Jul 20, 2012

Richmond Kickers Host Dayton Dutch Lions Saturday

Present Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award at Halftime

RICHMOND, VA – (Wednesday, July 18, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers return to Richmond City Stadium this Saturday, July 21 to host the Dayton Dutch Lions.  Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the first 250 fans through the gate will receive a cooler bag, courtesy of Challa Law Offices, PLC.  The second annual Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award will be presented to a youth soccer player during halftime and admission is just $7.00, in advance at RichmondKickers.com.

Richmond Kickers vs. Dayton Dutch Lions
The Kickers battle the Dutch Lions this Saturday for the sixth time in history, and for the second time during the 2012 campaign, having last met in Dayton on May 5.  Kickers midfielder David Bulow converted a stoppage time penalty kick to salvage a point on the road in a 1-1 draw.  Trailing for 90 minutes, the Kickers conceded a goal in the second minute when forward Gibson Bardsley connected on a Joel DeLass cross. 

Previously, the two clubs met three times during 2011 regular season action and once during last season’s U.S. Open Cup tournament, with the Kickers sweeping the series 4-0.  The Kickers last hosted the Dutch Lions at Richmond City Stadium on August 6, 2011 when the home side handed the then-USL PRO expansion franchise a 3-0 scoreline.

Most recently, the Kickers are coming off a decisive 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.  Defender William Yomby earned USL PRO Team of the Week honors after notching his first goal of the season to open scoring at City Stadium before Matthew Delic√Ęte converted his 63rd career goal, to draw even with the club’s all-time leading scorer, Rob Ukrop.

Earning a much-needed three points last weekend, the Kickers now reside in a three-way tie for sixth place in the standings, alongside the Charlotte Eagles and Los Angeles Blues, with a record of 6-6-5 and 23 points.  Off to a slow start in their sophomore USL PRO campaign, the Dutch Lions join in the battle for playoff positioning, currently trailing the Kickers by 10 points with a record of 2-8-7 following a scoreless draw against the fifth-place Harrisburg City Islanders last week on the road.  Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams was named USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Week for his heroic eight-save performance against the City Islanders to preserve his fourth clean sheet of the season.

Saturday’s match-up concludes a grueling three-game road swing for the Dutch Lions who must first travel to Harrisburg on Wednesday, July 18 and to Wilmington on Friday, July 20 before finishing the two-game home and away regular season series against the Kickers on Saturday.

USL PRO Playoff Structure
The 2012 USL PRO Playoffs will include the top six finishers in the table, with the top two seeds receiving a first-round bye the weekend of August 24-26.  The semifinals, featuring the four remaining teams, will be played the following weekend, with the 2012 USL PRO Championship set for the weekend of September 7-9.  All playoff rounds will implement a single-game knockout format.

Players to Watch
Kickers:  Prolific goal scorer Matthew Delic√Ęte (#7) is on the verge of becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer, having tied Rob Ukrop’s franchise record (63) last Saturday against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds with this third goal of the 2012 campaign.  The veteran forward has posted over 11,000 minutes in 153 appearances with the Kickers over six seasons, notching at least 13 goals in each of his last three seasons.  Stalwart defender
William Yomby (#2) contributed on both sides of the ball during last week’s 3-1 win over Pittsburgh, stifling the Riverhounds attack while netting a pass from Gerson Dos Santos to open scoring.  Earning USL PRO Team of the Week honors for his offensive efforts, the 6’4” defender has made 14 appearances this season, contributing to four shutouts.  Newcomer Philippe Davies (#20) is expected to join the lineup this week, signing with the Kickers just days before the USL PRO roster freeze.  The Canadian international made 29 appearances with the Vancouver Whitecaps (USL-1/USSF D2) over two seasons, before signing as the first-ever homegrown and Canadian player with the Major League Soccer side in 2010.


Dutch Lions:  Featuring in every minute of every game played during the 2012 season, midfielder Joel DeLass has notched one goal this season and added an assist against the Kickers last May.  Signing with Dayton in 2011, he spent one season with the Charlotte Eagles.  Fellow former Charlotte player Gibson Bardsley (#17) is second on the team with seven points on three goals and one assist.  He was responsible for a 2nd minute tally against the Kickers earlier this season and most recently, scored the game-winning goal in the Dutch Lions 4-0 victory over the Wilmington Hammerheads last month.  Matt Williams (#30) earned USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Week honors this week after posting an impressive eight saves against the Harrisburg City Islanders to earn his fourth shutout of the season.  Protecting the nets for every minute of every game for the Dutch Lions in 2012, the former University of Cincinnati standout leads the league in the saves category with 83 saves and is ranked fourth with a goals against average of 1.176.

Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award
The Richmond Kickers will present the second annual Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award to a youth soccer player during the Kickers pro game versus the Dayton Dutch Lions this Saturday, July 21.  The Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award was established to honor Kickers youth player, Avery Spence, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident on May 1, 2011.  In honor of Avery’s #7 jersey, admission to the Kickers pro game will be $7.00 per person, in advance at RichmondKickers.com (enter promo code “AVERY” at checkout).

A longstanding member of the Richmond Kickers youth club, Avery started with the Kickers rec program when she was nine years old, progressing with arguably the best girls team in the Kickers Elite girls program over the past seven seasons.  A committed volunteer since the age of 13, Avery donated countless hours throughout the Richmond community, participating in over 50 youth soccer clinics, Meals on Wheels, caroling to senior citizens, as well as working with the Kickers ADP program for six and seven year olds.  She was in the academic top ten in her class at Manchester High School and was heading to Virginia Tech to pursue a career in dentistry.  Avery had a love for life, sharing her time and talent with kids of all ages.

Each year, the Richmond Kickers will present the Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award to the Kickers youth player that has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the youth community in Richmond.  Criteria will be based on volunteer involvement, commitment, leadership and athletic and academic achievements. 

About Challa Law Offices, PLC
A Richmond, Virginia based law firm specializing in business in immigration law, Challa Law Offices was established by Lakshmi and Shekar Challa in December 2001.  Lakshmi Challa has been practicing immigration law exclusively for over sixteen years. The firm focuses on providing solutions-directed business immigration strategies for a wide range of clients around the globe by leveraging state-of-the-art case management technologies and outstanding client service.  Challa Law Offices specializes in employment-based, temporary and permanent resident visas for business professionals, assisting international companies/individuals in setting up their business in the U.S. as well as family-based temporary and permanent resident visas.