RICHMOND, VA – (Wednesday, February 7, 2018) – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce the addition of Richmond United Academy players Sam Bacon and Kent Dickey for the 2018 season.
“An important role for our professional team is the integration of Academy players into the first team set up,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “It’s great that Kent and Sam grew up playing for the Kickers and Strikers, then progressed to Richmond United and now get the chance to represent their hometown pro team.”
“As with many Academy players in the past, Sam and Kent will have the unique opportunity to train daily with the first team and compete for a place on the USL roster,” added Cowlishaw. “It’s an exciting challenge for them and a valuable environment to continue their soccer education.”
Signing his first Academy Contract with the Kickers, Bacon currently represents Richmond United on the U19 USSF Development Academy team. Joining the Richmond Strikers Youth Soccer Club in 2006, the midfielder has been a member of the USSF Development Academy for five years and was recently named to the 2017 Academy Summer Showcase Best XI. Bacon is expected to graduate from Trinity Episcopal School this spring and has committed to Elon University.
Dickey joined the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club at the age of 7 and is currently in his fifth year with Richmond United, representing the club on the U19 USSF Development Academy team. The 6’4” goalkeeper trained with the Kickers pro team last summer before signing his first Academy Contract this week. He is expected to graduate from Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School this spring and has committed to Villanova University.
As of the 2013 season, expanded roster sizes allow teams to carry as many as five Academy players in USL competition. To qualify for an Academy spot, players must be younger than 21 at the start of the current season; they can’t have competed collegiately; they must never have signed as a professional and the player must either be from a club’s region, an affiliate youth team or from an MLS affiliate.
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