Richie Ryan, one of the stars of Irish soccer, has joined FC Cincinnati on a two-year contract. The international brand of the club continues to grow with The Irish Sun referencing the USL club as "American giants" in their latest Ryan story.
RICHIE RYAN feared for his footballing future when he was left in limbo over the winter.
But the former Sligo Rovers star has now joined one of the biggest clubs in America.
The 33-year-old has made the switch from Miami in the North American Soccer League (NASL) to FC Cincinnati in the United Soccer League (USL).
The move ended months of concern and uncertainty for Ryan.
It stemmed from the US Soccer Federation’s decision to deny the NASL Division 2 status last year.
After a legal challenge failed, the NASL cancelled the entire 2018 campaign as clubs folded or moved to rival competitions.
Ryan watched it all unfold while fretting over his future.
The court case resulted in the NASL postponing the start of their season and clubs such as Miami opted to enter the semi-pro United Premier Soccer League (UPSL). NASL champions San Francisco Deltas folded amid the mayhem.
Which is why Tipperary man Ryan figured that a move away from Miami would be the best course of action for all concerned.
He told SunSport: “Miami are going to play NPSL games at the training ground with bleachers around the training pitch.
“Never mind it feeling like the longest pre-season of my life, I thought it could be the last season of my life.
“The NASL future was up in the air. Playing in a semi-pro league was definitely not going to be good for getting a contract somewhere else.
“I’m 34 next January, I’d be out of contract with Miami and, with the way things were, they weren’t offering me a long deal right now.”
But Ryan has no gripes with his former club. He highlighted the fact that while other clubs cut players under contract, the Florida outfit assured staff that all deals agreed would be honoured.
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