Travel Plans, Signings Big in Richmond's Offseason

Offseason for the Kickers starts with new signings and travel
by Brett Rorie   |   Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Red RVA – column on Richmond Kickers & the Richmond Virginia area soccer scene.

The Richmond Kickers kicked off their offseason by signing midfielders Shay Sptiz and Samuel Asante.

Asante is a Ghanian midfielder that made his USL PRO career debut this past season with the Charlotte Eagles. The 24-year-old put up 1 goal and 1 assist in 21 appearances with the Eagles. His one goal came in the USL playoffs in a 3-1 win over the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Before turning pro in 2013, Asante played 4 years at NAIA side Lindsey Wilson, where he had 8 goals and 10 assist in 60 appearances. The 5-foot-5 midfielder helped Wilson to 2 NAIA National Titles, and Asante was a Mid-South All-conference performer while there.

The Richmond Kickers also have signed midfielder Spitz. Spitz last season scored 4 goals in 18 appearances for USL side Los Angeles Blues.

The native of New Zealand had 4 goals in 27 appearances for the Blues the past 2 seasons, along with 2 Team of the Week honors. Spitz is a very well-traveled player, he's played for Australian 2nd league side Rockdale City Suns, where he 4 goals in 22 appearances. He also played in 6 games for Kitchee SC of the Hong Kong First Division soccer league this past year.

Spitz also played 4 years at Cal State Fullerton, where he tallied 12 goals in 77 appearances for the Titans. Along with these accomplishments, the 25-year old also has seen time with the United States beach soccer team.  

What to expect from these signings?

The signing of Asante is a move for depth. I don't see the Ghanian midfielder getting a great amount of time at Richmond, unless DCU decides to call up a lot of players to the main roster.

Meanwhile, the signing of Spitz is a very nice one. “Shay impressed during his time with the LA Blues and was one of our main offseason targets,” said Richmond Kickers head coach Leigh Cowlishaw.

Spitz is a play-making midfielder that can send in an excellent cross, or set up a play with a great through ball. Spitz in the past couple years has also greatly improved his dribbling ability. Expect Spitz to be a big time performer for the Richmond Kickers this upcoming season.

Some Kickers travel with DC United to Indonesia

In their effort to further its presence in Indonesia, DC United will travel to the country to play in 2 friendlies against 2 Indonesian team (Persib Bandung and Arema FC). In the travel roster, 6 Kicker players traveled (goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra; defenders Henry Kalungi, Shane Johnson, Alex Lee; midfielders Michael Callahan, Shay Spitz and Luke Vercollone).

Along with 6 Kickers, DCU brought six players that have previously seen time with Richmond (defenders Taylor Kemp, Conor Shanosky; midfielders Collin Martin, Jarred Jeffery; forwards Micahel Seaon and Casey Townsend.)

DCU fell in both games 2-1.  One of the 2 DCU goals came from former Kicker Michael Seaton, who scored off of a header in the first game.

As expected, the Richmond Kickers that were brought didn't see a great amount of playing time. Regardless, these players were able to play in front of a huge crowd in Indonesia, which according to the Nielsen ratings, over 4 million people watched. Could be a great learning experience for these group of players.

Brett RORIE

Nationality:
USA
College:
Univ. of Arkansas
Club Domestic:
DCU, Richmond Kickers, SBFC
Club Foreign:
Arsenal, BVB
USMNT fan by birth, D.C. United fan by way of Eddie Pope and Macro Etcheverry and the rest of Brett's fandom is just by accident. Born and raised in the small town of Flippin, Ark.
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