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Michael Hornsby signs with Richmond

By Staff, 12/15/22, 12:00PM EST


German defender joins Roos for second professional season after making 27 appearances for Fuego FC

German defender joins Roos for second professional season after making 27 appearances for Fuego FC | Image Credit: Central Valley Fuego FC

RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers today announced the signing of defender Michael Hornsby, pending league and federation approval.

"Michael is a very good outside back who looks to get forward in the attack,” Kickers Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky said. “We are continually looking to get better in playing an exciting, attacking brand of soccer. Michael fits our brand with his personality and willingness to defend well and get involved in the attack."

Hornsby joins the Kickers following his first professional season with USL League One side Central Valley Fuego FC. The German defender cut his teeth with the league’s debutants, making the third most appearances of any Fuego player and dishing out two assists for the club who finished only two points out of a playoff spot.

Twice in Fresno, Calif., and once at City Stadium, Hornsby got his first taste of Kickers soccer in decidedly intense matches that included the Kickers earning a 2-2 comeback draw on the road before Fuego FC earned a 1-1 comeback draw at City Stadium.

“In all the games against Richmond I saw a really competitive and high-quality team,” Hornsby said. “Especially the game at City Stadium, I was impressed with the environment. As the away team, I felt how hard it is to play here, so now I’m very much looking forward to playing with that home advantage.”

The 24-year-old becomes the second USL League Two alumni signing of the 2023 offseason for the Kickers after João Gomiero was announced on Dec. 13, 2022.

"In the USL, we have every level of player progression from youth to professional football,” Sawatzky said. “To reward clubs that help develop players as they work through the pyramid is an important piece of the puzzle. Michael has proven that he can play and excel at this level, and João is ready to shine at the USL League One level after his successful stint in USL League Two."

Hornsby previously played for South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 during the 2021 USL League Two season when Tormenta FC 2 finished second in the Deep South Division before their season ended in the Conference Finals. Hornsby pulled the strings for Tormenta FC 2, leading the team with six assists from the flank and finishing only two assists behind Gomiero who dished out eight assists for NC Fusion U-23, finishing as the league’s co-assists champion.

On the defensive end, Hornsby was a member of a backline that conceded only 12 goals in 14 matches. He finished the season with the most minutes played on the team regardless of position with 967. With a proven track record of chance creation and defensive tidiness across the USL, Hornsby looks to fit right into the dressing room and hit the ground running with his development in a Richmond system that puts a lot of responsibility on fullbacks in build-up play.

“Darren spoke a lot about the culture of the team and how important it is for him,” Hornsby said. “It seems like a place in which I can develop as a player and as a person which is exactly what I am looking for. “Of course, I want to play as well as possible in order to help the team be successful. I know the team had a good season last year so the expectations will be very high again this year.”

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