Apr 30, 2012

USL Action on UNATION: Kickers draw Orlando City

Official Kickers Game Recap from http://richmondkickers.com/

This past weekends Kickers match was shown live on UNATION at: http://uslnation.com/. Fans that tuned in saw the Kickers secure one point in a draw against Orlando City. Below is the game recap from the Richmond Kickers.

ORLANDO, FL – The Richmond Kickers snapped Orlando City’s win streak Saturday night, stealing a point off the defending USL PRO Champions at the Florida Citrus Bowl with a scoreless draw.  The Kickers led the attack with 11 shots to seven and veteran goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale posted a pair of point blank saves to record his first shutout of the season.

Dominating the first half with eight shots to three, the Kickers tested Orlando goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo early, forcing four saves before the break.

First, with just five minutes expired, midfielder Ryan Heins intercepted the ball 30 yards out.  Heavily marked, he eluded four defenders en route to the box where he took a point blank shot; however, Gallardo was ready and waiting to block his attempt.

Twenty minutes later, defender Henry Kalungi gathered the ball at midfield and carried it down the right wing.  He delivered a cross to a wide open Christopher Agorsor who faced Gallardo 1v1 before firing a low driven ball from the top of the box, but was denied by a diving Gallardo.  The Kickers newcomer danced around him to collect the rebound and forced a double save as his second attempt was snuffed out by the Orlando ‘keeper.

Orlando answered back in the 27th minute when a deflected cross found Kevin Molino in the air at the top of the box.  He played the ball on to forward Matt Luzunaris who turned and struck from 12 yards but Pascale, scooped up the ball, leaving the home side powerless.

Luzunaris made his presence known once more before the break when he received the ball at the six-yard box.  With one touch, he turned quickly and released the ball only to see it glance inches from the near post.

Hoping to break the ice before the halftime whistle, midfielder Edson Elcock pulled a quick switch across the field to defender Sascha Görres near the far touchline.  He took two steps and played a perfectly placed cross to an onrushing Heins but his flick on header was blocked by a Gallardo reaction save to curl the ball around the near post.

Orlando opened the second half with a new formation and four substitutes, shifting momentum in their favor; however, it was not until the 63rd minute that the Lions pressured the Kickers defense with a series of short passes just outside the box that left John Rooney open within striking distance.  The midfielder one-timed a determined shot from the top of the 18 but Pascale leapt to his right to keep the Lions at bay.

Later, Kickers midfielder Stanley Nyazamba blasted a 40-yard rocket from distance that soared skyward before David Bulow set off on a foot race against Orlando’s last defender, chasing down a long-ball from deep in Kickers territory.  Settling the ball with one touch, he attempted to chip second half substitute Sean Kelley but the Orlando goalkeeper was in the right place at the right time and stopped Bulow’s attempt short.

As the final minutes of regulation waned closer, the Kickers defensive unit weathered a late Orlando attack as the home side increased the pressure and congestion in the visitor’s box to preserve their first clean sheet of the season.

The Kickers continue their two-game road stand when they travel to Dayton to take on the Dutch Lions on Saturday, May 5 before returning to Richmond City Stadium on Saturday, May 12 to host the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Box Score             First Half         Second Half             Final
Orlando                        0                      0                        0
Richmond                     0                      0                        0

Scoring Summary

            Lions: GK Miguel Gallardo (Sean Kelley – 45’), Jerome Mechack (Erik Ustruck – 45’), Luke Boden, Kyle Davies, Rob Valentino, Anthony Pulis, James O’Connor, Kevin Molino, Jamie Watson (Max Griffith – 45’), John Rooney (Ian Fuller – 84’), Matt Luzunaris (Dennis Chin – 45’)

Kickers: GK Ronnie Pascale, Sascha Görres, Shane Johnson, William Yomby, Henry Kalungi, Ryan Heins, Mike Callahan (Gerson Dos Santos – 86’), Stanley Nyazamba (David Bulow – 67’ (Bobby Foglesong – 86’)), Luke Vercollone, Christopher Agorsor (Matthew Delicate – 32’), Edson Elcock

Shots                           Saves                           Fouls                           Corners

Kickers:          11         Kickers:            2          Kickers:             7          Kickers:           6           
Lions:               8          Lions:               5          Lions:               11         Lions:               3

49th minute: Henry Kalungi (Richmond)
75th minute: Erik Ustruck (Orlando)
83rd minute: David Bulow (Richmond)

Apr 27, 2012

Kickers vs. Orlando City Live on UNATION

The Richmond Kickers upcoming weekend match on the road against Orlando City will be broadcast live on UNATION. Tune in Apr 28 at 7:30 p.m to catch the Kickers in action.

Apr 26, 2012

Episode 9 - Fans of United Podcast

Pontius and United take the Red Bulls by the horns

Fans of United hosts Devon McTavish, Eric Hunsaker, and Chris Wimmer discuss Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls results, current state of the D.C. lineup, upcoming schedule on the road an of course this weekends match at RFK against visiting Houston.

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Apr 24, 2012

D.C. United Academy U-18s & U-16s Stay Perfect

official D.C. United press release:

D.C. United Academy Update

U-18’s and U-16’s compile perfect record for second consecutive weekend

Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2012) – D.C. United’s Academy teams compiled a perfect record this past weekend, as the U-18’s and U-16’s defeated FC Westchester and Albertson SC in USSDA matches.

United’s U-18 team kicked off the weekend with a 2-1 victory over FC Westchester on Saturday, April 21. Patrick Foss was United’s most influential player, converting two penalty kicks to help the Black-and-Red recover from a 0-1 deficit.

The U-18’s delivered a solid defensive performance in the following match, defeating Albertson SC by 1-0 on Sunday. Once again, it was defender Patrick Foss who guided United to victory, tallying the game’s lone goal with a direct free kick.

“We were very pleased with Sunday’s match and the defensive discipline of every player,” said United U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “The team showed great commitment to both tactical plans on Saturday and Sunday and are deserving of back to back six-point weekends.”

United’s U-16 team followed the U-18’s example and defeated FC Westchester by 2-1 as well. Nigel Robinson scored United’s first goal, dribbling from the sideline and striking a low-shot finish. The winning goal was tallied by Michael Seaton, who beat a defender and struck the ball to the back post after being assisted by Lars Eckenrode.

The U-16’s wrapped up the weekend with a 2-1 victory over Albertson SC. Nigel Robinson opened the scoring with an assist from Michael Seaton, and Michael Monahan sealed the victory after being assisted by Abdi Yusuf. 

“We were a little disappointed that the group conceded goals late in games this weekend, so we will need to sort that out in training,” said United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “However, they should be proud that they answered every other challenged thrown at them with quality soccer.”

Broadcasting and P.A. Request:  When speaking of the organization, please refer to the team as either “D.C. United” or “United,” but not “the D.C. United” or “the United.”  We appreciate your cooperation.

Apr 23, 2012

Led by Pontius Hat Trick, United make statement in 4-1 win over Red Bulls

Chris Pontius has made it crystal clear - he is completely 100% recovered from his season ending leg injury that cut short his 2011 MLS season.

Pontius lead United to a huge win over Eastern Conference rivals, New York, Sunday evening at RFK Stadium. With the hat trick Pontius showed that he was the most dangerous forward on the field, despite Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper both coming into the match with seven goals a piece. Henry did pick up another goal (MLS leading 8th goal) late in the game but by then Pontius and the Black-and-Red had already put the game away for good.

“We talked about what they did to us last year here,” Chris Pontius told the media after the match. “We didn’t forget about losing 4-0. [This year] we are a more mature team. We close games out better, and we see plays out better. We make a lot less stupid mistakes.”

Since coming on as a substitute against New England in the second half for the struggling Hamdi Salihi, D.C. United's major off season Designated Player signing, Pontius scored the game winner against the Revolution and had the hat trick in a dominating victory over the Henry led Red Bulls. Meanwhile Salihi has seen only 15 minutes of playing time over the past two games.

The four goals in a three game stretch now see Pontius tied with Maicon Santos (4 goals) as United's leading scorers.

Up next for D.C. is a home game against the Houston Dynamo who feature two players with Virginia soccer backgrounds. Brad Ownby played college soccer at the University of Virginia and club soccer for the Richmond Strikers. Corey Ashe played for the then Virginia Beach Submariners (now Piranhas) of the USL.

United is now enjoying a six game undefeated streak and find themselves in second place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points.

Apr 19, 2012

Reyna, Meola & Armstrong Represent DMV in 2012 Hall of Fame Class

At the University of Virginia, Claudio Reyna lead the Cavaliers to three straight NCAA Championship. The UVA men where crowned champions each of year of Reyna's college career, a college career in which he was coached by National Soccer Hall of Famer Bruce Arena. Now Reyna will get to join his former coach once again as he has been named to the Class of 2012 Hall of Fame class that will be inducted in Landover, Md. next month.

Joining Reyna in this years Hall of Fame group will be another former Virginia standout, Tony Meola.

Adding to the local flavor of this years inductee class will be former Washington Warthogs (indoor) player and D.C. native, Desmond Armstrong.

Full U.S. Soccer Press Release:

Claudio Reyna, Tony Meola, Desmond Armstrong and Tony DiCicco will be Inducted

as the Class of 2012 Ahead of Men's National Team Match Against Brazil

CHICAGO (April 17, 2012) - Former U.S. Men's National Team stars Claudio Reyna, Tony Meola and Desmond Armstrong and former U.S. Women's National Team head coach Tony DiCicco will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on May 30 in Landover, Md.

The National Soccer Hall of Fame and U.S. Soccer will hold Induction 2012 presented by Eurosport at FedExField ahead of the U.S. Men's National Team game against Brazil. The exact start of the Induction will be determined in the near future. Following the invite-only ceremony, new inductees, Hall of Fame members and invited guests will attend a reception. Current Hall of Famers, as well as the Class of 2012 inductees, will be recognized on the field before kickoff.

Both men elected on the player ballot made a significant contribution to the Men's National Team and had successful club careers both overseas and in the USA. Reyna, a four-time World Cup veteran, had an impressive career in Europe, playing for Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, Rangers, Sunderland and Manchester City. Meola holds second place all-time for most U.S. goalkeeper appearances and was a mainstay in Major League Soccer, earning MVP and Goalkeeper of the Year awards with the Kansas City Wizards.

Armstrong, elected on the veteran ballot, was a stellar defender for the U.S. Men. During an eight-year National Team career, he competed in the 1990 World Cup and the 1988 Olympic Games.

DiCicco was elected on the builder ballot and was recognized for his record-breaking tenure with the Women's National Team, posting 103 victories in 119 matches and leading the squad to the FIFA Women's World Cup title at home in 1999.

The U.S. MNT will kick off against five-time World Cup winner Brazil at 8 p.m. ET. More than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the match, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Univision. The match will be the team's last friendly in the U.S. before it begins 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in the United States by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come.

Apr 16, 2012

Virginia Intermont College Women's Soccer Open Tryouts Announced

Virginia Intermont College Women's Soccer is holding open tryouts for high school seniors (2012) and juniors (2013). The tryouts will be held Saturday, April 28th from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. at Sugar Hollow Park, Bristol, VA.

To register for tryouts CLICK HERE.

The Cobras compete in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC). Learn more about the Virginia Intermont College Women's Soccer program at: http://www.viathletics.com/.

Apr 13, 2012

United GK Dykstra loaned to Charleston

Andrew Dykstra loaned to Charleston Battery for two games
Goalkeeper will return to the Black-and-Red next Wednesday

Washington, D.C. (April 13, 2012) – D.C. United announced today that goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra has been loaned to USL PRO side Charleston Battery for two games. He will join the Battery immediately and return to D.C. next Wednesday, April 18.

Dykstra will be available for the Battery’s games on April 14 versus the Richmond Kickers and April 17 versus the Charlotte Eagles.

Dykstra, a native of Woodbridge, Va., spent the 2011 season with the Charleston Battery, starting each of the 16 matches he played for the South Carolina side. The former Chicago Fire goalkeeper led USL PRO with a 0.98 goals-against average and 16 goals against, helping the Battery to an 8-6-2 record. For his efforts, Dykstra was awarded the club’s Betsy McAdams Newcomer of the Year award.

Two VA players selected to U-17 WNT 2012 CONCACAF Roster

Congrats Brittany Basinger (FC Virginia) & Andi Sullivan (Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.) On #uswnt U17 roster selections: Full U17 WNT roster for 2012 CONCACAF Women's Championship

Apr 12, 2012

OSA 2nd Annual Juggle-a-Thon for Nothing But Nets

Every 45 seconds a child in Africa dies from a malaria infection - a preventable disease carried by mosquitoes. We can help. This is why we created the OSA World Juggle-a-thon, a worldwide fundraiser put on by OnlineSoccerAcademy.com to support the Nothing But Nets campaign.

Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Through this campaign, anyone can donate just $10 to purchase a bed net, deliver it to a family, and educate them on its proper use.

On World Malaria Day - April 25 - at 6pm their standard time, soccer players, coaches, and fans everywhere are invited to participate by juggling to raise money for life-saving nets. Anyone can juggle anywhere; by themselves, with friends, teams, or soccer clubs. Participants will collect donations and pledges leading up to the OSA World Juggle-a-thon, and then juggle as much as they can on April 25. After the event, jugglers will mail in the money they raised, and receive official OSA World Juggle-a-thon prizes and other goodies.

The goal is simple – for each juggler to raise at least $30, to send at least three bed nets to protect families from malaria. Working together through soccer, we can help protect entire communities from this deadly disease. Juggle to get better. Juggle to save lives.

Go to OnlineSoccerAcademy.com for more info:

Job Opening: Ferrum College - Assistant Women's Soccer Coach

Job Opening: Ferrum College - Assistant Women's Soccer Coach

Ferrum College seeks an Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach. The selected candidate will assist the head coach in the recruitment of new student athletes, retention of current players, aid in the implementation of a practice plan and weekly game plan, work with video editing software, comply with all NCAA Division III rules as well as the USA South Athletic Conference and institutional policies & procedures, and other duties assigned by the Head Coach and/or the Director of Athletics. This is a full time position with benefits. Positive attitude towards the college and our athletic program is essential. This position will begin July 1, 2012.

To apply for this position, submit cover letter, resume, and three references to Ferrum College, Human Resources, P.O. Box 1000, Ferrum, VA 24088, or e-mail to resumes@ferrum.edu . Background check required. Deadline to apply by: June 1, 2012.
Contact for information: Liesl Narrow, Head Women's Soccer Coach Ferrum College, 435 Ferrum Mountain Road, Ferrum, VA 24088. E-mail: lnarrow@ferrum.edu.
Team/school/org. site: www.ferrum.edu and http://www.ferrumpanthers.com/  
Ferrum College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

USL Action: Kickers battle Charleston on USLNation.com

20th Anniversary Re-Match Kicks Off at 7:30 p.m. on USLNation.com

RICHMOND, VA – (Thursday, April 12, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers and the Charleston Battery swap home field advantage this Saturday, April 14, as they conclude their home-and-away 20th Anniversary derby at 7:30 p.m.  The match will be broadcast live from Blackbaud Stadium on USLNation.com.  Showcasing retro 1993 uniforms, the Kickers will wear a custom green and blue strip while the Battery will wear their black and white striped vintage kit, inspired by the clubs’ first seasons. 

Saturday’s re-match marks the 46th meeting between the two clubs over the last 20 years, with Charleston narrowly leading the all-time series record with 21 wins, 20 losses and four draws.  Despite combining for six league Championship titles (Charleston 1996, 2003, 2010; Richmond 1995, 2006, 2009), the two sides have only met in one high-stakes match, with the Battery stripping the Kickers of the USL Second Division crown in a heated 2-1 affair on August 28, 2010.  

Rivals since 1993, Richmond and Charleston, alongside fellow USL PRO side Charlotte Eagles are the longest, continuously operating professional soccer clubs in the country.  The Kickers first-ever league match against the Battery was on May 1, 1993 at Stoney Field in downtown Charleston.  The Battery claimed the 2-1 victory behind goals from Mario Lone and Nigel James, with Cowlishaw notching the lone goal for the Kickers. 

Most recently, the two long-time rivals opened their 20th Anniversary seasons last Saturday at Richmond City Stadium with the home side dropping a 2-1 decision in front of a record-setting crowd of over 5,000 fans. 

Charleston claimed the lead late in the first half when defender John Wilson beat four Kickers players on a surging run to the touchline before lofting a ball into the box for Jose Cuevas. The midfielder’s looping header beat Richmond goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale and nestled into the far corner for 1-0.  Minutes later, Kickers midfielder Stanley Nyazamba leveled the score when he collected a pass from Matthew Delicâte before losing his marker and curling a shot past Kevin Klasilia into the side netting in first half stoppage time.  The Battery scored the game-winner amid controversy in the 67th minute, when striker Salieu Bundu appeared to dribble the ball over the end line for a Richmond goal kick, but no call was made and Bundu was able to cross into the box for an onrushing Cuevas, who made no mistake from six yards out.

Team of the Week
Midfielder Stanley Nyazamba represented the Kickers on this week’s USL PRO Team of the Week following his valiant attack and lone goal during last week’s affair.  Charleston forward Jose Cuevas was named Player of the Week after netting both goals for his side while defender Colin Falvey was also honored for his defensive efforts.

Next Home Game
The Kickers return to Richmond City Stadium on Saturday, April 21 to host the defending USL PRO Champions Orlando City at 7:00 p.m.  The Kickers will celebrate the career of Mike Burke, one of the greatest players in their 20-year history, by providing free replica t-shirts, courtesy of Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. to the first 1,000 fans through the gate.  Avoid lines at the gate and click and print tickets in advance at RichmondKickers.com.

Fans of United | Episode 8

Fans of United hosts Devon McTavish, Eric Hunsaker, and Chris Wimmer discuss United's draw with Seattle, MLS referees, and the upcoming New England match. See what Devon has to say about Marc Burch, which player Eric thinks is ready to break out, and why Chris is so bitter about the MLS refereee situation.

Follow Fans of United on Twitter: @fansofunited

and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DCUnitedPodcast

Apr 9, 2012

Hotspur add Five from VCU to PDL Roster

Fredericksburg, Va.— The Fredericksburg Hotspur are pleased to announce the signing of five players from Virginia Commonwealth University to its Premier Development League roster.

Rams juniors Romena Bowie and Nate Shiffman, along with sophomores Mario Herrera Meraz and Assane Keita and freshman Dennis Castillo, are the first college players to officially join the Hotspur for the 2012 season.  Bowie, Shiffman, and Meraz will occupy midfield positions, while Castillo and Keita will play critical roles in defense.

The Hotspur have already added former professional players Evans Wise, a Trinidad and Tobago international, and Grover Gibson, who played 14 years in Germany and will also serve as an assistant coach.

“I’m extremely excited to have them here. I’ve been searching for quality players and I was very fortunate to run into the VCU program,” Gibson said.

 Shiffman said their experience together with VCU will help the Hotspur team mesh well together more quickly.

“It’s going to be easy for us to play together and bring that chemistry onto this team,” Shiffman said. "The level of play will be very high with the other really talented players we already have.”

“That's the biggest reason I came here... to get better and to win,” said Castillo.
Gibson added that their familiarity with each other and the environment that the Hotspur program will provide should give the team an advantage over some of the other teams they will face.

“I think that should be very clutch to our program,” he said.

Fredericksburg is set to open its season on Sunday, May 13, at 5 p.m., when it visits the Northern Virginia Royals at Fairfax High School. The Hotspur will open their home campaign on Saturday, May 19, at 5:30 p.m., against the Virginia Beach Piranhas at the University of Mary Washington.

Kickers fall in 2012 Home Opener

RICHMOND, VA – (Saturday, April 7, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers were unable to deliver a win on their 20th season home opener, falling to a controversial 2-1 defeat against the Charleston Battery.

Both teams took a tentative approach in the first half, opting for possession and control over outright attack, but Charleston broke the deadlock in the 41st minute after an extended period of pressure on the Richmond goal. Battery midfielder Zach Prince connected with a cross in the 40th minute, but Richmond defender Ryan Heins put his body on the line to make the block. From the resulting throw-in, Charleston defender John Wilson beat four Kickers players on a surging run to the touchline before lofting a ball into the box for Jose Cuevas. The midfielder’s looping header beat Richmond goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale and nestled into the far corner for 1-0.

The goal sparked the game to life, and Richmond nearly equalized within a minute as Matthew Delicâte’s headed shot from a Stanley Nyazamba cross beat the Battery goalkeeper but was cleared off the line by defender Kyle Hoffer. Nyazamba provided another dangerous cross in the 44th minute, but Luke Vercollone’s shot from six yards out flew just wide.

Nyazamba turned from provider to goalscorer in stoppage time in the first half, collecting a pass from Delicâte before losing his marker and curling a shot past Kevin Klasilia and into the side netting to level the score going into half time.

Richmond started the second half on the front foot, forcing Klasilia into a fine save in the 50th minute, but numerous fouls turned the momentum in Charleston’s favor. The Battery scored amid controversy in the 67th minute, when striker Salieu Bundu appeared to dribble the ball over the end line for a Richmond goal kick, but no call was made and Bundu was able to cross into the box for an onrushing Cuevas, who made no mistake from six yards out.

The Kickers mounted a strong challenge for the equalizer late in the second half, but were unable to score despite numerous chances. Michael Callahan nearly scored with the last kick of the game with a powerful volley from the top of the box, but his effort sailed over the crossbar and Charleston claimed the 2-1 victory.

Richmond will travel to Charleston for a rematch with the Battery next Saturday, April 14. The Kickers return to City Stadium on Saturday, April 21 to host defending USLPRO champions Orlando City at 7 p.m.

Box Score         First Half        Second Half           Final
Richmond        1        0            1       
Charleston        1        1            2

Scoring Summary
41st minute: Charleston - Cuevas (Wilson)
45th minute: Richmond – Nyazamba (Delicâte)
67th minute: Charleston – Cuevas (Bundu)

Starting Lineups
Kickers:  GK Ronnie Pascale, William Yomby, Shane Johnson, Sascha Görres, Luke Vercollone, Michael Callahan, Ryan Heins (Gerson Dos Santos 78’), Edson Elcock, Stanley Nyazamba (Nozomi Hiroyama 78’), Matthew Delicâte (David Bulow 78’), Jason Yeisley

Battery:  GK Kevin Klasilia, Mark Wiltse, Colin Falvey, Kyle Hoffer, John Wilson, Ryan Richter (Sean Flatley 82’), Amadou Sanyang, Zach Prince (Taylor Mueller 75’), Jose Cuevas, Nicki Paterson, Salieu Bundu (Manuel Guzman 90’)

Shots            Saves            Fouls            Corners
Battery:        7    Battery:        3    Battery:        9    Battery:        0
Kickers:        11    Kickers:        2    Kickers:        12    Kickers:        3

70th minute: Görres (Richmond)
80th minute: Richter (Charleston)


Referee:                  Moo Hackett
Assistant Referees:              Jimmy Brooks, Matthew Nelson
Fourth Official:                  Ben Hichak
Attendance:                  5,009
Weather:                  65°, clear
Stadium:                  Richmond City Stadium

Apr 6, 2012

MLS Names C.J. Sapong #1 - Power 5 Sophomores

Former JMU men's soccer standout, 2011 MLS ROY, and Sporting KC striker C.J. Sapong has lofty expectations following his Rookie of the Year performance.

Apr 5, 2012

Watch Kickers Matches Live on UNATION

Richmond Kickers fans unable to make it to Richmond City Stadium for some of the upcoming 2012 USL Pro season can still watch some Kickers games live.

United Soccer Leagues announce today that more than 80 live games from the 2012 USL PRO season will be available online through USL Live, the popular online video destination launched in 2007 to make USL matches more accessible to its fans.

Apr 4, 2012

Cruz, McDonald Disciplined by MLS

D.C. United players Danny Cruz and Brandon McDonald have been disciplined by MLS following Saturday's FC Dallas match at RFK.

MLS released the details in an official league announcement yesterday afternoon. 

From MLSSoccer.com News Release:

NEW YORK (April 3, 2012) – The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee issued the following actions based on games in Week 4 of the MLS Regular Season:

  • Danny Cruz (D.C. United) is fined for his act of embellishment which brought the game into disrepute. Mr. Cruz’s action occurred in the 71st minute of the match between FC Dallas and D.C. United on Saturday, March 31st. For video CLICK HERE.

  • Brandon McDonald (D.C. United) is suspended for one (1) game and fined for his reckless challenge that endangered the safety of his opponent. Mr. McDonald’s action occurred in the 20th minute of the match between FC Dallas and D.C. United on Saturday, March 31st. For video CLICK HERE.

Fines collected will be donated to the charitable partners of MLS W.O.R.K.S. and the MLS Players Union.

Kickers Open Season at Home vs Battery


Kick Off 20th Anniversary Against Oldest Rivals, 5 pm at City Stadium

RICHMOND, VA – (Tuesday, April 3, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers are primed to battle longtime rivals Charleston Battery this Saturday, April 7 in their 20th Anniversary Season home opener.  The historic game pits two of the three longest continuously operated professional soccer clubs in the United States against each other as the Kickers and the Battery face off in the first leg of a two-game home and away series at 5:00 p.m. at Richmond City Stadium.

Showcasing retro 1993 uniforms, the Kickers will wear a custom green and blue strip while the Battery will wear their black and white striped vintage kit, inspired by the clubs’ first seasons.  Kickers $20 Anniversary Golden Tickets are available for purchase at RichmondKickers.com through Wednesday, April 4 and can be exchanged at the stadium for an unlimited number of tickets.  Groups of friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances are invited to celebrate the Kickers 20th anniversary with a one-time $20 purchase.

“I can still recall our first game against the Battery in 1993 and after countless challenges and obstacles, it is a testament to both clubs that twenty years later these two organizations are experiencing unprecedented success on and off the field,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers former professional player and current Head Coach and Director of Soccer. 

“We are looking forward to kicking off our 2012 season against the Battery,” added Cowlishaw.  “There is no better feeling than beating them and I know their fans feel same way about beating the Kickers.  We are proud to have shared twenty memorable years with the Battery and expect a fiercely competitive set of matches to entertain the fans.”

Rivals since 1993, Richmond and Charleston, alongside fellow USL PRO side Charlotte Eagles are the longest, continuously operating professional soccer clubs in the country.  The Kickers first-ever league match against the Battery was on May 1, 1993 at Stoney Field in downtown Charleston.  The Battery claimed the 2-1 victory behind goals from Mario Lone and Nigel James, with Cowlishaw notching the lone goal for the Kickers. 

Since their inception, the Kickers and the Battery have met 43 times over the past 19 seasons, with Charleston narrowly leading the all-time series record with 20 wins, 19 losses and four draws.  Most recently, both teams were successful on their home turf in 2011, as the clubs exchanged a 2-1 scoreline early in the season.  Despite combining for six league Championship titles (Charleston 1996, 2003, 2010; Richmond 1995, 2006, 2009), the two sides have only met in one high-stakes match, with the Battery stripping the Kickers of the USL Second Division crown in a heated 2-1 affair on August 28, 2010.  

Sharing more than just records and tradition, the Kickers and the Battery have seen several players on both sides of the pitch including Marco Ferruzzi, Mike Burke, Scott Cannon, Mac Cozier, Kevin Scott, Mario Lone, Greg Simmonds, Josh Henderson, Kelvin Jones, Luke Vercollone and Anthony Catalano.

The Kickers celebrate a landmark season in American professional soccer in 2012, tallying 903 goals in 303 victories over the past 20 years.  Making nine Championship appearances, the Kickers have claimed four national titles including the U.S. Open Cup crown in 1995.  In addition to celebrating success on the field, the Kickers have also developed a youth club with over 8,000 member players participating in programs for all ages and abilities, fulfilling their mission of becoming the model for soccer in the U.S.

Players to Watch
Kickers: Returning for his 13th and final professional season, three-time USL Goalkeeper of the Year Ronnie Pascale (#22) posted a career-high 11 shutouts in 2011 en route to league and U.S. Open Cup semifinals.  Leading the Kickers with 280 career appearances, he has amassed an overall record of 149-72-55.  Rookie defender Shane Johnson (#3) joins Pascale’s veteran defensive line out of Longwood University.  A native of Ashburn, Virginia, Johnson notched three goals and six assists, while contributing to 17 shutouts in 71 appearances throughout his collegiate career.  Former New England Revolution midfielder Luke Vercollone (#4) returns for his fifth season in Richmond.  The notorious workhorse spent two seasons with the Charleston Battery prior to playing 100 games with the Kickers over the last four campaigns.   Newcomer Jason Yeisley (#17) adds firepower to the Kickers attack, signing with Richmond after leading the Pittsburgh Riverhounds with five goals and two assists for 12 points last season.

Battery: Defender Colin Falvey (#32) returns for his third season with the Battery.  A member of the 2010 USL Championship squad, the Cork, Ireland native has made 46 appearances in Charleston.  Tony Donatelli (#14) anchors the midfield, signing with the Battery after a successful career with the Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact.  The veteran midfielder made 23 appearances with the Rochester Rhinos in 2011, notching three goals and four assists.  Recent signing Salieu Bundu (#11) scored the game winning goal in the 2008 USL Championship with the Cleveland City Stars before joining the Carolina RailHawks (NASL).  On loan to the Charlotte Eagles last season, the forward from Sierra Leone led the USL PRO side with seven goals and one assist for 15 points.

Apr 3, 2012

Chesterfield United Name Pat McStay Technical Director; Re-structure Staff

Congratulations to frequent guest contributor Pat McStay who has been named the new Technical Director at Chesterfield United FC (Richmond, VA).

Read posts by Pat McStay

Official United FC Press Release:

Chesterfield United is excited to announce the re-structuring in the club’s already successful chain of command effective June 1, 2012. The  changes coincide with the well received changes in player development and the new European Academy model released last week.

The club’s new structure will see Pat McStay take over as the clubs Technical Director, who hopes to continue the clubs ever increasing rise in the city of Richmond and surrounding areas. Pat will oversee the clubs technical staff and the daily operations of the club.

“Everyone’s hard work over the last 18 months has gotten the club to this point. I feel that the next step isn’t to relax but work harder and that’s what we plan on doing. I am excited about taking over as Technical Director and cannot wait to work with our players and coaches.”

The Ultimate Cup will now be run by Matt Lacey who will continue to serve as the club’s Director of Player Development and UDP.

“I am very excited to be involved with The Ultimate Cup. I think that Chesterfield United and Richmond Kickers have created a great product and service to the soccer community and I look forward to being part of something very special and unique” commented Matt Lacey, Director of Player Development.

Dale Parker will be promoted to Girls Director of Coaching and will now oversee the development of all Girls teams in the club while combining his role as Camp Director.

“I hope to increase participation on the girl’s side as well as add quality. I feel that this is a great opportunity for me, and I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Joe Farrell will continue his role as the clubs Boys Director of Coaching, ASL Academy Director, and Recreational Director.

“I have been here almost 10 years and cannot remember the last time the staff was this excited about the future. We have put the time and effort into building the club into what it is today, and we will continue to grow. I am anxious to see what 2012 has in store for us!”

Today we officially announce that we will sadly be losing a great member of the club. Heather Pedersen has decided to take a step away from Soccer and begin a new profession as a full time mother to her wonderful daughter Anna Jane starting June 1 st.

"I will miss this club tremendously, and wish nothing but the best for Chesterfield United. The past few years I have watched this club grow, players develop, old programs get better, new programs added, and I am proud to have been a part of it. I am looking forward to spending more quality time with my family, and hope to have Anna Jane be a part the UDP program in a few years!"-Heather Pedersen

Heather has played a pivotal role in the clubs recent success in her role as both Technical Director and Tournament Director. Her hard work and dedication to improve the club has helped shape a very bright future for Chesterfield United. Heather began working for Chesterfield United as the Girls Director of Coaching in 2008 and was promoted to Technical Director in January 2011.

In her time she has improved the standard of coaching education, player development, and communication to the club’s membership. She also played a massive role in the success of 2011 Icebreaker and the new 2012 tournament Ultimate Cup which brought in a record number of teams compared to previous years.

“We are all very sad to be losing Heather but at the same time we all know how important it is for her to be at home with Anna Jane. We have all seen how much effort she has put into this job, and we know it must have been a very hard decision for her. We will all miss her but wish her the very best in the future.”-Chesterfield United Staff

Heather will continue her role at the club until June 1, 2012.

Apr 2, 2012

USWNT Host China at PPL Park in May

D.C., Maryland, and Virginia fans of the U.S. Women's National Team will have a chance to catch the team in action at the somewhat nearby PPL Park in Pennsylvania. The two and a half hour drive from D.C.is well worth the trip to see the USWNT. The women are returning from Japan where a goal from Alex Morgan gave them a 1-1 draw against the defending Women's World Cup Champions.

USWNT players Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan, Yael Averbuch
USWNT players Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan, Yael Averbuch

From the U.S. Soccer Communications Center:

Match Will Serve as Valuable Preparation on the Road to the 2012 London Olympics

CHICAGO (March 30, 2012) - The next domestic match for the U.S. Women's National Team has been confirmed and the USA will take on China on May 27 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

Fans can follow the match on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

Tickets starting at $22 go on sale to the public Friday, April 6, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 and at the PPL Park ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, April 5, at 10 a.m. ET and runs until Friday, April 6, at 8 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

The U.S. WNT is currently in Japan for the Women's Kirin Challenge Cup and will play the first of two matches when it faces the hosts on April 1 at Yurtec Stadium in Sendai at 7:30 p.m. local time (6:30 a.m. ET). Two days later, the U.S. will take on Brazil in Chiba at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET). After these two matches, the next full international will be against China on May 27.

Both Kirin Challenge Cup matches will be televised live on ESPN2 and ESPN3, and fans can also follow the matches on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

The U.S. Women have a long history in Pennsylvania, having played 12 matches in the state, including a 5-0 victory against Nigeria in Philadelphia during the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, but this will be just the second match at PPL Park. The first was in October of 2010, also against China, and ended in a 1-1 draw as Alex Morgan scored her first career WNT goal with a late equalizer.

PPL Park is a part of the new wave of stadium construction for Major League Soccer. The stadium opened during the summer of 2010 and is the home of the Philadelphia Union.

The USA, which currently sits atop the FIFA Women's World Rankings, will be playing China for the first time since January of 2011 when it won 2-0 to take the title at the Four Nations Tournament in Chongqing, China, on goals from Carli Lloyd and Amy Rodriguez.