The Richmond Kickers open their 21st season this Saturday, April 6 when they host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 7:00 p.m. The enhanced game day experience at City Stadium begins when the gates open at 6:00 p.m. with live music, food trucks, draft beer trucks, corporate entertainment and hospitality tents, new and improved Family Zone and fun for families and soccer fans alike. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
“The entire organization has worked hard through the offseason to produce a 21st season to remember,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “We have quietly assembled a talented and committed group of players who are excited to play at City Stadium and experience the new festive soccer atmosphere. Preseason has gone well and with a couple more players set to arrive, this has all the ingredients required for a memorable year for the club.”
Overall, the Kickers hold a 14-8-5 record over the Riverhounds, with a rivalry dating back to 1999 when the two franchises competed in the USL First Division. The Kickers led the two-game series last season, defeating their northern rivals 3-1 in Richmond after drawing even at 1-1 in Pittsburgh. The two clubs last met at City Stadium on July 13, 2013 when defender William Yomby opened scoring before Matthew Delicâte converted his 63rd career goal, to draw even with the club’s all-time leading scorer, Rob Ukrop.
Saturday’s match marks a milestone in Kickers history, officially kicking off the club’s MLS affiliation with D.C. United. As part of the landmark partnership agreement, four players could be suiting up for the Kickers this weekend as Taylor Kemp, Conor Shanosky, Michael Seaton and Casey Townsend begin their season-long loans in Richmond.
Established in 1993, the Richmond Kickers have consistently been one of the most successful professional soccer clubs in America. Over the past 20 seasons, Richmond has qualified for postseason play 18 times, and reached the title match in 2010 for the sixth time in the past nine campaigns, falling just short of the Championship title. Richmond’s seven previous league Championship appearances (1995, 1996, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009) include winning the Premier League title in 1995, a shoot-out loss to Seattle in the USL First Division final in 2005 and taking the USL Second Division crown twice against Charlotte in 2006 and 2009.
Players to Watch
Kickers: Defender Henry Kalungi (#25) returns to Richmond this week after captaining the Uganda National Team in last week’s World Cup Qualifier in Liberia. He enters his fifth season with the Kickers, anchoring the back line in 84 appearances since 2009 while contributing to 38 shutouts. Former Richmond Strikers and University of Virginia forward Brian Ownby (#12) returns his hometown on loan from the Houston Dynamo. Drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, Ownby made seven appearances, recording a pair of assists of the bench in his rookie season. Newcomer Alex Lee (#18) was the first pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft for FC Dallas following a standout collegiate career at the University of Maryland.
Riverhounds: Defender Andrew Marshall (#15) recently signed with the Riverhounds after spending the last two seasons with the Harrisburg City Islanders. Playing an integral role in the City Islanders back-to-back USL PRO playoff berths, he made 21 appearances last season, contributing to nine shutouts. The 2011 USL PRO Goal and Scoring Champion, Jhonny Arteaga (#17) kicks off his first season with Pittsburgh after spending the 2012 campaign with the New York Red Bulls. The Colombian forward made five appearances with the MLS side before returning to USL PRO this season. Veteran goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap (#1) returns for his fourth season with the Riverhounds. The 2010 USL-2 Goalkeeper of the Year played every minute of all but two games in 2012 and finished third in the league in the saves category with 92.
2013 Richmond Kickers Season Passes
Don’t miss a minute of exciting Kickers Pro action as they kick off their 21st season on Saturday, April 6. Richmond Kickers season passes offer unbeatable value, VIP benefits and incredibly low prices to all regular season home games. Guaranteed to see at least 14 USL PRO games for the best possible pricing, Kickers games are a fantastic way to get together with friends, family and colleagues for an unforgettable entertainment experience – order now!