The Richmond Kickers, a United Soccer League professional club based in River City, Virginia, are celebrating their 25th anniversary this season. The Kickers are one of the oldest continuously running professional soccer teams in the United States. Brock USA’s East Regional Vice President, Ronnie Pascale, was a goalkeeper for the Kickers from 2000-2012.
Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers’ Director of Soccer, said “Ronnie is one of the Kickers’ all-time greats.” Pascale played over 300 games, logging 27,000 minutes for the club, more than any other player in the team’s history. He was named USL goalkeeper of the year 3 times. Ronnie expressed his pride in the club’s history saying, “I am truly honored and humbled to have been part of this great organization and to have been able to play in front of these amazing fans for as long as I did.”
Before he signed with the Kickers, Ronnie played for the Atlanta Silverbacks for a season, and was the Men’s Team Captain at Furman University. He was named to the Southern All-Conference team four times, and Conference Goalkeeper of the year three times during his college career.
The Kickers started in 1993, playing in front of small crowds at the University of Richmond. They now play at City Stadium, which can support over 22,000 fans. Some of the club’s biggest victories came during the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Kickers have been big contenders in the tournament throughout the years, beating MLS teams including the Los Angeles Galaxy, Columbus Crew, and Sporting Kansas City.
The team also host international friendly matches and exhibitions against teams from around the world. Pascale believes the international attention the club received proves the professionalism and credibility of the Kickers. The international games are also exciting for fans, and boost ticket sales for the club.
The Richmond Kickers have been a great presence in River City for the last 25 years. In addition to a professional and competitive soccer environment, they also provide youth leagues, camps, and fundraising opportunities to support the community. Ronnie Pascale remains a prominent figure in the Kickers’ history, and uses his unique experiences to help make sporting surfaces safer with Brock USA.