New York Cosmos defender Ryan Richter has been a remarkable player for the team since joining the club last summer. The Pennsylvania native converted the final penalty during the 2016 NASL championship, and is already making an impact this season.
Richter has started two matches thus far, and came off the bench in the Cosmos road victory against Miami FC. Minutes after being subbed on, he set a perfectly placed cross to Danny Szetela which led to the team’s first goal of the season. This was a critical moment in their win, and an important one for the defender. “Although I didn’t start, I wanted to come into the match and make an impact. I’m just glad to be part of the goal and part of the win for the team,” said Richter.
Despite drawing against Puerto Rico FC and losing against Miami at home, he worked at enhancing his game and believes the team is continuing to improve each match. The goal for the squad is to perform week after week at the highest level, and Richter believes they are moving in the right direction.
Richter attributes the team’s growth to the Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director, Giovanni Savarese. A true players’ coach, the defender believes it’s the little things which make his manager achieve the best from the players. “Gio is great, he demands a lot while showing he cares about each player, wanting us to succeed, both individually and as a team,” Richter said.
The 28 year-old has built strong relationships with his teammates, especially Walter Restrepo, who he played with during his time at Bethlehem Steel FC. The two players have a great respect for one another, demanding the very best every time they are on the pitch. “It’s nice playing with a guy like Walter, because when I’m in trouble, I can get him the ball and he can create something out of nothing.”
The team has players from all over the world, and many native Spanish speakers. Richter is working towards learning the language, taking courses and studying every day for an hour. He has a trip to Spain planned for later in the year, and is hoping to be conversational by then. “This is the best place for me to learn Spanish, if I can’t learn it here, I won’t learn it at another club in the U.S.”
Becoming bilingual is also important for the defender who aspires to coach a professional team one day. Richter is currently working towards his UEFA B license and has taken part coaching in Philadelphia Union’s junior program. While he hopes to be competing for more championships as a player, he wants to stay connected to the sport. “I still hope to play for ten more years but I’m very passionate about the game and see myself coaching later on in my future.”