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Offseason Changes Begin Early for Richmond Kickers as President Matt Spear Steps Down

Matt Spear joined the Kickers in January of 2019 as part of 22 Holdings took over the club. Rob Ukrop also part of 22 Holdings reamins

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The Richmond Kickers announced this morning that President Matt Spear will be leaving the organization to focus on his family.

Full Statement from the Richmond Kickers.

Richmond Kickers Pro Soccer President Matt Spear has stepped down from his role to focus on his family. The former sports marketing entrepreneur and college head coach joined the Kickers in January of 2019 as 22 Holdings took over as the new ownership group, and quickly made his mark on the Richmond sports landscape.

“I am so grateful for my experience with the Richmond Kickers,” commented Spear. “Rob Ukrop leads the growing ownership group with the bold transition and new chapter for this special, storied club. My focus and goals started with mission, culture, and community. Success on the field, adding investors, improving the stadium/fan experience and raising the organization’s trajectory follow purpose and people. I have loads of confidence in the tremendous folks at the club such as Darren Sawatzky to push towards deeper impact and great results. And thank you fans and friends in RVA – you are essential elements of the club’s spirit and drive. Go Richmond!”

During Spear’s leadership, the club has crafted a new core mission, vision and principles, built out a strong leadership team with new hires including Sporting Director and Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky, and Vice President of Sales and Operations, Camp Peery. With Spear’s decision-making in 2019, the team improved from a 9th place finish to one win away from the club’s first Final appearance since 2010. Finally, he led the push for the first major renovations at City Stadium since 1994 with nearly $2 million worth of investments over the last 18 months.

“It is a difficult day knowing my long-time friend, Matt Spear, has chosen to leave our organization to focus on his family, but the entire RVA community is thankful for his efforts to unify our community through soccer,” said Rob Ukrop, Kickers Chairman. “Matt has always been a tremendous leader, and his energy and enthusiasm has been contagious for our team both on and off the field. He has helped our club create a solid foundation to continue building on, and we know Matt and [his son] Beck will be back in town to cheer on his beloved Kickers with his many Richmond area friends in the Red Army and beyond.”

The Kickers completed a much improved season this past Saturday. The team finished fourth in the league and just missed out playing in the Championship Game in an abbreviated season.

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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.

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Kickers Announce Broadcast Partners for Upcoming Season

Every Kickers match will be broadcast on WTVR 6.3 (Comcast 206/Verizon 466) or WTVR 6.1. Additionally, WULT Ultra 94.1FM/1540AM, is set to air all Kickers road matches on the radio in Spanish

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The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce their broadcast partners for the 2021 USL League One season. WTVR CBS 6 will continue their partnership with the Kickers to broadcast all matches this season. New for the 2021 season, Spanish radio station WULT Ultra 94.1FM/1540AM will air all road matches.

“Extending our partnership with CBS 6 through 2022 is very exciting for us, and a key part of our initiative to bring the Richmond community together,” said Amy Neal, Kickers VP of Partnerships. “We are proud to provide our fans the opportunity to watch any regular season game through the WTVR broadcast.”

A partnership that formed prior to the start of the 2017 season, the Kickers and CBS 6 are entering their fifth season. Throughout this time, both organizations have partnered on several different events such as car giveaways and the #RallyTogether Fund in 2020.

“A lot of exciting storylines for the Richmond Kickers’ 2021 season,” commented Stephen Hayes, WTVR CBS 6 General Manager. “CBS 6 looks forward to televising every match on WTVR 6.3 (Comcast 206/Verizon 466) or WTVR 6.1. Thanks to the Kickers for the high level of soccer they bring to Central Virginia as well as their commitment to our community.”

The Kickers entered into a new partnership for the 2021 season with WULT Ultra 94.1FM/1540AM, which is set to air all Kickers road matches on the radio in Spanish. John Emmett and Brenda Acevedo will be calling the action. Fans can listen in on UltraRadioRichmond.com.

“We are very proud to be the first radio station in Richmond to do the Richmond Kickers games play-by-play in Spanish,” added Michael Mazursky, President of Mobile Radio Partners, owner of WULT 94.1FM/1540AM and WTOX 1480AM. “This is just the beginning of partnering with the Kickers for many years to come. Futbol is the number one sport in the world and now the Hispanic community in Richmond can follow the away games in their native language.”

Adding to the excitement of this partnership, Kickers Senior Manager of Marketing and Branding, Alyn Carr said “I’m so glad and excited that we can finally give Kickers soccer in Spanish. This is a goal I’ve had since starting at the Kickers, and I’m glad that we are able to partner with wonderful people at Boomtown and Ultra Radio to start taking steps in that direction.”

With the 2021 Home Opener coming up April 24, it is time to make sure you are there with your Kickers+ subscription. Kickers+ is a brand new subscription service for the 2021 season that provides fans tons of value, flexibility, and sweet perks! Sign up today for only $59.99 – Kickers+ benefits include 50% off tickets to any regular season home match, 15% off merchandise at shop.richmondkickers.com, exclusive digital content, member events, and more! Click here for more info and to join today!

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Download the Richmond Kickers mobile app for news, contests, and more!

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Kickers Release 2021 Schedule

The Kickers will have a total of 28 matches that kick off April 17 on the road at New England Revolution II. Every Kickers match will be broadcasted locally on WTVR CBS 6 or 6.3 and will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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The new season is on the horizon.

The Richmond Kickers 2021 USL League One regular season schedule has been unveiled, featuring 28 matches that kick off April 17 on the road at New England Revolution II.

Richmond will open up the home portion of their schedule on April 24 hosting the defending league title-winners, Greenville Triumph SC at City Stadium in the first of two matchups this season. The 2021 regular season will conclude on October 30, as the Kickers make the cross-country trip to face FC Tucson.

FULL 2021 RICHMOND KICKERS SCHEDULE

The 168-game regular season slate will see all 12 League One clubs play each other home and away, with the remaining six matches lined up primarily against regional rivals. The top six teams in the regular season will advance to the 2021 League One Playoffs.

Every Kickers match during the 2021 League One season will be broadcasted locally on WTVR CBS 6 or 6.3 and will be streamed live on ESPN+.

Tickets for all 2021 regular season home matches will go on sale, exclusively to Kickers+ members starting Wednesday, March 24 at 10:00 a.m. at RichmondKickers.com/Tickets.

With the season on the horizon, it’s time to lock in your Kickers+ subscription! Kickers+ is a brand new subscription service for the 2021 season that provides fans tons of value, flexibility, and sweet perks! Sign up today for only $59.99 – Kickers+ benefits include 50% off tickets to any regular season home match, 15% off merchandise at shop.richmondkickers.com, exclusive digital content, member events, and more! Click here for more info and to join today!

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Download the Richmond Kickers mobile app for news, contests, and more!

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Photos and Game Summary: Kicker Miss Out on League Championship with Saturday Loss

Heartbreak in City Stadium on Saturday as the Kickers miss out on their chance to play in the USL League 1 Championship.

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Official Kickers Summary

The Richmond Kickers (8-6-2) fell at home to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (6-5-4) Saturday night at City Stadium. Greg Hurst put the visitors up in the 57th minute. Oalex Anderson scored his second goal in as many matches to level the score in the 64th minute. Mark Hernandez scored the winner for Chattanooga in stoppage time.

Eight minutes into the match Akira Fitzgerald needed to make a stop. Ricardo Ruiz played in an outswinging pass into the Richmond box. Greg  Hurst managed to get a foot on the ball as Fitzgerald palmed it away from goal.

Wahab Ackwei came away with a big block in the 24th minute to keep the visitors off the board. Ricardo Zacarias was working the left wing with no real options. He squared a pass for Greg Hurst at the top of the box. Ackwei got in front of the shot to make the block and eventually clear it from danger.

The Richmond keeper was put to work again in the 29th minute with a point blank save. Josue Soto found Ricky Ruiz making a run in behind the Richmond backline. He got to the endline to get a cross into the box. Hurst again looked for a one-time effort that was denied by Fitzgerald.

Mutaya Mwape forced a save from Alex Mangels in the 36th minute. Mumbi Kwesele noticed Mwape making a run in space up the right side. The Zambian continued his run before trying to sneak in a shot at a tough angle. Mangels came away with the grab.

A long range effort in the 41st minute was once again stopped by Fitzgerald. After Soto laid the ball off, Zacarias looked to try his luck from about 25 yards out. Fitzgerald knocked it down and then pounced on the loose ball before Hurst could get to the rebound.

Chattanooga struck first in the 58th minute. Conor Doyle picked up control of the ball inside the center circle, taking one touch to play the ball through for Greg Hurst to run onto. He got a touch around Fitzgerald as he was coming off his line and put his shot into the net for the goal.

Richmond responded six minutes later from Oalex Anderson. Ryley Kraft floated in a free kick that came out to Matt Bolduc on the left wing. Breaking away from his defender, Bolduc found the opening to whip in a cross. Anderson was there with no one to stop him for his match tying header. That was his second goal in as many matches to pull the Kickers level.

The Kickers nearly jumped ahead in the 78th minute. Luke Pavone played a pass short to Bolduc as he was looking like he was making a run towards the right wing. He then cut back across the top of the Chattanooga box, launching a shot that Mangels needed to save.

The Red Wolves took the lead again in second half stoppage. Jason Ramos got control of the ball in front of the Chattanooga bench. He sent in a cross as Mark Hernandez made a near post run, getting a foot on the ball to slide it past Fitzgerald.

With the result in the Union Omaha match, the Kickers have been eliminated from contention for the USL League One Final.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Kickers at RichmondKickers.com and on the official team app.

BOX SCORE

TEAM FIRST HALF SECOND HALF FINAL
Richmond 0 1 1
Chattanooga 0 2 2

LINEUPS

Richmond: Akira Fitzgerald, Scott Thomsen (80’ – Stanley Alves), Wahab Ackwei, Kyle Venter, Luke Pavone, Victor Falck, Mumbi Kwesele (45’ – Greg Boehme), Ryley Kraft (78’ – Emiliano Terzaghi), Matt Bolduc, Gianluca Cuomo (45’ – Oalex Anderson), Mutaya Mwape (45’ – Jonathan Bolanos)

Unused Substitutes: Lee Johnston, David Diosa

Chattanooga: Alex Mangels, Uchenna Uzo (70’ – Ronaldo Pineda), Leo Folla, Jason Ramos, Jonathan Ricketts, Josue Soto, Tanner Dieterich, Conor Doyle, Ricardo Ruiz, Greg Hurst (90’ – Alexi Jaimes), Ricardo Zacarias (65’ – Mark Hernandez)

Unused Substitutes: Nicholas Amponsah, Nikolaos Pettas

STATISTICS

TEAM SHOTS SAVES FOULS CORNERS
Richmond 12 6 13 2
Chattanooga 17 3 18 5

SCORING SUMMARY

MIN TEAM PLAYER
57′ CHA Greg Hurst (Conor Doyle)
64′ RIC Oalex Anderson (Matt Bolduc)
90′ CHA Mark Hernandez (Jason Ramos)

CAUTIONS SUMMARY

MIN TEAM PLAYER
25′ RIC Wahab Ackwei
86′ CHA Mark Hernandez
90′ CHA Ronaldo Pineda
90′ RIC Greg Boehme

EJECTIONS SUMMARY

MIN TEAM PLAYER
None.

MATCH INFORMATION

Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referees: Ben Pilgram, Nicholas Seymour
Fourth Official: Nickrod Fateh
Attendance: 875
Weather: Cloudy, 75 ºF

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