D.C. United Exhibition Kicks Off 15th Anniversary Saturday
RICHMOND, VA - (Wednesday, March 19, 2008) - The Richmond Kickers welcome D.C. United of Major League Soccer (MLS) this Saturday, March 22, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at the University of Richmond Stadium (just off the Downtown Expressway). Kicking off Richmond's 15th Anniversary, this preseason exhibition will serve as United's final warm-up game prior to the start of the MLS season. General admission tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance via RichmondKickers.com. The first 500 fans through the gate will receive a free Kickers/adidas t-shirt, courtesy of adidas.
"To host D.C. United is a wonderful way to kick-off our 15th anniversary celebration," comments Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Head Coach and Vice President, Soccer Programs. "We are very honored to be able to play United a week before their MLS season opener. The exhibition will be challenging as our players will just have begun their preseason program but as always, I am sure they, along with our staff and fans, will be looking forward to the match up immensely."
As a charter member of MLS, four-time MLS Cup Champion (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004) D.C. United enters its 13th season of play. This year's exhibition will mark the ninth meeting between the two clubs with the Kickers and United splitting the series 3-3-1 (The 2006 exhibition match was terminated in the 20th minute due to lightning). United made their most recent appearance in Richmond last season for an exhibition, during which the defending USL2 Champions came away with a 3-2 victory over the MLS powerhouse. Previously, D.C. United traveled to Richmond during the U.S. Open Cup, coming away with a 3-1 victory in 2005 during the Fourth Round, one year after the Kickers ousted the Black-and-Red, 2-1, in the Third Round of the 2004 tournament.
"We are once again pleased that we will have the opportunity to play the Kickers in a friendly match," said United General Manager Dave Kasper. "We look forward to a great evening of soccer in the Richmond."
With 11 major domestic and international trophies to the team's credit, D.C. United is the most successful team in American professional soccer history. The club has won four MLS Cup championships (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004), four Supporters' Shields (1997, 1998, 2006 and 2007), a CONCACAF Champions' Cup (1998), an InterAmerican Cup (1998) and a U.S. Open Cup title (1996). United has made the MLS Cup Playoffs nine of 12 seasons, winning 15 of 19 playoff series, and has an overall record of 24-8-2 in all playoff games.
Richmond Kickers: Celebrating 15 Years of Soccer Excellence
The 2008 season marks the 15th anniversary for the Richmond Kickers who have been a member of the United Soccer Leagues family since 1993. Over the past 15 seasons, Richmond has qualified for post-season play 12 times, including six league (seven overall) Championship appearances. The Kickers reached the league title match in 2007 for the fourth time in the past six seasons, narrowly missing their second consecutive league title after nine rounds of penalty kicks. Richmond's previous Championship appearances (1995, 1996, 2002, 2005, 2006) include winning the "Double" with the Premier League title and US Open Cup title in 1995, a shoot-out loss to Seattle in the USL First Division final in 2005 and taking the USL Second Division crown in 2006.
New Faces Join Veterans in 2008
The Richmond Kickers welcome the return of several veterans to the 2008 roster including midfielder/defender Kevin Knight (#3) who re-signed after retiring mid-season last year. A stalwart on the Kickers defensive unit for eight seasons, Knight appeared in seven games during the 2007 campaign, holding the opposition to just four goals allowed while on the field. USL2 Most Valuable Player, midfielder Mike Burke (#19) resumes the role of captain this season after leading the USL2 in assists and taking the Supporter's Choice title for the third consecutive year. Protecting the nets again in 2008, two-time USL2 Goalkeeper of the Year Ronnie Pascale (#22) is consistently one of the top netminders in the league, finishing the 2007 season with a career-low goals against average of 0.684 en route to the Kickers third consecutive USL Championship appearance. German native Sascha Görres (#23) returns to anchor the midfield for his fourth season, alongside David Bulow (#10), Trey Alexander (#18) and Evan Harding (#15) while defender Kelvin Jones (#5) re-signs for his third year to lead a back line consisting of newcomers Adam Chavez (#8, Binghamton University) and Anthony Catalano (#12, Charleston Battery). Former New England Revolution midfielder Luke Vercollone (#4) brings MLS and USL1 experience to Richmond, joining English players Ben Hunter (#11) and Eliot Paschalis (#14) to round out the midfield. Hunter (UNC) spent the 2007 season with the Columbus Crew and Paschalis comes to Richmond out of Furman University.
Season Passes, Pro Passes and Coach's Passes will not be accepted at the DC United exhibition match. Normal discounts do not apply. Season Pass holders and groups of 20+ can purchase tickets at a discounted rate ($13/person) in advance. Children under three are admitted free and there is no charge for parking. Order your 2008 All-Access Pass and to enjoy all 2008 Richmond Kickers exhibitions, Open Cup matches and regular season action for one low price of $90. Visit www.RichmondKickers.com to order your 2008 season passes online.
Richmond Kickers Record Versus D.C. United
1999 Exhibition Kickers 1, United 0 *Terminated due to lightning
2001 Open Cup United 2, Kickers 1
2002 Exhibition United 1, Kickers 0
2003 Exhibition Kickers 1, United 1
2004 Open Cup Kickers 2, United 1
2005 Open Cup United 3, Kickers 1
2006 Exhibition Kickers 0, United 0 *Terminated due to lightning
2007 Exhibition Kickers 3, United 2
Richmond Tap Project
The Richmond Kickers are pleased to sponsor the Richmond Tap Project, culminating at the Kickers vs. DC United exhibition on March 22nd. The Kickers are teaming up with the VCU Brandcenter in an effort to aid UNICEF's mission in more than 90 countries around the world to improve access to safe water and sanitation facilities in schools and communities.
The Tap Project is an initiative created by David Droga, member of the VCU Brandcenter Board of Directors and Founder of Droga5. This partnership provides clean water to children around the world. Individuals are invited to donate $1 for the tap water they normally get for free at participating restaurants, sporting events, and various locations during the week of March 16, culminating on World Water Day, March 22.
The Richmond Kickers donated tickets to the participating restaurants and the team will be wearing blue socks this Saturday in support of the Richmond Tap Project. In addition to information distributed at the match, a raffle will take place for Kickers and D.C. United autographed blue adidas soccer balls.
For more information about the Richmond Tap Project or to find a restaurant near you, visit www.Tapproject.org/cities/Richmond.com.
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