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June 30, 2022

Kickers Countdown- #25 Ihor Dotsenko

Kickers Countdown- #25 Ihor Dotsenko

#25- Ihor Dotsenko

Some players are destined to be coaches. Usually when you hear that, you immediately think of a grinder, a guy who might lack in talent but makes up for it in effort.  Ihor Dotsenko does not fit that profile. A smooth attacking midfielder/forward, the Ukrainian graced the City Stadium field for three separate stints, appearing over 80 times across a decade. His contributions to the club on the field throughout this time result in him being named the #25 Greatest Kicker of All-Time.

Dotsenko made his way to Richmond via his collegiate experience at Wake Forest University. He joined the team for the 1998 season.  Playing primarily in a more forward role, Ihor led the team in scoring that season with 11 goals as the Kickers finished first in the Atlantic division. He played a single game with the team again in 1999 before moving along, bouncing between MLS, indoor teams, and other A-League teams before returning to the club for the 2002 season. By that time in his career he had shifted a bit deeper, playing more of a hybrid forward and midfield role, but consistently patrolling the central portion of the field primarily.  The attack that year was very balanced, and Ihor certainly chipped in during his 22 appearances, chalking up 4 goals and an assist. He also scored in the fabled Eastern Conference Final penalty shootout, helping to knock off the dynasty of the time, the Rochester Rhinos, and send the Kickers into the championship game.

Ihor gradually shifted more into a coaching role after his initial final season in 2003. He played briefly with the club’s PDL team in 2004, and returned to the Kickers in 2006 as a player/coach under Leigh Cowlishaw.  Dotsenko contributed primarily as a reserve this season, adding an assist in 10 games. That team won both the regular season and the playoffs, giving the Kickers their first championship in 11 years. He retired in 2007, staying on with the club as an assistant while also shifting to being the head coach of the Richmond Kickers Future PDL team.

Since retiring, Dotsenko has stayed active in the coaching community, serving again as an assistant to Cowlishaw, Technical Director for the Kickers youth teams, Richmond United Academy Director, USSF Technical Advisor, and now coaching within the Inter Miami Academy.