Sat, Apr

Lauryn Hutchinson (center) is the owner and academy technical director for The UNKNWN Athlete based in Richmond, Va. which specializes in youth and professional player development.

The Richmond Kickers are pleased to share that UNKNWN Athlete Academy Technical Director Lauryn Hutchinson will join the Kickers’ technical staff to observe preseason as a part of the United Soccer League’s (USL) Pro Preseason Residency Program.

The USL Pro Preseason Residency Program is designed to identify high-performing, pro-aspiring BIPOC and women coaches across the USL ecosystem and introduce them to a pro environment with an established curriculum. Similar to a medical residency, the USL PPR Program will provide hands-on, immersive experience and training to resident coaches across 2-4 weeks with pillar programming across the year.

Hutchinson will join the Kickers’ 2024 preseason having already participated in Kickers’ training and combines in the past under Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky. She has also worked with W League Richmond, observing the pre-professional women’s club’s inaugural player combine in December 2023.

Hutchinson currently holds a UEFA B Coaching License as well as USSF E and F licenses.

Hutchinson’s roots in Richmond’s soccer community run deep over her 14-plus years of coaching. As the owner and academy technical director of The UNKNWN Athlete which began operations in 2020, Hutchinson works with soccer players ranging from the U8 level to the pro ranks which includes current Kickers pro players Simon Fitch, Chandler O’Dwyer, and Dakota Barnathan. Before starting The UNKNWN Athlete, Hutchinson worked throughout the region and much of the East Coast running clinics and individual training.

The Sterling, Va. native adopted Richmond as her new home during her first time ever in Richmond on her official recruitment visit to join the VCU women’s soccer team. Hutchinson immediately fell in love with the city and committed to play under head coaching duo Tim and Tiff Sahaydak. She played from 2009-12 and capped off her senior season by earning The Michael Brown Award which is awarded to a VCU Ram who exemplifies the “all-around” student-athlete.

Hutchinson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master of sports leadership degree from VCU.

During her time at VCU, Hutchinson was introduced to the Trinidad & Tobago national team and earned a spot on the team ahead of the 2011 Pan American games in Guadalajara, Mexico. In her 12 years of playing with the national team, Hutchinson participated in two Pan American Olympic Games, three CONCACAF World Cup Qualifications, and two Olympic qualifications.

In 2014, Hutchinson was a member of the Richmond United U23 Women that claimed the 2014 ECNL U23 National Championship. Current Kickers’ Chairman and CEO, Rob Ukrop, served on the team’s coaching staff. Hutchinson played alongside current RVAccess Director, Carter Blair Yeisley during that championship run.

Lauryn Hutchinson said:    

“I am so excited to share that I will be a part of the USL Forward Program alongside the Richmond Kickers. It’s not just a professional venture for me; it’s a personal honor to work in my own city and engage with the dynamic young male leaders and the exceptional staff at the Kickers, including Darren and Mika.

“I am committed to giving my all to this opportunity, pouring everything I have into both my professional endeavors as I serve my community. Being able to contribute to the place I call home adds a special significance to this journey. I look forward to collaborating with the USL Forward Program and the Richmond Kickers, contributing to the growth of both and making a positive impact on the community I deeply care about.”

Rob Ukrop, Richmond Kickers’ Chairman and CEO said:

“We are thrilled to have Lauryn with us this preseason.  One of the things our organization prides itself on is creating an environment for players, coaches, and fans to grow in their understanding of the game.  Lauryn’s love of the beautiful game is contagious, and we are honored to be part of her development through the USL Forward Program.” 

Darren Sawatzky, Richmond Kickers’ Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach said:

“Rather than closing doors, we believe in building bigger tables. Over the past few years, we have invited coaches with open arms to come and observe our training with the Kickers Pro team if these coaches saw value in watching the local professional team train and work to grow. Hutch has helped us with our pro combines, she has observed training, and she has given the local pro players here a place to both train and develop during the offseason periods. She has a drive to improve and work her way up the coaching ranks, and we are happy to give her an extended opportunity. We appreciate that the USL is working to help young coaches grow in the game and we are excited to help another local mentor continue her growth.”