20- Chris Fox
One of the hallmarks of the Richmond Kickers over the years has been a reliable and at times impenetrable defense. A key contributor to that for portions of 9 seasons was Chris Fox. An outside back who played on both sides of the field, but ultimately settled into a strong role at right back, his no-nonsense, hard nosed style established him as a leading defender in the A-League and USL First Division. An all-league First Team honoree in 2000, Chris Fox comes in at #20 on our list of the Greatest Kickers of All-Time.
A native of Marietta, Georgia, Chris played collegiately at Brown University. During his time as a Bear, Fox twice earned academic All-Ivy League honors, was first team all-Ivy League in 1995, and also a second-team All-American as Brown advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. It’s entirely possible that Chris might be the smartest Kicker in history, having graduated top of his class! Fox played his first professional season with the New York Fever and the Atlanta Ruckus in the A-League, while also playing indoor with the Buffalo Blizzard.
Fox joined the Kickers for the 1997 season, appearing in 18 games and scoring 2 goals. He continued to draw MLS interest in his early years with the Kickers, training in preseason with Dallas in 1998 and New England in 1999. Ultimately he settled in with Richmond, excelling on the field. Chris made the 1999 All-Star game before suffering an injury that hampered the rest of the season. He came back strong in 2000, earning first team All-League honors alongside teammate Scott Cannon. Injury struck again in 2001. Fox torn his ACL in May, limiting him to only 5 games.
After 13 months of recovery, Chris returned to the field midway through the 2002 season, immediately slotting into the right back position. He maintained a steady hold on the role through 2005, making over 160 appearances for the club. During his time in Richmond he contributed to a regular season championship, two playoff runs to the final, and two upsets of MLS teams in Open Cup play. He might not have been the flashy outside back of more modern soccer, but he was always immensely reliable and intense on the field for his nine years in Richmond.