Richmond Kickers News Release:
RICHMOND, VA – (Wednesday, January 11, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce the 2012 professional schedule, opening their 20th Anniversary season against longtime rival Charleston Battery on Saturday, April 7 at 5:00 p.m. As one of the three longest tenured professional soccer clubs in the United States, the Kickers will celebrate 20 years alongside the Battery and the Charlotte Eagles in 2012. The home opener will commemorate the Kickers 20th season with ticket specials, alumni appearances and 1993 retro jerseys.
“Our first season in USL PRO exceeded all expectations,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Head Coach and Director of Soccer. “We are looking forward to building upon that success and assembling a squad that can once again compete for a League Championship while making a strong run in the U.S. Open Cup.”
“It will no doubt be an exciting season for our fans,” added Cowlishaw. “The level of play has never been better and with several events planned to celebrate our 20th season, it should prove to be a memorable year for the Kickers.”
Featuring six teams with more than a decade of operational experience, and more than 100 years of combined operational experience, USL PRO will field 11 teams playing a 24-game, primarily balanced schedule in a single-table format this season. The Kickers will face all 10 opponents at Richmond City Stadium at least once this season including Antigua Barracuda FC, Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, Orlando City Lions, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Rochester Rhinos and Wilmington Hammerheads. F.C. New York is no longer a member of USL PRO.
Richmond City Stadium, just off the Downtown Expressway, will once again serve as home base for the Kickers for the 2012 season. Nine of the Kickers 12 regular season home games will be played on Saturdays with two matches taking place under the lights on Fridays, and a Tuesday, July 3 game rounding out the schedule. The majority of home games will kick off at 7:00 p.m., with the exception of the home opener on April 7, which will begin at 5:00 p.m. The Kickers home schedule will conclude with the fifth annual FAMILY FEST on Saturday, August 11 against the Harrisburg City Islanders before wrapping up the 2012 season one week later during a two-game road swing in Antigua.
The 2012 USL PRO Playoffs will include the top six finishers in the table, with the top two seeds receiving a first-round bye the weekend of August 24-26. The semifinals featuring the four remaining teams will be played the following weekend, with the 2012 USL PRO Championship set for the weekend of September 7-9. All playoff rounds will implement a single-game knockout format.
Established in 1993, the Richmond Kickers have consistently been one of the most successful professional soccer clubs in America. Over the past 19 seasons, Richmond has qualified for postseason play 17 times, and reached the title match in 2010 for the sixth time in the past nine campaigns, falling just short of the Championship title. Richmond's seven previous league Championship appearances (1995, 1996, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009) include winning the Premier League title in 1995, a shoot-out loss to Seattle in the USL First Division final in 2005 and taking the USL Second Division crown twice against Charlotte in 2006 and 2009.