24- George Davis IV
Sometimes journeymen get a bad name. In soccer especially, it’s not unusual for players to move from club to club as they work their way up the ladder, finding success at each step along the way. George Davis IV did just that, and his stop in Richmond can only be considered an absolute success from everyone’s perspective. He was only here for two years, but in those two years he helped anchor the final glory years of the Cowlishaw era (and helped end it too after he moved on, but that’s not the point). For those contributions, GDIV comes in at #24 on our countdown.
Davis grew up in Northwest Ohio and attended Bowling Green for two years before transferring to the University of Kentucky. He stayed in that area following graduation, joining the Dayton Dutch Lions in 2010 and staying on with them as they moved professional in 2011. It was at this point that George’s career really began to take off. Dayton was, to be kind, not a good team. Despite that, Davis stood out scoring seven times and making the second all-league team. After that season, he stepped up the USL Pro ladder, moving west to join the LA Blues (now known as Orange County SC). 2012 was a mixed season for him, going scoreless in LA before being loaned to regular season champion Orlando. He added a goal in a playoff defeat for the Lions before returning to LA for a rebound year, again making second team all-league.
Davis came to Richmond for the 2014 season, and he made an immediate impact on the club. He scored twice on his debut in a 2-2 draw at rivals Charleston and kept going throughout the season, scoring 11 times in league play and adding 5 assists. Among the highlights he provided in a season that saw the team go on a 21 game unbeaten run in league play included a 90th minute equalizer at home against Rochester, made all the more notable because Rochester had scored what they thought was the winner in the 89th. He scored another brace against Charlotte, and had a run of three games with a goal late in the season. Davis relished his Open Cup appearances in 2014, scoring in each of the Kickers three games, most notably equalizing in the first half against the New England Revolution. Davis was honored after the season by being named first team all-league.
The 2015 season again saw Davis as a key member of the attacking corps. While in 2014 he partnered extensively with Matthew Delicate, this time around it was Jason Yeisley serving as his key collaborator. Davis added another eight goals this season to go alongside an assist, the second highest total on the team behind Yeisley. Far and away his most impressive performance of the year came in April when he scored a hat trick against Charlotte. He continued to thrive in the Open Cup as well, scoring in an upset over the NASL’s Jacksonville Armada. George’s final appearance in a Kickers shirt came in the playoffs at Charleston. He nearly carried the team into the next round, directly causing the own goal in extra time that put the Kickers ahead on the road. Alas, it wasn’t to be. He may not have won the same official accolades that season, but he certainly won the hearts of supporters, earning the nickname “King George”.
After the season, Davis returned to Kentucky to play for Louisville City. During his time there he won multiple championships and even got a chance at being co-caretaker manager for about a month in 2018. Unfortunately for the Kickers, he seemed to thrive playing against them, scoring 4 times in three years. The most painful of the bunch was the goal in extra time of the 2016 playoffs, breaking a 0-0 draw in which the Kickers held on for nearly 90 minutes with only 10 men. Davis finished his playing career with Louisville, retiring after the 2021 season. He now works as a Program Director of LouCity & Racing Foundation, focusing on community health through soccer.