Richmond Kickers announce the return of women’s team

The official launch is set for Spring 2024
The rise of women’s soccer is sweeping the nation, including right here in Central Virginia.
Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 3:55 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The rise of women’s soccer is sweeping the nation, including right here in Central Virginia.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Richmond Kickers are launching a women’s team to represent the city.

The fan base has rapidly grown here at home in the last few years. The U.S. Women’s National Team has won the last two FIFA World Cups and is looking to add another in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

As Americans watch the women’s team continue to stand strong, the thrill of the game is increasing.

”There’s just so many opportunities for girls with college soccer and now pro soccer in America with the new USL super league; the sky’s the limit,” said Richmond Kickers Head Coach Darren Sawatzky.

“We’re in the process of a new rebrand,” said Kickers CEO Rob Ukrop. “They’ll be a new mark and new name for this Richmond team. We had a team, the Destiny, from 2005 to 2009. Probably the best-known player on that team is Becky Sauerbrunn.”

Destiny showcased young, talented players like Sauerbrunn, who is now a two-time world cup winner for the U.S.

The USL W league is a pre-professional women’s soccer league that draws players from high school and college so they can continue to grow as a player and stay in shape.

”To complete the pathway for women in the area, to have the ability to go from youth, youth elites to college soccer and now the W League here, it gives young girls something to aspire for,“ Sawatzky said.

For some fans in Central Virginia, this is essential for our soccer community.

”So I think it’s empowering for, you know, other young women or even little girls to kind of see that there’s support behind the field of soccer,” said Mecca Harris, a Kickers fan. “That’s a feasible outlet or profession for them.”

The new W League Richmond team hopes to be in action in 2024.

This Friday, you can join the Kickers at City Stadium for their FIFA Women’s World Cup watch party.

This week, all eyes may be on Australia as the FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off, but Team USA is going for a record third World Cup title in a row.

The U.S. faces off against Vietnam at 9 p.m., with gates opening at 7 p.m. To reserve your free tickets, head over to the Richmond Kickers website.