USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers and D.C. United have announced a two-year renewal of the partnership between the clubs through the end of the 2017 season.
The partnership between the Kickers and United was one of the first formed under the partnership between the USL and Major League Soccer in 2013, with 16 United players seeing action in Richmond over the past four seasons.
“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,” said 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.”
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Among the players to have found success in Richmond prove a catalyst are goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, who claimed the 2013 USL Goalkeeper of the Year award as he helped the Kickers claim the 2013 USL Regular Season Championship. The 30-year-old has become a solid contributor to United’s squad in the past two years as a backup to Bill Hamid.
Another is Taylor Kemp, who has become a consistent starter for United after a pair of stints in Richmond. Kemp made 27 regular-season appearances last season for United and recorded a career-high six assists to help the club reach the 2015 MLS Playoffs.
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"We are extremely excited to extend our partnership with the Richmond Kickers for the next two seasons,” said Dave Kasper, United General Manager and Vice President of Soccer Operations. “They have been fantastic partners who provide a professional environment and have been instrumental in helping our players develop as professionals while out on loan."United’s Miguel Aguilar, Jared Jeffrey, Collin Martin, Luke Mishu, Jalen Robinson and Travis Worra all featured for the Kickers in 2015, as they combined for 4,101 minutes of action to help the side reach the USL Playoffs for a fifth consecutive season.