June 12, 2013 - United Soccer League (USL) - Richmond Kickers
RICHMOND, VA - The Richmond Kickers are pleased to host Antigua Barracuda FC this Friday, June 14 at 7:00 p.m. Gates open at City Stadium at 6:00 p.m. with live music from 2G Band, happy hour in the Kickers outdoor bar, food trucks and Family Zone and the first 500 fans will receive sunglasses, courtesy of nTelos Wireless. The Kickers\' third annual Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award will be presented to a youth soccer player during halftime and tickets are just $7.00 in advance at RichmondKickers.com, using promo code AVERY.
Undefeated through their first 10 regular season games, the Kickers extended their unbeaten streak at City Stadium last Saturday through a 1-1 draw with the Wilmington Hammerheads. Scoreless through the first 75 minutes, the match took a dramatic turn when a pair of late goals broke the ice in rapid fire succession. Kickers midfielder Philippe Davies notched his first goal in a Kickers uniform to give the home side a short-lived lead before Wilmington leveled the score thirty seconds later.
Meanwhile, Antigua travels to Richmond following a grueling back-to-back road trip to Tampa and Orlando, conceding a combined 10 goals on the weekend. VSI Tampa Bay FC forward Mauricio Salles set a single-game USL PRO record with five goals within the first 30 minutes as Tampa took an 8-0 win against Antigua at Plant City Stadium. Forty-eight hours later, Antigua goalkeeper Molvin James held the league-leading Orlando City scoreless at the Citrus Bowl until the 87th minute when Orlando earned a penalty with three minutes remaining in regulation.
Richmond and Antigua conclude their two-game series this Friday, having previously met at City Stadium on May 11 when midfielder Joseph Ngwenya posted a first half hat trick and midfielder Nate Robinson notched three assists to lead the Kickers to a 4-1 win. Antigua midfielder Tamorley Thomas recorded his second goal of the season to avoid the shutout before the Kickers rounded out the scoreline with a Luke Vercollone tally early in the second half.
The two clubs met three times during the 2012 campaign, with the Kickers holding a slight 2-1 edge over their Caribbean rivals. After claiming a 2-0 win in Richmond and narrowly edging the Barracuda 1-0 in Antigua, the Kickers dropped their final regular season match, 2-1.
Players to Watch
Kickers: Midfielder Philippe Davies (#20) recorded his first-ever goal in a Kickers uniform last week with a 25-yard blast against Wilmington. Earning his first full cap with the Canadian National team during the offseason, the 2012 mid-season edition 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. Local product Joseph Haboush (#8) signed with the Kickers after a standout collegiate career at Virginia Commonwealth University and has since made six appearances with the pro team during his rookie campaign. A native of Richmond, VA, the midfielder spent two seasons with the Richmond Strikers U16 Elite and U18 Academy teams. Doubling as an offensive threat and a defensive force, Jason Yeisley (#17) earned USL PRO Team of the Week honors for his solid defensive efforts against Wilmington last week while filling in at center back while Henry Kalungi is on national team duty. The former FC Dallas and USL PRO All-League Player has made six appearances as a forward this season, recording one goal.
Barracuda: Following a string of shutouts to start the season, Tamorley Thomas (#13) notched the Barracuda\'s first goal of the 2013 campaign with an 8th minute tally over VSI Tampa Bay FC. Adding a second goal against the Kickers at City Stadium last month, the Antigua & Barbuda National Team midfielder leads the Barracuda in scoring with four points on the season. Antigua and Barbuda National Team goalkeeper Molvin James (#18) produced a standout performance last week, holding the league-leading Orlando City scoreless through 87 minutes. The veteran goalkeeper backstopped the Barracuda to three wins during the 2012 season, posting 56 saves in 15 appearances. He signed with the Barracudas in 2011 after spending four seasons in the Antiguan First Division. Anchoring the club\'s defense since the inaugural season in 2011, defender George Dublin (#17) has appeared in all but one match for the Barracuda this season. He made his debut for Antigua and Barbuda in an April 2000 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Bermuda and has earned over 30 caps since. He played in nine World Cup qualification games and was part of the Antigua squad which took part in the final stages of the 2010 Caribbean Championship.
Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award
The Richmond Kickers will present the third annual Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award to a youth soccer player during the Kickers pro game versus Antigua Barracuda FC this Friday, June 14. The Avery Spence Youth Community Service Award was established in memory of 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, using promo code AVERY.
Avery\'s former coach and Richmond Kickers President, Board of Directors, Rob Ukrop, presented the inaugural award to the Spence family on July 8, 2011, to honor Avery\'s commitment to the Richmond community. A longstanding member of the Richmond Kickers youth club, she 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 in the fall to pursue a career in dentistry. Avery had a love for life, sharing her time and talent with kids of all ages.
Past award recipients include former Kickers player and current University of Richmond midfielder, Ashley Riefner, who was presented with the award by the Spence family on July 21, 2012.
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 are based on volunteer involvement, commitment, leadership and athletic and academic achievements.