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D.C. United renews affiliation with Richmond Kickers

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Two days after Valentine's, D.C. United shows its love for the Richmond Kickers.

The day after the news about Luciano Acosta dropped doesn't mean a let up today. The team has announced that they will renew their affiliation with the Richmond Kickers for two years, providing young D.C. United players with badly needed playing time and providing the Kickers with players that they would not be able to get otherwise.

This is the fourth year of D.C. United's partnership with the Richmond Kickers, and players who have grown there or stayed sharp there include Taylor Kemp, Collin Martin, Jalen Robinson, Miguel Aguilar, Travis Worra, and Andrew Dykstra.

The two year deal also gives both sides some clarity and stability going forward, though it does end right as United is scheduled to move into their new home at Buzzard Point. Players like Paul Clowes, Julian Buescher, Travis Worra, and Luke Mishu could all see time there to keep sharp and get real game minutes under their belts, making themselves ready for when they are needed in the summer or fall. I could also see Chris Korb getting some time there as he finishes rehabbing from his knee injury.

The USL season is longer this year, with 30 games running from late March through September. The league was also able to arrange the schedule in such a way that, for the first time since I can remember, the Richmond Kickers will have no back-to-back days with games nor any two games in three days stretches. The league is also up to 29 teams, 5 more than last season, with two conferences designed to help limit travel expenses.

If you live near a USL team and haven't yet been, try them out; the games are fun and you get to see first-hand some of the development of next round of soccer talent in the US.