August 1, 2013

FIVE RAMS PLAY KEY ROLE FOR UPSTART RVA FC’S MARCH TO NATIONAL TITLE GAME

RVA FC Website

RICHMOND, Va. – For most college students, summers are usually spent on the beach or trying to make enough money to survive another year away from home.

That's not the case for five members of the VCU men's soccer program. They've spent the summer playing a key role in the success of RVA FC, a first-year expansion club in the National Premier Soccer League.

After dominating the regular season to the tune of a 6-0-2 record and outscoring their opponents by the tune of 23-8, RVA FC rolled into the South Regional playoffs. They made quick work of Jacksonville United FC (5-3) before taking the regional championship with a 1-0 win over Chattanooga FC.

Last weekend brought the Erie Admirals, a perennial league contender, to Richmond, but they were sent packing with a decisive 4-0 victory to send RVA FC to the NPSL National Championship game in its first year of existence.

Rising seniors Nathan Shiffman and Romena Bowie, along with rising juniors Assane Keita, Kharlton Belmar and Jose Manel Bel have played crucial roles in the summer success.

In addition, former Rams Nick Rich and Owusu Sekyere have been steady forces for the squad, who takes on the Sonoma County Sol in the National Championship game on Sunday, August 4 at VCU's Sports Backers Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

The NPSL is a national league that is the successor to the Men's Premier Soccer League, which formed in 2002. After national expansion in 2005, the league continued to grow and now supports nearly 60 teams from four different regions. The teams are comprised of players holding amateur status, which include some of the top high school, collegiate and former pro players across the country.

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