D.C. United and the Richmond Kickers are in the third, and possibly last, season of their affiliation, with USL set to kick off this weekend. League stalwarts Charleston Battery will take on newcomers TFC II, and the Richmond Kickers will play their first game the next weekend against the Wilmington Hammerheads. United and the Kickers have finalized their list but have not yet made it public; that should happen sometime this week. Despite that, these are the four players that all indications point to being in the River City this season.
- Collin Martin: After getting only limited time in the preseason for United, and having not appeared on the bench for any of the MLS games, Martin seems like a good bet to get some playing time in Richmond (and he even said himself on Twitter than he thinks he will be back). He will be able to play his natural position, central attacking midfield, and should slot into an immediate starting spot. He won't turn 21 until after this season is over, so I hope he can boss USL and get ready for a step up late this season or next season.
- Jalen Robinson: Another player who has not featured much for D.C. in this early season, and Robinson has already been spotted in at least one Kickers preseason game, playing as a center back. For the Kickers, Alex Lee and Sascha Goerres are fairly locked into the starting fullback spots, though Goerres is a 35 year-old player/coach who won't play every game. However, the starting center back spot next to William Yomby is wide open, with Robinson, Hugh Roberts, and Shane Johnson all competing.
- Luke Mishu: Like I said with Robinson, Alex Lee and Sascha Goerres are the presumptive starters, but Goerres will need to b spelled at times. Also, when the Kickers are killing off a game Leigh Cowlishaw will sometimes move Goerres into the midfield where he can provide calm passing and spot on free kicks.
- Travis Worra: Ryan Taylor, who started the second half of the season for the Kickers after Joe Willis was recalled, is a decent keeper but did not place in the top 10 of any statistical categories last year, with the team going 3-3-4 with him in goal. Worra will immediately challenge him for the starting spot, and it wouldn't surprise me if he wins.
One name that is not yet on this list is Michael Seaton, who is still recovering from an injury suffered in Concacaf play for Jamaica. Between that and Eddie Johnson's situation, we may not see as much of Seaton in Richmond this year. There will probably be other spot loans to Richmond this year, but these four seem to be the main candidates. What do you all think?