The Richmond Kickers played their second preseason match this weekend, but the first that included D.C. United players. Both Ethan White and Taylor Kemp started against the Carolina Railhawks, while Conor Shanosky played the entire second half. Shanosky was kept out of the starting lineup by Phillippe Davies, formerly of the Vancouver Whitecaps and a recent call-up to the Canadian National Team. These three players seem to be slam dunks to be loaned to Richmond, with the final player likely coming from a group that includes Andrew Dykstra, Casey Townsend, Syamsir Alam, and Lewis Neal. If Joe Willis gets healthy soon, I would not be surprised to see Dykstra, who played college soccer for Virginia Commonwealth University, loaned out.
Also starting for the Kickers was D.C. United's 2013 Supplemental Draft pick Evan Raynr, an attacking midfielder from UCLA was was among the first round of cuts from United's camp in early February. While United did not have a roster spot for him, perhaps they suggested that he try to get a spot on the Kickers so that he could stay on United's radar. The Kickers lost the game 4-1; Taylor Kemp assisting on their lone goal, scored by trialist forward Chris Thomas. Familiar names on the Railhawks roster include Jordan Graye and Ty Shipilane, who both started, as well as Julius James.
I have seen much confusion about the nature of these loans, so let me clarify a few things about them. The main point on which I have seen confusion is the four players rule. While there must be at least four players on loan from D.C. United to the Richmond Kickers at any given time, it does NOT have to be the same four players all year long. If there was a crisis at center back, United could recall Ethan White as long as they sent a different player to Richmond to take his place; after the crisis was over, the team could then send White back to the Kickers. The second point is that playing in U.S. Open Cup matches would cup tie a player to that team. If White and Kemp play an Open Cup match for the Kickers, they cannot then play for United; similarly, if the Kickers were to make it to the finals, United could not lend them Dwayne De Rosario and Chris Pontius, even if they wanted to. United is also more than welcome to send players on one game stints to Richmond in addition to the four required players.
My question for you is this: how many United players will we see play at least one game for Richmond this year? And who will they be?