RICHMOND, VA – (Friday, February 17, 2017) – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce the addition of Canadian international Mallan Roberts and homegrown midfielder Finnlay Wyatt, as well as the return of Richmond United Academy midfielder Simon Fitch for the 2017 season.
A 6’2” defender, Roberts signed with FC Edmonton’s first team in 2013 following a stint with the club’s Academy program. Making 46 appearances in an FC Edmonton uniform, he tallied three goals and amassed 4,026 minutes over four seasons before going on loan with then-NASL side Ottawa Fury FC in 2016 where he played 22 games.
“Mallan is a powerful defender with considerable Division 2 playing experience,” commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “He's still young with plenty of room for development and we look forward to him fulfilling that potential with the Kickers.”
Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Roberts gained Canadian citizenship in 2013 and earned his first international call-up when he debuted for Canada in a 2015 World Cup Qualifier against Dominica. Prior to joining the FC Edmonton Reserves in 2012, he played for the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Sierra Leone.
A 2016 Big South All-Academic Team honoree, Wyatt recently concluded his career at Longwood University, contributing 11 goals and 13 assists in 53 appearances. A native of Sheffield, England, he spent time with Sheffield Wednesday’s Academy before relocating to Midlothian, Virginia. Joining the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club at the age of 14, he spent time with the Kickers USSF Development Academy teams, also earning All-Region and All-Metro honors with Midlothian High School.
Returning to the Richmond Kickers for his second season on an Academy contract, Fitch joined the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club at the age of 9. The seventeen-year old midfielder currently represents Richmond United on the U18 USSF Development Academy team and has committed to George Washington University in the fall.
“Simon and Finnlay represent what the Kickers are all about which is to provide opportunities for young local talent to showcase the past and present of our youth development program,” said Cowlishaw. “Both have had successful Academy careers and now have the opportunity to replicate that at the professional level for the Kickers first team.”
As of the 2013 season, expanded roster sizes allow teams to carry as many as five Academy players in USL competition. To qualify for an Academy spot, players must be younger than 21 at the start of the current season; they can’t have competed collegiately; they must never have signed as a professional and the player must either be from a club’s region, an affiliate youth team or from an MLS affiliate.
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