A beneficial relationship for both clubs returns.
Good news out of Kickers Headquarters for all the soccer fans in the area as the club announced that it has agreed to extend it’s relationship with DC United through the 2014 season. This means that local fans will get to see at least 4 DC United players in Kickers gear and continue to have a major impact on the Richmond’s success.
Separated by a little over 100 miles, the two organizations worked closely to organize loan spells for nearly 20 years before officially affiliating prior to the 2013 season. As a part of the inaugural agreement, six players featured for the Kickers during the club’s 2013 Regular Season Championship run, with 2013 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year Andrew Dykstra, Taylor Kemp, Collin Martin, Michael Seaton, Conor Shanosky and Casey Townsend combining for 5,553 minutes while contributing nine goals and two assists on the season.
Through the extended arrangement with the Kickers, United will once again send a minimum of four first-team players – to be announced at a later date – on long-term loans to Richmond.
“We are delighted to extend our affiliation with D.C. United,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “Last season’s achievements could not better highlight the multiple benefits of partnering with an MLS club. The overall depth of our squad improved and our on-field product improved while providing significant playing time for several of D.C. United’s younger players. We look forward to building upon the success of last season and working closely with D.C. United for a long-term alliance.”
Another benefit that isn’t discussed in the Official Press Release is that as this formal relationship between the two clubs grows so does the relationship among the supporters of both teams.
On the Richmond side there is the River City Red Army. While from the DC United side it’s primarily RVA DCU but during the Kicker’s playoff run last year supporters from NOVA/DC/MD based District Ultras and La Barra Brava travelled to Richmond to throw their support behind the club. (It should be noted that when the Kickers and DC United met during the Open Cup there was no doubt where the various allegiances lay.)
All these fans have been working together to get more folks into the City Stadium stands and to get those folks to make some noise in support of the team. It should be noted that when the Kickers and DC United met during the Open Cup there was no doubt where the various allegiances lay.
Image by: Richmond Kickers