The lone Revolution II player with previous experience at the USL League One level from the league’s premiere season is goalkeeper Joe Rice. Signed after a successful trial period, Rice impressed in preseason, allowing one goal in 135 minutes of play. His shining moment came in a full 90-minute effort during Revolution II’s victory over Hartford Athletic, keeping a clean sheet in the 1-0 triumph. With Rice vying for minutes this season, the veteran keeper has already earned a reputation for his hard work and enthusiasm. Let’s learn more about the Virginia native.
1. Ram Up!
Coming out of high school, Rice was a three-star recruit who drew interest from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, not far from his hometown of Fairfax. With VCU coming off one of its best seasons in program history, Rice obliged and spent five years with the Rams. Though he only appeared in six games, Rice made the most of his chances when they came, finishing his collegiate career with an even 1.00 goals against average.
Rice began seeing consistent action for the first time with Lionsbridge FC, a small club in Newport News, Va., and a member of the Premier Development League (now USL League Two), during the 2018 summer season. The 6-foot-4 keeper played in 12 games for Lionsbridge that year, allowing 17 goals while making 57 saves. Rice credits his time with Lionsbridge for helping shape his mindset to further his career.
3. Kickin’ It
After graduating from VCU, Rice signed his first professional contract with the Richmond Kickers of USL League One. Rice spent time as the primary backup, making three appearances with two starts. His professional debut came on July 20, 2019 as a substitute when Kickers keeper Akira Fitzgerald was shown a red card. He finished the season with a 1-1 record as a starter, recording the USL League One Save of the Week for Matchday 28 last October.
4. Double Agent?
Rice graduated from VCU with a business degree, concentrated in real estate. With some family ties to the real estate business and his outgoing personality, Rice fell into the concentration during his junior year and was hooked. Though he studied to be a real estate agent, Rice’s dream job after his playing career is to become a sports agent. His desire to stay around the game of soccer and help young players in tough situations connect with professional franchises would never get old.
Here are some other fun facts about Joe:
Favorite Music Artist: Lil Uzi Vert
Favorite TV Show: Entourage
Favorite Movie: The Patriot
Favorite Vacation Spot: Smith Mountain Lake, Va.
Which of the four seasons do you like most: Fall
Animal you identify with the most: A Bear
If a movie was made about you, which actor would you choose to play yourself: Brad Pitt