D.C. United and the Richmond Kickers have extended their affiliation agreement through the 2017 season. This is the fourth year of the clubs’ partnership in conjunction with the in 2013 agreement forged by Major League Soccer and the USL.
"We are extremely excited to extend our partnership with the Richmond Kickers for the next two seasons,” Dave Kasper, United general manager and VP of soccer operations, said. “They have been fantastic partners who provide a professional environment and have been instrumental in helping our players to develop as professionals while out on loan."
Separated by a little over 100 miles, D.C. United and the Richmond Kickers have worked closely to organize loan spells for nearly two decades before officially affiliating prior to the 2013 season. Just last season, 6 players from D.C. United featured for the Kickers, including Jared Jeffrey, Collin Martin, Jalen Robinson, Luke Mishu, Miguel Aguilar and Travis Worra, playing over 4,000 minutes for Richmond. In 2013, current D.C. United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra was named USL Goalkeeper of the Year.
Through the extended arrangement with the Kickers, United will once again send a minimum of four first-team players on long-term loans to Richmond, assignments which will be announced at a later date.
“The MLS/USL partnership has been a catalyst for the growth of our club and we are delighted to sign a two-year agreement with D.C. United,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “The Kickers and D.C. United have led USL club affiliations with 16 players loaned over our last three seasons. It's important to have the ability to add MLS players to our squad and we expect quality roster additions for the 2016 season.”
Over the past two decades, 34 D.C. United players have played with the Richmond Kickers, with the roster of players including 2011 Major League Soccer MVP Dwayne De Rosario, Mike Burke, Jeff Causey, Ben Crawley, Brian Kamler, Mike McGinty, Mark Simpson, Clyde Simms, Robert Ssejjemba and Richie Williams. Players who have featured with the Kickers on loan include Miguel Aguilar, Steven Birnbaum, Brian Carroll, Alex Caskey, Andrew Dykstra, John DiRaimondo, Christiano Francois, Jared Jeffrey, Taylor Kemp, Justin Mapp, Collin Martin, Andy Metcalf, Luke Mishu, Anthony Peters, Kyle Porter, Jalen Robinson, Michael Seaton, Conor Shanosky, Long Tan, Casey Townsend, Ethan White, Joe Willis and Travis Worra. In franchise history, an impressive 22 players have progressed from the Richmond Kickers into Major League Soccer.