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Vinyals Returns to the Kickers’ Engine Room for 2022

By Nathan Heintschel, Director of Communications and Digital Media, 01/04/22, 12:00PM EST


The Spanish maestro is set for a second season in Richmond

Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography | Illustration by Nathan Heintschel, Director of Communications and Digital Media

RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce the return of Nil Vinyals after the midfielder’s contract option was picked up for the 2022 season.

"Nil is a special player that can control the tempo of a game and give you that special pass that breaks down a defense,” Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky said. “We are looking forward to watching him continue to grow and lead here in Richmond. He fits the culture here with his professional approach, it will be exciting to watch him buzz in the midfield and lead the young guns."

Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography

Last year, Vinyals slotted right into the Kickers’ lineup in his first season with the club. The Barcelona native started 25 of his 27 appearances and finished with the fifth-most minutes played of the Kickers’ outfield players. He returns to Richmond primed to pull the strings for Sawatzky during the club’s historic 30th consecutive season.
“I’m excited to come back to such a professional and historic club,” Vinyals said. “I’m thankful for the trust that the coaching staff has demonstrated all along, and I’m eager to keep building a winning culture that supports a structured brand of soccer.

“My goal and the team’s goal is to attain a level of consistency that allows us to fight for every title that we are in.” 

Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography

Vinyals thrived in the role of the team’s facilitator, leading the Reds with four assists and 51 chances created – ranking fifth-best in the league for chances created. His performances were recognized by USL League One’s weekly honors twice when Vinyals was named Player of the Week during Week 9 and was named to the Team of the Week during Week 25.

The Week 9 Player of the Week award highlighted an exceptional night when the Kickers earned a 3-2 victory over New England Revolution II on June 5. Vinyals served up the ‘hockey assist’ for the Kickers’ first goal in the opening 27 seconds of play – the fastest goal scored by the club since joining USL League One – before assisting the final two goals including the game winner.

Photo © Jessica Stone Hendricks Photography

With a full season and his first playoff appearance under his belt, Vinyals is looking to build on the 2021 campaign and push for more in front of the City Stadium faithful.
“Playing in front of the Red Army, the best supporters in the league, is something that I never take for granted,” Vinyals said. “Last year we were very strong at home and that has to continue if we want to win a title in 2022.”
2022 marks our historic 30th consecutive season! The USL League One schedule is live and fans can begin to plot their nights at City Stadium! Reserve your spot today at where you can purchase full-season general admission or premium seating options!
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TRANSACTION: Richmond Kickers pick up Nil Vinyals’ contract option for the 2022 USL League One season on January 4, 2022.