Yesterday, the Richmond Kickers played a preseason friendly against the University of Maryland whose purpose was to test the flock of trialists currently with the team and to integrate new signings into the team. Out of the starting lineup, only Mike Callahan and Alex Lee played regular minutes for the team last year. For the newly signed players, Shay Spitz, Samuel Asante, and George Davis IV all started and played most of the game. I was particularly impressed by Asante, who was a pitbull in defensive midfield and constantly pressuring the Maryland midfield. He was also able to jump into the attack, but his best chance was pushed wide.
George Davis IV played mostly from the left wing, and was able to put in some good crosses; he looked composed on the all and looks to be a good addition. Spitz played left back, which I do not think is his natural position. He played adequately there, but will have to get better if he is to be a regular fullback.
There were also a number of trialists who played. The ones who I noticed playing were:
- Shawn Sloan: Sloan spent all of last year with the Columbus Crew after being selected in the MLS Supplemental Draft. However, he was not re-signed for this season. He initially played as the lone forward in Leigh Cowlishaw’s 4-2-3-1, and he was not very effective.
- Jack Metcalf: Metcalf is a recent graduate from Clemson University, having grown up in Liverpool. He played for the Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers youth academies before coming to college in the States. He played on the left wing in the second half, and was lively. He took all of the free kicks while he was on the field, and they were threatening.
- Hugh Roberts: Roberts recently graduated from George Mason University and played centerback alongside Shane Johnson. He was mostly effective but unspectacular.
- Tish Hanley: Hanley spent last year with the Ocala Stampede of the USL PDL, the year before that with the Fredericksburg Hotspur of PDL, and before that for a team on St. Kitts. He has also made 11 appearances for the St. Kitts national team. He played forward during the second half, and was much more effective than Sloan. His header last in the second half hit the post.
Other trialists who either didn’t play or didn’t play enough for me to notice them:
- Caleb Lewis: A midfielder who just graduated from CNU.
- Daniel Welsh: Invited to the MLS Combine, Welsh is a centerback or a leftback. Grew up in Scottish youth academies.
- Nick Rich: Played for RVA FC last year as a part of their NPSL championship team. Graduate of VCU.
- Kelvin Herrera
- Romena Bowie: Played for RVA FC last year as a part of their NPSL championship team. Graduate of VCU.
There were, of course, three D.C. United loanees. They will be written up on Black and Red United in a day or two.