RICHMOND, VA – (Thursday, February 7, 2013) – The landmark agreement that has named the Richmond Kickers the Official USL PRO Affiliate of D.C. United kicks off this week as Kickers defender Henry Kalungi travels to Orlando, FL to train with the Major League Soccer club and head coach Leigh Cowlishaw joins the coaching staff to observe their preseason camp.
“Henry has had a fantastic 12 months for club and country and this is a well deserved opportunity for his efforts,” commented Cowlishaw. “Not only will the preseason camp offer valuable experience for Henry, it will be an opportune time for me to identify potential players and familiarize myself with the D.C. United squad while learning new training concepts. This week is the first step towards implementing our partnership with D.C. United as we look forward to a very exciting 2013 season.”
Departing Thursday morning for Orlando, the team will begin a 17-day camp built around the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, an eight-team preseason tournament. United will play four matches as well as an off-site friendly against the Philadelphia Union.
Kalungi has started 97 of 97 games played with the Kickers over the past four seasons, logging nearly 9,000 minutes while contributing to 38 shutouts. Named team captain in 2012, he has anchored one of the league’s best defensive units en route to the 2009 USL PRO Championship, 2010 USL PRO Finals and 2011 U.S. Open Cup Semifinals. Recently named captain of the Ugandan National Team, he has earned seven international caps since 2011.
The Kickers and D.C. United announced their official affiliation on January 24, in conjunction with the groundbreaking multi-year deal forged between MLS and USL PRO. As a part of this arrangement with the Kickers, United will send a minimum of four first-team players, to be announced at a later date, on long-term loans to Richmond. Separated by a little over 100 miles, the two organizations have worked closely together over the past two decades as 18 D.C. United players have seen playing time with the Richmond Kickers.
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