RICHMOND, VA – (Thursday, March 24, 2011) – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce the signing of goalkeeper Ryan Jones. At age 18, Jones marks the youngest player to sign with the Kickers professional team and will be available immediately upon Visa approval.
"Ryan is another historic signing for the Kickers and certainly a player to watch this season," comments Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Head Coach and Director of Soccer. "Although still relatively young, Ryan possesses significant professional experience and clearly has a tremendous upside. I know he is looking forward to the challenge of igniting his professional career with the Kickers and we look forward to his arrival in the States."
The 6’6” native of Liverpool, England brings a wealth of professional playing experience to Richmond, having begun his career at the Liverpool Academy, winner of the FA Youth Cup in 2006 and 2007. Signing with Leeds United of the English NPower Championship for the 2008-09 season, Jones featured several times for the first team as a substitute before being released as a second year apprentice. Most recently, he played with NPower League 1 side Rochdale AFC before making three appearances with Northwich Victoria of the Evo-Stik Premier League.
Current Philadelphia Union and former USA National Team midfielder, Justin Mapp, still holds the record as the youngest player to represent the Kickers, when he made one appearance on loan from D.C. United in 2002 at the age of 17.
Reserve your 2011 Season Passes and join the Richmond Kickers when they open the USL PRO campaign, hosting Orlando City on Saturday, April 2 at 4:00 p.m. at Richmond City Stadium. Taking the field for their 19th season, the Kickers will compete alongside American Division rivals Charlotte Eagles, Charleston Battery, Orlando City and Wilmington Hammerheads and will also face National and International opponents Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, FC New York, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Rochester Rhinos, Antigua Barracuda FC, Los Angeles Blues, Puerto Rico United and Sevilla FC Puerto Rico during the 24-game season. Visit RichmondKickers.com for schedules and ticket information.