[USL PRO] D.C. United became the first MLS club to announce USL PRO assignments as part of its affiliation agreement with the Richmond Kickers. Forward Casey Townsend and defender/midfielder Taylor Kemp -- both former University of Maryland stars -- 16-year-old forward Michael Seaton and midfielder Conor Shanosky will all join the Kickers for the 2013 USL PRO season.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our young players to compete and play on a regular basis in meaningful games,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper in a statement. “There is no substitute for first-team games that matter, and we believe that the Richmond Kickers will provide a platform and environment for D.C. United players to quickly develop as professionals.”
Townsend, the fifth selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, played in 17 games (10 starts) during his rookie year with Chivas USA, logging a goal and two assists. Kemp was the 17th overall selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
Seaton, a Jamaican youth international from Capitol Heights, Md., signed with D.C. United as a homegrown player in January.
Shanosky, another homegrown product, spent the 2012 campaign on loan at the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League.
Four MLS clubs have agreements with USL PRO clubs to loan them four players apiece in lieu of fielding a team in the MLS Reserve League.
All other MLS clubs but Chivas USA will pair up with USL PRO to play two-game series as part of their MLS Reserve League schedule.