skip navigation

Richmond add 2022 League One Comeback Player of the Year Adrian Billhardt

By Staff, 02/22/24, 5:30PM EST


The 2022 League One champion spent the 2023 season with Detroit City FC

The 2022 League One champion spent the 2023 season with Detroit City FC | Image Credit: Detroit City FC

RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers announced the signing of midfielder Adrian Billhardt, pending league and federation approval.

Billhardt joins the Kickers after playing for USL Championship club Detroit City FC during the 2023 season. The Berlin, Germany native earned a move to the higher division after a sensational 2022 season with rivals South Georgia Tormenta FC that ended with raising the USL League One Final trophy.

The 26-year-old has proven in the early start of his professional career that he is a creative midfielder capable of playing forward or using his quickness to attack from the right wing. Billhardt is comfortable making late runs to receive the ball in scoring positions and has a dangerous left foot to convert chances.

Billhardt made 13 appearances for DCFC, finishing with the third-highest passing accuracy amongst midfielders (79.7%) and creating nine chances. While with Le Rouge, he played alongside current Kickers goalkeeper Ryan Shellow.

Following a season-ending injury in 2021, Billhardt put together a solid 2022 campaign for Tormenta FC in 2022. He played in all 33 of Tormenta FC's matches, starting 28, while recording 2,267 minutes played which ranked fifth on the team. In the attack, Billhardt pulled the strings, creating 55 chances which ranked first on the team while tying for the team lead in assists with five and finishing third on the team with five goals scored.

At the end of the 2022 USL League One season, Billhardt was awarded the inaugural Comeback Player of the Year award.

Billhardt played collegiately at the University of South Florida where he amassed 42 starts in 49 matches played from 2017-19 while scoring 11 goals and assisting 11 more. He broke out as a true freshman in 2017, leading the Bulls in points and earning American Athletic Conference (AAC) Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors. In his junior year in 2019, Billhardt led the Bulls in goals and points as he earned Second Team All-Conference and United Soccer Coaches All-East Region Third Team. 

In the Summer of 2019, Billhardt played with South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 in USL League Two. He scored nine goals in 15 appearances as the club won the Deep South Division and finished as national semi-finalists.

"I've known Darren [Sawatzky] for years now, and I like his possession style of play, the way he organizes the team and his passion for the sport," Billhardt said. "Once I heard about his interest and the idea he has of me within his system, I knew I'd fit right in and that we'll have a successful season. 

"I've played against Richmond for two years and always liked playing in City Stadium. The fans, the atmosphere, the grass pitch, you couldn't ask for anything else. Richmond has always been a top team which made the encounters super intense. I'm beyond excited to experience the gameday atmosphere from the other side now and become closer with the fans.

"I can't wait to get started, to be integrated with the team and to meet the fans. I think there's a lot of potential in this team so I think everyone within and outside of the organization can be excited for what's to come this season."

"Adrian is a very dangerous attacking player with the ability to take players on, get behind defenses on the run and create chances from different parts of the field," said Darren Sawatzky, Richmond's Head Coach and Chief Sporting Officer. "His no-nonsense approach to individual duals along with his personality in connecting with quality players in possession fits well with our approach to the game. We look forward to watching Adrian smash a worm-burner or two into the onion bag at City Stadium."

Follow USL League One

Most Recent USL League One News

Most Read USL League One News

USL League One News