Fixtures

Latvia Virsliga 05/29 15:00 16 Metta/LU vs Rigas FS - View
Latvia Virsliga 06/02 11:00 17 Rigas FS vs SC Grobinas - View
Latvia Cup 06/02 11:00 9 FK Lielupe vs Rigas FS - View
Latvia Virsliga 06/16 17:00 18 Rigas FS vs Riga FC - View
Latvia Virsliga 06/21 17:00 19 FK Auda vs Rigas FS - View
Latvia Virsliga 06/26 17:00 20 Rigas FS vs Valmiera FC - View

Results

Latvia Virsliga 05/25 15:00 15 [5] Tukums 2000 v Rigas FS [1] W 0-1
Latvia Virsliga 05/20 16:00 14 [1] Rigas FS v BFC Daugavpils [3] W 5-0
Latvia Cup 05/17 17:00 8 Sports United/Cesis v Rigas FS W 0-12
Latvia Virsliga 05/15 15:30 13 [10] FS Jelgava v Rigas FS [1] W 1-2
Latvia Virsliga 05/10 15:00 12 [1] Rigas FS v FK Liepaja [10] W 4-1
Latvia Virsliga 05/05 11:00 11 [4] Valmiera FC v Rigas FS [1] L 2-0
Latvia Virsliga 05/01 13:00 10 [1] Rigas FS v FK Auda [5] W 2-1
Latvia Virsliga 04/27 16:00 9 [2] Riga FC v Rigas FS [1] W 1-2
Latvia Virsliga 04/23 10:00 8 [7] SC Grobinas v Rigas FS [2] W 0-4
Latvia Virsliga 04/17 16:30 7 [2] Rigas FS v Metta/LU [6] W 2-0
Latvia Virsliga 04/12 16:00 6 [3] Rigas FS v Tukums 2000 [4] W 5-0
Latvia Virsliga 04/07 12:00 5 [1] BFC Daugavpils v Rigas FS [2] D 1-1

Stats

 TotalHomeAway
Matches played 51 24 27
Wins 41 21 20
Draws 5 1 4
Losses 5 2 3
Goals for 158 77 81
Goals against 38 13 25
Clean sheets 22 12 10
Failed to score 5 3 2

Wikipedia - FK RFS

FK RFS is a professional Latvian football club based in Riga. The club competes in Virsliga, the top tier of Latvian football.

Founded in 2016, the club has worn a blue home kit and a white away kit since its inception. Since the start of playing in the Latvian higher league in 2016, RFS played their home matches in Jānis Skredelis' stadium for almost 6 years, before moving to LNK Sporta Parks in the summer of 2022.

The club has been crowned as Latvian champions twice in 2021 and 2023, and has also won the Latvian cup on two occasions – in 2019 and 2021. RFS were named as the Best Sports Club in Riga of the year 2022. In 2022, RFS became only the 2nd Latvian club to qualify for European group stages since FK Ventspils in the 2009/10 season, after beating Linfield in a dramatic play-off tie.

As of February 2024, RFS are ranked 171st in the UEFA club rankings.

History

Origins

Until 2003, the current club was a team of boys born in 1990 and 1991 under the auspices of JFK Skonto, the youth club of the Latvian powerhouse FK Skonto, led by Vladimirs Beļajevs. In 2003 Beļajevs quit JFK Skonto together with his students and founded the Daugava Football Sports School.

Two years later, on 19 May 2005, the semi-professional football club FSK Daugava 90 was established. The new club united students born from 1989 to 1999. In 2007 the club enrolled in the Latvian First League in 2007 and changed their name to FK Daugava before the 2008 season. The team won promotion to the Latvian Higher League in 2008, but was relegated the next year. In 2011, the club's name was changed to Rīgas Futbola Skola.

In 2015, Rīgas Futbola Skola ranked 3rd in the 1. līga, which was not enough to return to the Virslīga. However, in early 2016 the Latvian Football Federation revoked the league licence of Skonto FC and awarded it to the club, which re-branded itself to RFS and returned to the top flight once again.

The settling in (2016–2017)

The new club had new management as its general sponsor became the Latvian company LNK Group which is run by the Latvian businessman Artjoms Milovs. He became the club's president. Learning that they’re going to play in the higher league less than a month before the kickoff of the new season, the club had to act fast by bringing in experienced players, mostly from the Skonto themselves. The most notable arrivals were the center-back Ritus Krjauklis from FK Ventspils and the forward Aleksejs Višņakovs from Skonto.

RFS' sporting director Aleksandrs Usovs, general director Maksims Krivuņecs, head coach Jurijs Popkovs, and player Aleksejs Višņakovs ahead of the 2016 Virsliga season.

With completely new management and identity, RFS started their first official season in the Virsliga with a finish in 6th place, just 5 points ahead of the relegation play-off spot. Over the course of the season, RFS won 9, drew 8, and lost 11 games, scoring only 22 goals, which was the 2nd lowest result in the league. RFS also secured their place in the 2016–17 Latvian Cup quarterfinal after a trashing 7–0 victory over FK Ogre. During the season, RFS changed their manager twice, but at the end decided to go with Jurijs Ševļakovs.

In the 2017 season, Andrejs Kaļiņins took over as manager as RFS brought in more new faces, including former Watford and CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandrs Cauņa, Liepaja's Roberts Savaļnieks, and Georgian defender Lasha Shergelashvili. They also permanently signed the club's top scorer from last season – Igors Kozlovs. Experienced Ritus Krjauklis left after just one season alongside Raivis Jurkovskis, whose loan deal at RFS had ended. But in their place came more promising players, as well as young Latvian stars like Roberts Uldriķis and Marko Regža.

On the opening matchday, RFS defeated the title holders Jūrmalas Spartaks 2–1 thanks to Roberts Uldriķis' debut brace. RFS proved to be the underdogs that year as they finished 5th in the league, just off the Europa League qualification spot, after not winning against FK Jelgava on the final matchday, meaning that they finished behind Ventspils just because of goal difference.

In the 2016–17 Latvian Cup once again, thanks to Roberts Uldriķis, RFS managed to beat FK Metta 1–0 to advance into the semi-final, but suffered a defeat in a two-legged tie (1–2) to FK Ventspils after Aleksejs Višņakovs did not convert the penalty in the dying minutes of the match in the 2nd leg.

Just 2 months later, the 2017 Latvian Cup kicked off, in which RFS once again managed to reach the semi-final, but this time fell 4–1 to FK Liepāja.

Overall, in just their second season in the highest tier, RFS had already proved that they could challenge the big guns and fight for a spot in Europe, and that was exactly what happened the next season.

The first glance at silverware (2018–2020)

On 6 December 2017, RFS appointed the former Vilnius Žalgiris head coach Valdas Dambrauskas. RFS won the Virsliga pre-season tournament, which included all Virsliga clubs. They managed to defeat FK Ventspils in the quarters, FK Jelgava in the semis, and FK Spartaks in the final.

Valdas Dambrauskas led RFS to their first ever trophy.

In terms of the regular season, RFS recorded their highest league finish yet, finishing 3rd, only behind the eventual champions Riga FC and FK Ventspils, meaning that they’ll participate in European competition qualifiers for the first time next season. RFS under Dambrauskas showed very good attacking football, scoring 57 goals in 28 games that season, which was the highest ratio in the league. Players like Roberts Savaļnieks and Roberts Uldriķis played a big part in the system, both making a total of 27 goal contributions throughout the season. However, the signing of Ukrainian forward Maksym Marusych proved to be important as well as the forward scored 15 goals that season. The most out of any RFS player.

In the Latvian Cup, RFS once again got knocked out in the semi-finals after losing 2–1 to FK Ventspils.

Having had an excellent transfer window, RFS were considered the favorites to win the title in the 2019 season. In the outgoing Kaspars Dubra and Lasha Seregashvili's places came the center-back partnership of Vitālijs Jagodinskis and Nauris Bulvītis from FK Ventspils. Ivorian forward Cedric Kouadio arrived from BFC Daugavpils and from Dambrauskas former team Vilnius Žalgiris midfielders Tomáš Šimkovič and Slavko Blagojević, and forward Tomáš Malec all joined the club as well.

RFS lifting the 2019 Latvian Cup.

The board's ambitions were seemingly high, as they had a goal of winning the league. In the summer transfer window, RFS also managed to sign their rival's top scorer for the last two seasons – Serbian striker Darko Lemajič – who managed to score 16 goals in the remaining 19 matches for RFS that season. At the end, it turned out to be a two-man race in the Virsliga, as RFS finished 2nd, 7 points behind Riga FC. Nevertheless, RFS won their first ever title that year, after finally overcoming their curse of being knocked out in the Latvian Cup semi-finals as they defeated FK Jelgava 3–2 in the final, thanks to an extra-time winner by Tomas Šimkovic.

That same season, RFS also made their debut on the European stage as they faced the Slovenian Cup winners NK Olimpija Ljubljana in the Europa League 1st qualifying round. Despite them being the favorites of this tie, RFS managed to snatch a 3–2 win away in Slovenia after a 93rd minute winner from Tin Vukmanić. However, the second leg at home did not go quite as planned, as Olimpija scored twice to advance with an aggregate win of 4–3 and knock RFS out.

In January 2020, RFS extended Dambrauskas’ contract ‘til 2022 and released and sold many regular team players.

Viktors Morozs' era (2020–present)

Despite extending his contract until 2022, just a month later, Valdas Dambrauskas left the club for Croatian First Division side HNK Gorica, so the club's new head coach became Valdas Dambrauskas’ assistant coach Viktors Morozs. However, following the COVID-19 breakout, the season in Latvia kicked off in June instead of March, and instead of 4 rounds, 3 were played instead.

During his 4 years at the club, Morozs has won 3 trophies with RFS.

In the market, RFS saw the signing of Slovenian defender Žiga Lipušček, midfielders Leonel Strumia and Tomislav Šarić, and a young Brazilian prospect forward Emerson Deocleciano on loan from NK Lokomotiva. Players like Maksym Marusych and Vitālijs Jagodinskis also left the club for other Virsliga sides.

Once again, RFS were unlucky to finish second in the league, just 3 points behind the eventual champions Riga FC. RFS also did not succeed in keeping hold of the Latvian Cup after they fell out in the semi-finals to FK Jelgava.

The same went for European competition qualifiers, as once again RFS did not get past the first qualifying round due to a 1–0 loss to Serbian side Partizan.

Nevertheless, this was a breakout season for the Brazilian loanee Emerson, who managed to find the back of the net 11 times for RFS, also becoming Virsliga's top scorer that year.

The double (2021)

Following Chinonso Offor's 760k transfer to Chicago Fire, RFS had funds to not only secure the signing of Emerson on a permanent deal ahead of the new season but also players like Lucas Villela, Elvis Stuglis, Petr Mareš, and Alfusainey Jatta, who later played an important part in RFS’ success. Another notable player who left the squad was Latvian winger Jānis Ikaunieks, who joined Finnish side KuPS on a free transfer. Vitālijs Jagodinskis returned from Valmiera after just one season, following a conflict with Valmiera's head coach Tamaz Pertia.

Despite starting their season with a 3–2 loss to Valmiera FC, RFS then went on a 12-match unbeaten run, before eventually losing to Valmiera again.

With summer approaching also came the qualifying stages for European club competitions, as RFS faced Faroese side KI Klaksvik in the 1st qualification round, snatching a 6–5 win on aggregate thanks to Tomislav Šarić's winner away from home in extra time. Next up followed Hungarian club Puskas Akademia, which RFS, against all odds, swept aside with a thrashing 5–0 victory on aggregate.

In 2021 RFS won a domestic double – the league and the cup.

But then came their toughest challenge yet – Belgian giants KAA Gent. However, RFS scored two goals inside 30 minutes to shock the Ghelamco Arena crowd. Unfortunately, Gent later equalized and, in the return game, got away with a 1–0 win (3–2 on aggregate), knocking RFS out of the competition.

The relationship with Gent did not end there for RFS, as just 12 days after the 2nd leg, RFS’ all-time top scorer, Darko Lemajic, left the club and joined the Belgian side on a club's record transfer fee of 900k. The Serbian striker had impressed the Belgian opposition, having scored five goals in six UECL qualification games. With some of these funds, RFS brought in forward Kevin Friesenbichler, Deniss Rakels, and a young Serbian striker Andrej Ilić to hopefully replace him. RFS did not stop in both the league and the cup, as they reached the Latvian Cup final for the second year in a row, this time facing FK Liepaja. And thanks to a single goal from Brazilian midfielder Lucas Villela, RFS lifted the Latvian Cup trophy for the second year in a row.

However, just 3 days later, RFS secured an important win against BFC Daugavpils to stay ahead of the reigning champions Riga FC. Then, with just two league matches yet to be played for both capital clubs, they faced each other in a duel, which could have potentially decided the outcome of the 2021 Virsliga season. The game, however, ended in a draw, leaving it all on the last day of the season.

In the last matchday away to Daugavpils, with goals from Andrej Ilić and Tomáš Šimkovič, RFS became the champions of Latvia for the first time in their history, which eventually also completed a continental double.

"Fight for the Dream 2022" – The first appearance on the European stage

The 2022 season arrived with RFS eager to defend their title and make their Champions League qualifier debut.

At the start of the 2022 season, Roberts Savaļnieks’ left RFS for FK Liepāja alongside Leon Strumia. Marko Regža and Lucas Villela were released. Also, captain Tomáš Šimkovič, who was named the best Virsliga player in the 2021 season, left for Austrian side First Vienna.

With the summer transfer window approaching, RFS lacked the leader in the locker room, which was seen on the pitch. So, they brought in experienced Latvian goalkeeper Pāvels Šteinbors, who played a big role for the team later on in the season. With the summer window also came the European competition qualifiers, as RFS were drawn with Finnish champions HJK Helsinki in the Champions League 1st qualifying round. RFS lost the first leg 1–0 away but were able to overcome the deficit in the return leg (2–1). However, HJK managed to equalize and win it on penalties. This elimination made RFS fall to the Conference League qualifiers.

Kevin Friesenbichler played a big role in RFS' road to the UECL group stage, as he scored twice in the play-off tie versus Linfield and in the group phase was involved in both goals RFS scored.

In the Conference League 3rd qualifier round, they were drawn together with Maltese champions Hibernians, and in the 1st leg in Riga, despite the away team going down to 10 men, RFS were unable to take the lead as they eventually conceded, but a goal from Andrej Ilić managed to scrape a late draw.

Following this draw, morale was at its lowest, and it was proven once again as in their opening game in their new training and facility complex LNK Sporta Parks they lost 3–2 to relegation candidates SK Super Nova.

With summer came new arrivals. They consisted of a Latvian player from an academy in Italy, Dmitrijs Zelenkovs, alongside Brazilian winger Bill, who was loaned in from Ukrainian side Dnipro-1. And, surprisingly enough, club legend and former captain Tomáš Šimkovič made a surprising return to the club in the hope that he could motivate the team in this tough moment of the season. And it certainly worked, as in the return leg in Malta, RFS won 3–1 to secure their place in the play-off round.

In the deciding play-off round, RFS had to face Northern Irish champions Linfield. In the first leg at home, RFS started well, but a missed penalty from Petr Mareš loosened the team's confidence, and it backfired as Linfield scored two goals. With 2 minutes remaining and some fans leaving the stadium early, RFS got one back, and in the 6th added minute, they equalized (2–2). In the return leg at Linfield, RFS once again went behind in the 104th minute of extra time, but once again, in the added time, RFS scored to take the game into penalties, which they eventually won and secured their place in the Conference League group stage.

However, in the league, RFS failed to beat league leaders Valmiera FC at home (2–2) and were now 3rd – 8 points off the top. Following their qualification to the UECL, things went downhill back in the league and the cup as they won only 6 out of their remaining 11 league games and lost in the Latvian Cup final to FK Auda (0–1). Following this drop in form and players losing their fitness, RFS just slightly clinched 3rd place in the league and secured their place in the European competition qualifiers for next year.

UECL Group stage

Andrej Ilic became the first RFS player to score in the group phase of a European competition.

Following their entry into their first ever European group stage, RFS traveled away to Florence, where they managed a surprising 1–1 draw with Fiorentina as Andrej Ilić became the first RFS player to score in European group stage matches. It was followed by a 2–0 loss to Hearts at home and a 0–0 draw against Istanbul Basaksehir.

As injuries started to kick in, RFS lost the return match against Basaksehir 3–0 and then to Hearts 2–1, despite Friesenbichler's wonderful goal from outside the box. At last came the last group match at home versus Fiorentina, but despite scoring a goal, which was later disallowed, RFS lost 3–0 as their first ever European run came to an end.

Regaining the Title (2023)

At the start of the 2023 season, RFS ambitions were higher than ever, as they were hungry for silverware and Europe. Tomáš Šimkovič, Kevin Friesenbichler, and Tomislav Šarić all left the club as many experienced Latvian players arrived – Mārcis Ošs, Roberts Savaļnieks, and Jānis Ikaunieks. The club also signed a new sponsorship deal with Tonybet Fan at the start of the season.

They kicked off the season slow with just 2 wins in their 5 matches, but slowly gained form and were the only unbeaten side in the league even when the European qualifiers came around. However, despite not having lost a single match, they were sitting second, a few points behind their rivals Riga FC.

Meanwhile, in the UECL qualifiers, RFS advanced into the 2nd round after defeating Macedonian side Makedonija GP 5–1 on aggregate. However, in the 2nd round, RFS were knocked out by Azerbaijani side FK Sabah after suffering an unlucky 2–0 loss at home and then a 2–1 loss away from home, which brought their European journey to an end.

RFS defeated Metta to clinch the 2023 Virsliga title on the final matchday of the season.

In the summer transfer window, Andrej Ilić finally moved on as he was signed by Norwegian higher division side Vålerenga. In his place came club legend and another Serb striker – Darko Lemajič.

Although in the league, RFS were flying as they had not lost a single league game since August 2022. That run was broken by Latvian champions Valmiera FC by then, as they brought RFS’ 39-match unbeaten run to an end. This made matters even worse, as with a win, RFS could have finally moved to the top of the table as Riga lost to FS Jelgava in the same gameweek. With just 8 Gameweeks to go, the next match between RFS and Riga FC was considered the title decider as both teams faced each other for the fourth time this season and once again drew. RFS, as well as Riga, won their next 5 matches in the league before meeting each other again in the Latvian Cup final, in which finally one side came out victorious as Riga won on penalties (1–1 after extra time). That was the second season in a row in which RFS had lost the final.

However, back in the league, Riga finally dropped points following their 1–1 draw with SK Super Nova, and RFS took advantage of that by scoring 2 injury-time goals against FK Tukums to win 5–4 in a 9-goal thriller and to clinch an important 3 points. Both teams won their next two matches as it all came down to the last matchday, with RFS still being 1 point behind.

RFS faced Metta, while Riga FC faced the current title holders Valmiera FC away. The home advantage paid off as Valmiera managed to draw, leaving it all in RFS’ hands to get the title. Back in Riga, RFS got the penalty, which was converted by Jānis Ikaunieks as the full-time whistle was blown, and RFS, at the last grasp, had become the Latvian champions once again.

Rigas FS is a professional soccer team based in Riga, Latvia. The team competes in the Latvian Higher League, the top tier of Latvian football. Rigas FS has a rich history and a strong fan base, known for their passionate support at home matches.

The team's colors are blue and white, and they play their home games at the Skonto Stadium in Riga. Rigas FS has a talented squad of players, both domestic and international, who are known for their skill, determination, and teamwork on the field.

Rigas FS has a successful track record in Latvian football, having won multiple league titles and domestic cups. They are also regular competitors in European competitions, representing Latvia on the international stage.

Overall, Rigas FS is a respected and competitive team in Latvian football, with a proud tradition and a bright future ahead.