Ryan Smith Excited to Join Red-and-White
CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, November 22, 2011) - Acquired in a trade with Sporting Kansas City, English midfielder Ryan Smith is the newest member of Chivas USA. The 25-year-old spent the last two seasons in Kansas City after beginning his career in England.
We sat down with Assistant Coach Greg Vanney who spoke very highly of Smith. According to Vanney, defenders throughout the league rate Smith as one of the attackers they least want to see challenging them in a one-on-one.
“Ryan is an exciting player and I think the fans will really enjoy watching the way he plays the game,” said Vanney. “He’s extraordinarily talented individually in taking players on. He can create things on his own. He’ll almost always beat the first defender, and we felt like this year we needed more players who could do that. That forces teams out of their defensive shape. If you eliminate the first defender, it forces a second defender, which then creates an opening for somebody else.”
Smith came up through the renowned Arsenal academy in North London, and played for the senior side in several league cup matches. He spent the rest of his early career at various teams in England, including Leicester City, Millwall and Derby County.
The London-born Smith played for the England National team at the U-16 through U-20 level but also has an American father and could potentially represent the US National Team in the future.
Smith appeared for Kansas City 26 times in the 2010 season, scoring two goals to go along with four assists. In 2011 he made six appearances, scoring one goal, before returning to England for family reasons.
According to Coach Vanney, Smith is someone the Red-and-White has targeted for a while.
“He’s a player we’ve been looking at for [some time], we’ve been trying to come up with him the entire year,” said Vanney. “Obviously because of family issues we weren’t fortunate enough to [acquire him] last year, but we were in this off season.”
Chivas USA acquired Smith in exchange for a 1st and 3rd round pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft. Vanney confirmed that he spoke with Smith and said the player is excited to join the team for training camp in January.
“We spoke to him briefly yesterday, and he’s super excited to come to Chivas USA,” said Vanney. “He’s looking forward to getting started. He’s continuing to train and stay fit, and he’s very excited to be a part of this organization and help us be successful next year.”