
StadiumCity Stadium
Richmond, Virginia
Capacity22,611 (can be limited to 9,000)[1][2]
OwnerRichmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club[3]
Head CoachDavid Bulow
LeagueUSL League One
201815th, Eastern Conference
Playoffs: DNQ
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The Richmond Kickers are an American professional soccer club based in Richmond, Virginia. Founded in 1993, the Kickers are one of the oldest continuously run professional soccer clubs in the United States, tied with the Charleston Battery.[4] After following USL Pro into the second division for 2017 and 2018, the Kickers will return to the third tier of American soccer in 2019 as a founding member of USL League One.[5]

The team's home field is the 22,000-seat City Stadium, where the club has played since 1995. The president of the team's board of directors is Rob Ukrop, a Richmond native and former Kickers player, who is also an heir to the area's Ukrop's Food Group chain. The team is coached by former player David Bulow, who replaced Leigh Cowlishaw in 2018.

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.[6] 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.[7] Since joining the third division, the Kickers have had tremendous success, making it to at least the playoff semifinals 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.

In September 2005, the club retired Rob Ukrop's #6 jersey. Ukrop played for the inaugural 1993 Kickers and the 1995 U.S. Open Cup team, joined the New England Revolution at the launch of Major League Soccer before returning midway through the 1996 season to play out his career in his hometown. Son of the locally influential Ukrop's grocery store CEO Robert "Bobby" Ukrop, who had an investment stake in the Kickers at launch, Rob Ukrop now serves as president of the team's board of directors.

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.[8] 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.[9] 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 Cinderella run, defeating MLS clubs Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City to reach the semi-finals, before falling to the Chicago Fire.

The Kickers briefly sponsored two developmental teams of their own: Richmond Kickers Future and Richmond Kickers Destiny. Future played in the men's USL Premier Development League from 2002–2008, while the Destiny played in the women's USL W-League from 2004–2009.

The Kickers entered a multi-year deal to become the USL Pro affiliate of D.C. United in 2013, and continued that affiliation through 2018.[10] Loudoun United will launch as a fully owned-and-operated affiliate of D.C. United for the 2019 USL Championship season, presumably ending the Kickers' affiliation tenure.[11]

Colors and badge[edit]

The Kickers' primary colors are red and white, having been so since the beginning of the 2001 season.[12] Their kits are manufactured by Adidas, as they have been since at least 2009.[13][14] 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.[15] 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]

Beginning with the 2017 season, Richmond's CBS affiliate WTVR-TV will broadcast the club's home and away matches on their primary channel and their subchannels.[16]

All USL matches were broadcast on the USL YouTube page from 2014 to 2017. Previously, games were broadcast on USL Live. Starting in 2018, matches will be broadcast on ESPN+.

From 2003 to 2004, Selecta 1320 AM (WVNZ) broadcast select Kickers matches in Spanish; in 2005 they broadcast all Kickers home matches.[17] However, Selecta 1320 AM does not broadcast Kickers matches now.

Roster[edit]

First team roster[edit]

As of October 24, 2018.[18]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg  United States
4 Midfielder Fred Owusu Sekyere  Ghana
5 Defender Conor Shanosky  United States
7 Midfielder Neil Hlavaty  United States
10 Defender Scott Thomsen  United States
11 Midfielder Matt Bolduc  United States
12 Midfielder Evan Lee  United States
14 Midfielder Yudai Imura  Japan
15 Defender Mallan Roberts  Canada
21 Forward Brian Shriver  United States
22 Goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale  United States
24 Midfielder Koby Osei-Wusu  United States
25 Midfielder Brandon Eaton  United States
28 Midfielder Greg Boehme  United States
31 Defender Braeden Troyer  United States
33 Goalkeeper Brandon Barnes  United States
34 Defender Shaun Russell  United States
38 Midfielder Prince Agyemang  Ghana
42 Midfielder Sam Bacon  United States
45 Goalkeeper Kent Dickey  United States
55 Defender Mekeil Williams  Trinidad and Tobago
92 Forward Giuseppe Gentile  United States
  1. ^ Signed to first team contract with MLS affiliate D.C. United.

Reserves and academy roster[edit]

Club management[edit]

Front office and ownership
Position Staff
General Manager Shelley Sowers
Director of Soccer Leigh Cowlishaw
Director of Financial Services Dreama Nunnally
Director of Operations Tish Schrock

Last updated: December 11, 2018
Source: Richmond Kickers official website

Coaching staff
Position Staff
Head Coach United States David Bulow
Assistant Coach United States Michael Callahan
Assistant Coach Germany Sascha Görres
Goalkeeping Coach England Adrian Clewlow

Last updated: June 26, 2018
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 only U.S. Open Cup title and to USISL championship
1997 United States Frank Kohlenstein
1998–1999 Northern Ireland Colin Clarke
2000–2018 England Leigh Cowlishaw Longest tenured coach in club history
2018–present United States David Bulow

Honors[edit]

League[edit]

Cup[edit]

Record[edit]

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League Regular Season Playoffs U.S. Open Cup Avg. Attendance
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
2014 3 USL Pro 4th Semifinals 4th Round 2,679
2015 3 USL 6th, Eastern Conference 1st Round 4th Round 3,747
2016 3 USL 7th, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals 3rd Round 3,996
2017 2 USL 14th, Eastern Did not qualify 2nd Round 4,665
2018 2 USL 15th, Eastern Did not qualify 4th Round 3,976
2019 3 USL1 TBD TBD TBD TBD

History vs. Major League Soccer[edit]

International competition[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.richmondkickers.com/aleague/88615.html
  2. ^ 2014 Richmond Kickers Media Guide (PDF). Richmond Kickers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-13.
  3. ^ "KICKERS ANNOUNCE NEW OWNERSHIP GROUP". Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  4. ^ "The Most Underrated Sports Team in Richmond". Style Weekly. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  5. ^ USL DIII Staff (11 September 2018). "Kickers Named a USL Division III Founding Member". usld3.com. United Soccer Leagues. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Professional soccer comes to campus". The Collegian. 4 March 1993. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Kickers realign into USL2". RichmondKickers.com. 2005-10-25. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  8. ^ "Kickers oust LA Galaxy". RichmondKickers.com. 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-07-11.
  9. ^ "Kickers disarm Gunners in 3–0 win". RichmondKickers.com. 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
  10. ^ "D.C. United, Richmond Kickers announce landmark affiliation". D.C. United. January 24, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  11. ^ "Loudoun United FC Joins the USL for 2019". United Soccer League. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "Kickers Logo Narrative". richmondkickers.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Front of Jersey Sponsor Unveiled". richmondkickers.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Kickers Unveil 2009 Jersey Saturday". richmondkickers.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  15. ^ "'Richmond Kickers unveil new logo'". Potomac Soccer Wire. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
  16. ^ http://www.richmondkickers.com/home/931349.html
  17. ^ "Kickers Expand Relationship With Hispanic Radio Station". richmondkickers.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  18. ^ "Richmond Kickers: Official Roster". Richmond Kickers. richmondkickers.com. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  19. ^ http://www.ussoccer.com/lamar-hunt-us-open-cup/open-cup-tournaments/2015-usoc/fourth-round/150617-usoc-r4-richmond-kickers-v-columbus-crew-sc
  20. ^ http://richmondkickers.com/home/920711.html

External links[edit]