Saturday, December 09, 2023

Spokane Velocity FC announce home opener against Richmond

| November 21, 2023 1:00 AM

SPOKANE — Professional soccer will come to the new ONE Spokane Stadium on March 16, 2024 in a match pitting one of the newest pro soccer clubs against one of the country’s oldest.  

The Spokane Velocity FC is announced that its home opener will see the club face off against the Richmond Kickers. Founded in 1993, the Kickers are one of the two longest continuously running professional outdoor soccer clubs in the United States.  

The March 16 match will be one of 16 home games for Spokane Velocity FC at the new stadium in Spokane’s North Bank Arts and Entertainment District. While the team’s full schedule won’t be released until early December, officials with the United Soccer League (USL) confirmed the home match will be the second of the season for the Velocity, after an away game March 9 against the Greenville Triumph in South Carolina.  

The Kickers will bring to Spokane a storied history. The team has won three league titles and in 1995 won the U.S. Open Cup. In 2022, the Kickers won the USL League One Players’ Shield for finishing with the best regular-season record. This past season, the team missed the playoffs after finishing in 11th place with a 6-15-11 record. 

Spokane Velocity FC on Nov. 15 announced the hiring of the team’s first-ever head coach. Leigh Veidman comes to Spokane with a wealth of coaching experience in the professional and collegiate ranks. He most recently was an assistant coach of the Charleston Battery of the USL Championship.  

“This is an exciting time in Spokane. It’s awesome to be hosting such a well-established team in our very first game in ONE Spokane Stadium,” said Phil Harrison, Vice President of Spokane Velocity FC. “We cannot wait to see what the rest of the schedule will look like.” 

The 2024 season will mark the sixth year of USL League One, and the addition of the Spokane Velocity FC will bring the membership to 12 teams. The first five League One championship titles have been won by five different teams, demonstrating the league’s competitive nature and parity. This year’s champion, the North Carolina FC are moving to the USL Championship League in 2024. In addition to Spokane, Richmond, and Greenville, USL League One will include the Central Valley Fuego FC (Fresno, CA), Charlotte Independence (N.C.), Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (Tennessee), Forward Madison FC (Wisconsin), One Knoxville SC (Tennessee), Lexington SC (Kentucky), Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (Windsor, CO), South Georgia Tormenta FC (Statesboro, GA), and Union Omaha (Nebraska). 

For fans interested in catching the action in Spokane, USL Spokane is currently converting Spokane Velocity FC season ticket deposits. There’s still time to get on the waitlist on the team website. Single game tickets are expected to go on sale in February of 2024. 

USL Spokane will also field the Spokane Zephyr, a women’s USL Super League team expected to be sanctioned as a first division team that will begin play in August 2024. A pre-professional women’s team made up of elite college players will play beginning in June in the USL W League. USL Spokane is owned by Aequus Sports LLC; its principals are Katie Harnetiaux, the club president, and Ryan Harnetiaux, both of whom are originally from Spokane. 

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