USA TOUR: Away days - Richmond Kickers

15th July

Richmond Kickers v Swansea City
City Stadium, Saturday, July 16, 7pm (US time)
Address: 3201 Maplewood Ave, Richmond, VA 23221, United States
Telephone: 001 804 644 5425
Website - Richmond Kickers

The opposition
Richmond Kickers currently play in the United Soccer League, which is the third tier in the US pyramid system behind the MLS (Major League Soccer) and NASL (North American Soccer League).
Prior to the USL, the Kickers have had numerous spells throughout the second, third and fourth divisions of American soccer. The team has played in the third division of American soccer since 2006, and are among the oldest continuously operating professional soccer clubs in the United States.
The Kickers - established in 1993 - have previously faced Premier League opposition in Crystal Palace and West Brom in the last two years.

Their head coach, Leigh Cowlishaw, was born in Burton upon Trent but moved to America aged 19 to play for University of Richmond, before becoming an integral player for the Kickers, for whom his number 13 shirt has been retired.
Another link even closer to home is Kickers striker Matthew Delicate.
Born in Kent but raised in Boncath, North Pembrokeshire, Delicate kicked off his playing career in the League of Wales for Carmarthen Town, for whom he marked his debut with a hat-trick against Haverfordwest.
He left soon after, though, as he was awarded a college soccer scholarship at Virginia Commonwealth University.
After impressing in Richmond's development team, he turned pro in 2004 for the Kickers, where he is currently serving his second stint at the club.

What's the stadium like?
City Stadium is south of the Carytown district off the Downtown Expressway.
The stadium was built in 1929 and seats for 9,000 for football games.
Tickets for the game are priced $30/$45 and are available HERE.

Stadium facts
The stadium, now owned by the City of Richmond, was built in 1929 with construction costs totalling $80,000.
It's usual capacity is just over 22,600 but is restricted to 9,000 for football matches.
The stadium was known as City Stadium until 1983, when it adopted the name University of Richmond Stadium as part of an agreement, in which the University of Richmond agreed to lease the stadium for $1 per year in exchange for maintaining the facility. The facility's name reverted to City Stadium in 2010 when the University of Richmond ended its tenancy and moved its football games to its new on-campus
The Kickers started playing at the venue in 1995 after they left their previous home at First Market Stadium, in which they spent playing their inaugural year.

How to get there
Directions and Parking
From the north: Interstate 95 South (exit 79) to 195 South (Downtown Expressway). Follow for three miles and take Rosewood Avenue Exit. Turn left at McCloy Street. Stadium is on the right.
From the south: Interstate 95 North (exit 74) to 195 North (Downtown Expressway, TOLL road, 50 cents). Take Rosewood Avenue Exit. Turn left on McCloy Street. Stadium is on the right.
From the west: Interstate 64 East to Interstate 195 South (Downtown Expressway). Take Rosewood Avenue Exit. Turn left on McCloy Street. Stadium is on the right.
From the east: 64 West to 95 South. Take 195 North (Downtown Expressway). Take Rosewood Avenue Exit. Turn left on McCloy Street. Stadium is on the right.
From UR Campus: From Boatwright Drive turn right at Three Chopt Road. Turn left at Cary Street. Take Cary Street into "Carytown". Turn right on Freeman Road. Stadium is four blocks on the left.
Parking: Free parking is available and tailgating is encouraged at all Kickers home games.

Food trucks can be found around the city of Richmond and serve local food at low prices. Click HERE for a list of the trucks. Each truck has their own website with menu and prices.
The Kickers have a rotating menu from game to game, and you can find out what food trucks will be at each game on the Kickers' website.
Food options include the likes of tacos, burritos, hot dogs, chilli or cheese hot dogs, cheeseburgers and pizzas.
Alcoholic beverages including Kick It Hunny - the official beer of the Richmond Kickers - and non-alcoholic drinks are available
If you fancied refreshments outside of the stadium, Sheppard Street Tavern (zip code 23221) is a sports bar nearby, while China Panda, Akida Japanese and Buddy's Place are within close proximity. There's also a 7-11 across the road for your tailgating needs.
Half a mile from the stadium is West Cary Street - also known as Carytown.
Along this one-mile stretch of road, you can find everything from all-American burgers to Italian and Japanese restaurants. Getting to Carytown is relatively easy, and there is plenty of parking in the surrounding area. Gus' Sports Bar and Grill (zip code 23220) is two miles from the stadium, and is the official sports bar of the Richmond Kickers. This place is a local favourite and a great place to go before the game if you are in Richmond all day.
Please note: Tipping in America is standard, whether it be a buying a meal or a couple of drinks.
For a sit-down, waiter-served meal 10 per cent usually means you aren't totally happy; 15 per cent usually means all was acceptable; 20 per cent for excellent; over 20 per cent for outstanding.; 15-20 per cent is considered normal.
For buying drinks at the bar, $1 per drink or 15-20 per cent of the bill is seen as the standard.

In America, tailgating isn't driving too close to the driver in front - it's a sports/eating/drinking experience! Basically, park up and get the food and refreshments out of the car and have a picnic in the car park (or parking lot).
It's not a minor thing, more so a huge social event with people sharing food and drinks, even cooking food on portable BBQ units.

Visiting Richmond
Firstly, UK visitors to America need an ESTA, which is valid for two years and can be obtained online HERE - they cost $14. Background checks will be performed, no certificate is issued but details will be held electronically.
Washington DC has three major airports; Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI).
Richmond is 108 miles from Washington DC, which can be travelled in under two hours by car via Interstate 95.
Visit Richmond for full information on events, things to do and places to eat and stay.

Sports teams and venues
Richmond Kickers - professional football team
Richmond Flying Squirrels - Minor League Baseball.
Richmond Raiders - professional indoor football eague.
Richmond Black Widows - women's football team.
Arthur Ashe Athletic Center - a multi-purpose arena.
The Richmond International Raceway (RIR) - auto racing.
Southside Speedway

Did you know?
- Richmond is where, in 1935, canned beer was made commercially available for the first time.
- Richmond claims to be the creators of the sailor sandwich - hot pastrami, grilled knackwurst, melted Swiss cheese and hot mustard on rye bread.
- Many films and television shows have been filmed, in whole or in part, in Richmond, including Killing Kennedy, Lincoln, The Box, Finnegan Begin Again, Hannibal, The Jackal, Hearts in Atlantis, The Contender, Shadow Conspiracy, Evan Almighty, and Iron Jawed Angels.
Locations featured in the 1990s television cartoon, Doug, are named after or inspired by areas in Richmond and nearby counties as creator Jim Jinkins was born and raised in Richmond.
- The city was founded by William Byrd II in 1704, and named after its sister city, Richmond in London.

Famous Richmonders
Warren Beatty - actor/filmmaker
Arthur Ashe - former tennis player and 1975 Wimbledon winner
Jason Mraz - singer/songwriter
Earl and Dave Hebner - former WWE referees
Mickie James - WWE wrestler
Constance Wu - actress