Seaton may make pro debut this weekend

richmond-logoForward Michael Seaton, D.C. United’s most recent homegrown signing, might make his professional debut this weekend with third-division Richmond, Kickers Coach Leigh Cowlishaw told the Insider.

Seaton, who turned 17 this week, is scheduled to train with the Kickers for the first time Thursday and travel with the club to Wilmington, N.C., for Friday night’s USL Pro match against the Hammerheads. Richmond will then turn around and host the Charlotte Eagles at City Stadium on Saturday night.

During the week, Seaton balances educational tutoring — he dropped out of Central High School to sign with United earlier this year — and workouts with D.C. The start of his Richmond loan tenure was delayed by Jamaican under-17 national team duty at the recent CONCACAF championship.

With United idle this weekend, all five players on loan are available to the Kickers: Seaton, goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, left back Taylor Kemp, center back Conor Shanosky and forward Casey Townsend. United is expected to send an assistant coach to Richmond on Saturday to evaluate the quintet.

Both Kemp and Townsend have been recalled by United in recent weeks and were named to game-day rosters but did not make an appearance. (Under the MLS-USL partnership, players can shuttle between teams.)

Shanosky and Kemp are the only two on essentially full-time assignment with the Kickers. Dykstra joins the club for matches only. Townsend, under the tutelage of assistant coach Josh Wolff, trains with United most of the week.

Shanosky, 21, is on loan for the second consecutive year after serving with the second-division Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the NASL last summer. The 6-foot-4 Northern Virginia native is both a defensive midfielder and center back but has played exclusively on the backline for the Kickers.

“He has been great — good attitude, composed, strong,” Cowlishaw said.

The Kickers are 2-0-1 and have scored eight goals and conceded just two. Dykstra and Shanosky have played every minute, while Kemp and Townsend (two goals) started two matches and sat out one.

Dykstra, United’s third-choice keeper, was a natural addition to the initial loan group: He played for Virginia Commonwealth University in the state capital as well as Richmond’s PDL side and has starting experience in both USL (Charleston) and MLS (Chicago).

Aside from the five United players, forward Brian Ownby is on loan from the Houston Dynamo. Ownby is from the Richmond area and starred at the University of Virginia (2008-11).

The USL’s condensed schedule — 26 league matches packed into 3 1/2 months — affords ample playing time. The physical demand of playing two games on the same weekend requires overnight lineup changes. To help compensate, the league also allows five substitutions per game.

In its first year, the United-Kickers affiliation has been “positive for the players and for the Kickers,” Cowlishaw said. “Winning helps, but you also have motivated players looking to impress and move on” to MLS assignments.

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