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Hills & Heights

Richmond Kickers Have a New Schedule and President

The first game for the Kickers in their new USL1 League is March 30th.

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The off-season is the worst season for any sports fans. Fans patiently wait for any news. Kickers supporter’s patience was finally rewarded recently with two big announcements.

The first is that yesterday the full 2019 schedule dropped. The 28-game regular season schedule, kicks off Saturday, March 30 at City Stadium against Lansing Ignite FC.

The Kickers will compete in the inaugural season of the 10-team USL League One, which includes Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, FC Tucson, Forward Madison FC, Greenville Triumph SC, Lansing Ignite FC, North Texas SC, Orlando City B, South Georgia Tormenta FC and Toronto FC II. The Kickers will face each team three times, with an additional meeting against one team.

Soccer Saturdays comprise the majority of the Kickers regular season home schedule, with 13 of 14 matches taking place on Saturdays. The one mid-week exception falls on Wednesday, October 2. Two matches, including the home opener on March 30, will kick off at 5:00 p.m. with the remainder of matches beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The regular season concludes at City Stadium Saturday, October 5 against Orlando City B. The top four teams will qualify for post season play with the final match of the postseason set to take place from October 17-21.

NEW PRESIDENT

The other news from last week is Kickers announced, Matt Spear had been hired as the new president of the pro team. One item in his resume that caught our attention was that led the development for the $2 million Alumni Stadium. Anybody that has been to City Stadium knows that it’s in desperate need of renovation if the team is to continue to thrive.

The Richmond Kickers are excited to announce Matt Spear as the President of the Richmond Kickers Pro Soccer Team. Beginning in January, Spear will take over the reigns as the Richmond Kickers Pro Team transitions into the newly formed USL League One.

“I am incredibly excited to work for the Kickers and Richmond as a whole,” said Spear. “My style is servant leadership, not top down. I am focused on culture and conviction. We will be championship oriented with the players, coaches, and staff thriving on a growth mindset and focus on excellence and impact.”

Spear brings a wealth of soccer expertise, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a team-first attitude that will energize the Richmond community as we push the “Kickers Experience” to greater heights, both on and off the field. “I have admired Matt’s leadership skills since our first day on a soccer field together at Davidson in 1989. He was an incredible teammate who was able to bring out the best qualities in others, a skill that will be welcomed by the Kickers Family,” stated former Richmond Kickers Board President, Rob Ukrop.

“Helping Head Coach David Bulow sign and field a talented team is a key first step as is building a staff that is innovative and collaborative,” Spear added. “Our mission and goals will spread beyond pro soccer games. Soccer is the globe’s most popular and incredible phenomenon and its connection to the RVA base and beyond is essential. The Kickers’ fans, ignited by the Red Army, are an integral ingredient of our club and spirit. We will develop City Stadium and heighten the fan experience. We will expand our supporter base, we will accelerate corporate partnerships, and we will elevate the community. Sports are an incredibly powerful foundation of well-being, city pride, civic engagement.”

Spear has led the men’s soccer program at his alma mater, Davidson College, for the last 18 years. His NCAA Division I head coaching tenure included ten wins over ACC teams such as Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, and North Carolina. He also led the development for the $2 million Alumni Stadium. Before coaching, Spear had a successful sports marketing career including co-founding initiatives such as a college soccer broadcast series, several soccer websites and projects with adidas America, US Youth Soccer, and United Soccer Coaches. Spear was a Captain of Davidson’s 1992 Final Four Team. More bio information can be found here.

“Building upon his own success as a student-athlete on Davidson’s legendary 1992 Final Four team, Matt poured his heart and soul into this men’s soccer program and made it better – and for that, we are forever grateful. Although bittersweet to see him leave, we are excited for the next chapter in his journey and wish he and his family nothing but best wishes and even greater success,” commented Davidson Athletic Director, Chris Clunie.

The Kickers will hold an introductory press conference next week with more details of Spear’s hire and the new direction for the Richmond Kickers Professional Team.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.