RICHMOND, VA - (Wednesday, March 15, 2017) – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to receive five players on loan from the club’s official Major League Soccer affiliate, D.C. United. Defender Chris Durkin, forward Alhaji Kamara, goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky, midfielder Chris Odoi-Atsem and midfielder Maxim Tissot are slated to appear in Richmond throughout the 2017 season, pending USL, MLS and U.S. Soccer approval.
Returning to Richmond on loan this season, Durkin signed a Homegrown Contract with D.C. United last year, becoming the youngest Homegrown Player in club history. He made his first team debut as a 16-year old when he started United’s U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round match in June, going on to make three appearances with the Kickers in 2016.
A native of Glen Allen, Virginia, Durkin joined the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club at the age of 8. Splitting time between the Richmond United Academy and D.C. United Academy, the Captain of the U17 U.S. Men’s National Team trained with the Kickers pro team during the 2015 season and featured in the exhibition match against the English Premier League’s West Bromwich Albion as a 15-year old before earning an invitation to U.S. Soccer’s residency program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL in January 2016.
A Discovery Claim signing for D.C. United last May, Kamara burst onto the Major League Soccer scene after setting the record for fastest goal scored by a player making his debut (33 seconds) against Sporting Kansas City on May 27, 2016. Capped four times for Sierra Leone, he began his youth career with FC Kallon, one of the powerhouses in the Sierra Leone National Premier League, before signing on loan with Swedish first division side Djurgårdens IF in 2012 and eventually signing with IFK Norrköping in 2014. After a brief loan stint in Malaysia in 2015, he was recalled to IFK Norrköping, where he scored seven goals in 13 appearances to lead the Swedish side to the league title.
D.C. United selected Klenofsky with the 34th overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft out of Monmouth University. The 6’6” native of Lincoln Park, NJ was named MAAC Co-Goalkeeper of the Year as a senior, ranking first in the conference with a .841 save percentage, second with a 0.87 goals against average, and was tied for fifth with four shutouts.
Selected by D.C. United with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Odoi-Atsem was named First Team All-Big Ten and guided the University of Maryland to a third straight Big Ten tournament title as a senior in 2016. He also helped match a school record with five consecutive shutouts and finished the year with one goal and six assists.
A Canadian National Team player and two-time Canadian Championship winner, Tissot signed with D.C. United in February. He spent four seasons with the Montreal Impact, logging 44 appearances and tallying five goals after signing his first MLS contract in 2013. Signing with Ottawa Fury FC mid-season in 2016, he made 19 appearances and added two goals with the then-NASL side.
Separated by a little over 100 miles, D.C. United and the Richmond Kickers worked closely to organize loan spells for over 20 years before officially affiliating prior to the 2013 season. Over the last four seasons, 19 players from D.C. United featured for the Kickers, including Miguel Aguilar, Paul Clowes, Chris Durkin, 2013 USL Goalkeeper of the Year Andrew Dykstra, Charlie Horton, Luke Mishu, Jalen Robinson and Travis Worra who combined for 4,201 minutes in 2016.
Over the past two decades, 37 D.C. United players have played with the Richmond Kickers, with the roster of players including 2011 Major League Soccer MVP Dwayne De Rosario, Mike Burke, Jeff Causey, Ben Crawley, Brian Kamler, Mike McGinty, Mark Simpson, Clyde Simms, Robert Ssejjemba and Richie Williams. Players who have featured with the Kickers on loan include Miguel Aguilar, Steven Birnbaum, Brian Carroll, Alex Caskey, Paul Clowes, Chris Durkin, Andrew Dykstra, John DiRaimondo, Christiano Francois, Charlie Horton, Jared Jeffrey, Taylor Kemp, Justin Mapp, Collin Martin, Andy Metcalf, Luke Mishu, Bryan Namoff, Anthony Peters, Kyle Porter, Jalen Robinson, Michael Seaton, Conor Shanosky, Long Tan, Casey Townsend, Ethan White, Joe Willis and Travis Worra. In franchise history, 22 players have progressed from the Richmond Kickers into Major League Soccer.
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