Richie Ryan Posts Emotional Farewell to El Paso Locomotive Fans
Late last week, one of the original Locomotive FC players said goodbye to El Paso in an emotional message that he delivered on Twitter. Richie Ryan, who arrived as one of Mark Lowry's first ever player signings, announced that he had played his last ever match in a Locomotive kit.
Interestingly enough, Locomotive FC responded to Ryan's announcement by congratulating him on his four seasons with the club and then announced his retirement.
The only problem with that tweet was that Ryan had not made his retirement decision official. He did call it a career following day.
Ryan's remarkable professional career lasted a total of 19 seasons and started with Sunderland during the 2002-03 EPL campaign. It ended in Tampa, Florida last Wednesday night. However, Ryan's final home match on Saturday, October 8th against Orange County SC was especially emotional since his family was in attendance and on the pitch for an emotional embrace with the midfielder. Ryan tallied an assist on an Andrew Fox goal in that match.
It has been a bizarre final season for the Irishman, who at one point was away from the club for more than a week. Rumors swirled that there was a dispute between the veteran midfielder and the club, but both kept tight-lipped on the situation. Ryan returned to the lineup and he played out the rest of the 2022 campaign with El Paso.
It will be interesting to see what is next for Ryan in professional soccer. He had started the process of getting his coaching license, and he also has been invaluable in helping to scout and develop young talent. Lowry credited Ryan for discovering Diego Luna and goalkeeper Evan Newton credited Richie for bringing him to El Paso from a loan with the MLS' Vancouver Whitecaps. El Paso will lose a great ambassador for the game and one of the fan favorites over the last four years.