RICHMOND, VA – (Tuesday, July 14, 2009) – The Richmond Kickers Destiny will take the field for their final match of the 2009 season Wednesday, July 15 against the Hampton Roads Piranhas. The match will be the second leg of the James River Cup. A local derby that existed between the Richmond Kickers pro team and the Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach Mariners (USL-1), the James River Cup competition was reinstated last season between the Kickers and the Piranhas amateur teams.
The Piranhas are the defending James River Cup Champions after claiming the title following a five-game series last season. Although both clubs split the series with seven points each following a 2-2-1 record, the Cup currently resides with the Kickers I-64 rivals based on goal differential.
At stake is the James River Cup title, which is based on the total number of points at the end of all matches played between the two clubs. With three points awarded for a win and one point awarded for a tie, the winner of the James River Cup will be decided following the conclusion of the home and away matches between the two clubs.
The Destiny will close out a season that has seen a promising young team begin to find their stride. Following a difficult opening half of the season, the Richmond Kickers Destiny recorded their first win Thursday, June 25, against the Northern Virginia Majestics.
Following their victory, the Destiny faced a talented Tampa Bay Hellenic squad on the road and then at home. Despite valiant efforts from the Richmond side, including numerous saves from goalkeeper Allie Albright, the Destiny dropped both games to the Hellenic, each by a 4-0 scoreline.
The Destiny, under the guidance of player-coach Jen Woodie, features many young college and even high school players from Richmond and the surrounding community. The youthful team will be eager to close their season on a strong note after losing 5-0 to the Piranhas in the first leg of the James River Cup.
Beginning in 1996, the James River Cup competition has been in existence for twelve seasons as a local derby between the two clubs (the Mariners did not field a team in 1997 or 2001). The Kickers pro team held the James River Cup consistently for seven seasons (1998-2000, 2002-2005) before the Mariners were able to capture the title prior to the 2006 campaign. The competition was on hiatus since the demise of the Virginia Beach Mariners (USL-1) prior to the 2007 season but was revised prior to the 2008 season to include the amateur clubs in Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Destiny versus Piranhas
The Destiny hold a 7-4-0 advantage over the Piranhas since 2004. Prior to their loss in the first leg of the 2009 James River Cup, the Destiny were on a seven-game win streak, having last suffered a loss to Hampton Roads on May 14, 2005 in a 2-0 road defeat. Prior to 2009, the Destiny swept the two-game series against their local rivals in 2008, claiming a 2-1 victory against the Piranhas during the home leg before edging the Piranhas, 1-0 on the road. Hampton Roads concluded the 2008 campaign in fourth place in the Atlantic Division standings with a 7-6-1 record and 22 points. The Destiny finished three points behind the Piranhas with a 6-8-0 record and 18 points.
1996: Virginia Beach Mariners (0-3-0, 3 Shootout losses)
1997: Cup not held
1998: Richmond Kickers (3-1-0)
1999: Richmond Kickers (4-1-0)
2000: Richmond Kickers (3-1-0)
2001: Cup not held
2002: Richmond Kickers (3-1-0)
2003: Richmond Kickers (2-0-2)
2004: Richmond Kickers (3-0-1)
2005: Richmond Kickers (3-1-0)
2006: Virginia Beach Mariners (0-1-1)
2008: Hampton Roads Piranhas (2-2-1)