McCracken to lead W League RVA in inaugural season
RICHMOND, Va. – 22 Holdings, LLC, the ownership group that operates both W League RVA and the Richmond Kickers, is pleased to announce Madeline McCracken as W League RVA’s first Sporting Director ahead of the club’s inaugural season in the 2024 USL W League.
McCracken joins W League RVA after playing professional soccer and serving on the front office staff of professional clubs over the last four years. McCracken holds a B.S. in Sports Management from St. John’s University.
The Lynch Station, Va. native played professionally with DSC Arminia Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany from 2020-23. While playing with Die Blauen she also served as the club’s assistant equipment manager.
Most recently, she served as the assistant equipment manager with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC of the USL Championship. She has applied her sports management background outside of professional soccer as well, serving as a strength and conditioning coach at North Carolina State University and a wellness center and fitness instructor with the YMCA in Altavista, Va.
McCracken’s ties to youth soccer in RVA began in high school when she played for Richmond United under current 22 Holdings, LLC and Richmond Kickers’ Chairman Rob Ukrop. During her collegiate summers, she returned to her home state to play for the Richmond Strikers.
McCracken also gained youth national team experience after earning a call up to the U-19 USWNT training camp in 2015. She had previously been called up to the U-17 player pool as well.
Prior to playing professionally, McCracken played as a midfielder for one year at Boston College, making 16 starts as a freshman before transferring to St. John’s. While at St. John’s, McCracken started in 36 games and played in 44, earning two assists throughout her collegiate career. After missing her senior season because of injury, McCracken came back for a graduate season to start in every match she was available for and captained the team the entire season.
As W League RVA prepares for its inaugural season, McCracken will guide technical staff and roster decisions for the team.
Madeline McCracken, W League RVA Sporting Director said:
“I am extremely grateful to be able to serve as the first Sporting Director of the new W League RVA soccer team. As a Richmond United alum, it is an honor and a tremendous opportunity to return to this incredible organization with a chance to build an exceptional program and to help continue to grow the game of women’s soccer in Richmond, Virginia. I am looking forward to working with the entire Richmond Kickers organization including coaches, clubs, community and players at all levels. We will develop a clear and consistent playing philosophy for our women’s program that the Richmond region will be proud of. It has immense potential, and I am excited to be a part of its future!”
Rob Ukrop, Richmond Kickers’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said:
“We are thrilled to add Madeline as our W League Sporting Director. Madeline will lead our club as we start fresh with an exciting new brand, using her extensive playing experiences at home and abroad to help build our roster, creating a dynamic, attacking team that inspires our community.”
Mika Elovaara, Richmond United Technical Director and Richmond Kickers’ Head Assistant Coach and Director of Methodology and Player Development said:
“I remember watching Madeline as a player, and I always enjoyed watching her. She was a relentless worker and a fierce competitor on the field, and she has transferred that same mentality to her work off the field. I am thrilled to work with her in my two roles. With Richmond United, having an alumna return to RVA as a soccer executive is exciting, and I know our work together will benefit the young soccer players in our community tremendously. With the Kickers, we are excited to welcome someone whose values are aligned with ours, and who wants to build a culture for W League RVA that is closely aligned with ours. I am truly looking forward to working with Madeline and the rest of the W League RVA staff in 2024 and beyond.”
About W League RVA
Announced on July 15, 2023, W League RVA is one of the latest USL W League expansion sides preparing to kickoff its inaugural season in 2024. 22 Holdings, LLC, the ownership group that runs the Richmond Kickers, founded the W League side to create a new level of competition for women’s soccer in the region. The team will have its own unique identity and branding that will launch in 2024.
The W League RVA team competing in 2024 marks the first time Richmond has fielded a pre-professional women’s team since the Richmond Kickers Destiny that operated from 2005 to 2009. As players did while playing for Destiny, W League RVA players will have a platform to develop their talents as players and serve as role models to lead the growth of women’s soccer in our wider community.
About The USL W League
The USL W League is a leader in pre-professional soccer in North America, developing the next generation of women’s talent both on and off the field. The USL W League strives to use women’s soccer as a force for societal good by creating a national platform to increase opportunity, gender equity, and career development. The League and its member clubs are committed to investing in women’s soccer – through not only financial resources but also with time, energy, and attention – and are united in our mission to grow the women’s game.
The USL W League will serve as the nation’s premier pre-professional league developing the next generation of women’s talent both on and off the field, enhancing the women’s soccer pipeline between college and professional soccer. With 44 teams across 20 states in its inaugural season, the USL W League will bring elite women’s soccer to communities across the U.S., creating more opportunities to play, watch and work in the women’s game.