RICHMOND, VA – (Wednesday, April 10, 2013) – The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium this Saturday, April 13 when they host the defending USL PRO Champions Charleston Battery at 7:00 p.m. The enhanced game day experience begins when the gates open at 6:00 p.m. with live music from The People’s Blues of Richmond, draft beer trucks, Richmond’s legendary Food Trucks and a new and improved Family Zone. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
“Kickers versus Battery games are always fiercely contested affairs,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “Hosting the reigning USL PRO Champions this early in the season provides an additional entertainment aspect to the match-up. Even though our opening game was a solid effort, we all know we need to improve upon last week’s performance.”
The Kickers opened their 21st season one week ago when they battled the Pittsburgh Riverhounds to a scoreless draw, while the Battery kick off their 2013 campaign on the road at City Stadium this week.
The Kickers meet their longtime rivals for the first time since swapping 2-1 home and home victories last season. Saturday’s game marks the 47th meeting between the two clubs over the last 21 years, with the series deadlocked at 21 wins, 21 losses and four draws. Despite combining for seven league Championship titles (Charleston 1996, 2003, 2010, 2012; Richmond 1995, 2006, 2009), the two sides have only met in one high-stakes match, when the Battery claimed their third league crown in a heated 2-1 affair on August 28, 2010.
Rivals since 1993, Richmond and Charleston, alongside fellow USL PRO side Charlotte Eagles are the longest, continuously operating professional soccer clubs in the country. The Kickers first-ever league match against the Battery was on May 1, 1993 at Stoney Field in downtown Charleston. The Battery claimed the 2-1 victory behind goals from Mario Lone and Nigel James, with current head coach Leigh Cowlishaw notching the lone goal for the Kickers.
Players to Watch
Kickers: Midfielder Nate Robinson (#14) made his professional debut last weekend, starting against Pittsburgh. Signing just 24 hours before the Kickers home opener, Robinson was discovered at the Kickers 2013 Pro Combine after spending the 2012 season with the PDL’s Michigan Bucks. Forward Casey Townsend (#16) is scheduled to appear on loan from D.C. United. The former Chivas USA player and University of Maryland standout made his Kickers debut last weekend after notching three goals for the USL PRO side in preseason. After spending the offseason training with the Colorado Rapids, midfielder Luke Vercollone (#4) returns to Richmond for his sixth season. Splitting time between the defense and the midfield, the Kickers workhorse has made 127 appearances and accumulated nearly 11,000 minutes in Richmond while tallying six goals and 10 assists.
Battery: The 2012 USL PRO Rookie of the Year, Jose Cuevas (#12), returns to Charleston after finishing second on the team in scoring with seven goals and four assists for 18 points. He opened the 2012 season with a pair of goals against the Kickers at City Stadium and closed out the campaign with the Battery’s lone goal for the USL PRO Championship. Cuban goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper (#0) recently signed with the Battery after defecting from the Cuban National Team while traveling in the U.S. for the U23 Olympic Qualifying tournament last year. Making seven appearances with the Cuban National Team, he previously played for FC Camagüey in Cuba’s domestic league. Veteran defender John Wilson (#25) returns for his 12th season with Charleston. Reversing a retirement decision prior to the 2011 season, Wilson resides in second place on the Battery’s all-time career list with 228 appearances and nearly 20,000 minutes played.
2013 Richmond Kickers Season Passes
Don’t miss a minute of exciting Kickers Pro action as their 21st season continues this Saturday, April 13. Richmond Kickers season passes offer unbeatable value, VIP benefits and incredibly low prices to all regular season home games. Guaranteed to see at least 13 USL PRO games for the best possible pricing, Kickers games are a fantastic way to get together with friends, family and colleagues for an unforgettable entertainment experience - order now!