RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — USL League One, the third tier of American professional soccer, has awarded the Richmond Kickers’ head coach one of their highest honors.

Darren Sawatzky, the Richmond Kickers’ Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach since 2019, has been named USL League One’s Coach of the Year.

The honor comes after the team finished the year with the best regular season record in the league and the most goals scored in one year in league history.

Leading the Kickers in their historically high-scoring season was Argentinian forward Emiliano Terzaghi, who scored more goals than anyone else in the league with 17 and American midfielder Jonathan Bolanos, who led the league in assists with 11. Terzaghi has won three straight Golden Boot awards, which are given to the league’s best goal-scorer. 21-year-old midfielder Ethan Bryant also became the first kicker to win Young Player of the Year.

“We have worked hard to create a good culture of winning here in Richmond,” Coach Sawatzky said. “We knew it would take time, but three years of work was reflected in a regular season title and an opportunity in the playoffs. We will continue to work and build for our community. Thank you to everyone that supported us this year.”

Having just concluded their 30th season, the Kickers are the longest continuously operating professional soccer team in the United States.