Aug 15, 2013

D.C. United USL Affiliate Richmond Kickers Clinch Regular Season Championship

TAMPA, Fla. – The Richmond Kickers claimed the 2013 USL PRO Regular Season Championship on Wednesday night as they took a 2-0 victory against Orlando City at City Stadium. The victory gave Richmond the No. 1 seed for the upcoming USL PRO Playoffs, and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

USLPRO-PlayoffPush0815.jpgMeanwhile, in the battle for the final playoff position, the Wilmington Hammerheads kept their improbable playoff hopes alive as a late surge earned a 4-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Legion Stadium. The win moved Wilmington above VSI Tampa Bay FC into ninth position in the standings, just one point behind the Dayton Dutch Lions going to the final game of the season.

Richmond’s victory was keyed by veteran forward Matt Delic√Ęte, who scored both goals in the Kickers’ victory. The club’s all-time leading scorer struck five minutes apart off assists by Joseph Ngwenya and Houston Dynamo loanee Brian Ownby. Orlando had chances to come back into the game in the second half, but a missed penalty by Kevin Molino and some outstanding goalkeeping by Andrew Dykstra, on loan from D.C. United, preserved the Kickers’ victory and the regular season championship.

Wilmington scored three goals in the final 15 minutes to get past the Riverhounds, who had taken an early lead on Jose Angulo’s 14th goal of the season. The Hammerheads got back on even terms before the halftime break through Kyle Greig, however, and then put in a late push to take victory. Steven Perry scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 76th minute, and that was followed by finishes by Bryce Taylor and Cody Arnoux to seal victory.

The Hammerheads still need help if they are to advance to the postseason, with the Dayton Dutch Lions still in control of the final playoff position. Should Dayton take victory against Harrisburg on Saturday night, the Dutch Lions would earn their first playoff berth in club history. Should Harrisburg either draw, or take victory, against the Dutch Lions, the Hammerheads would jump into eighth position with a victory against Antigua Barracuda FC. VSI Tampa Bay remains alive, but would need to take victory against Charlotte on Friday night, and have Harrisburg defeat Dayton and Wilmington draw with Antigua on Saturday to advance to the postseason.

Stay up to date with all of the action in the final week of the USL PRO regular season through the league’s free online streaming service, USLNation.com, and also follow the race for the playoffs via Twitter (@USLPRO), Facebook and Google+ for live updates from every game, plus news, previews and recaps of all the action.