Richter Ready for Another NASL Title Shot

Now in New York, Ryan Richter was part of the 2015 Ottawa Fury squad that lost to the Cosmos in The Championship Final.
Published Nov 4, 2016

Ryan Richter nearly beat them. Then, he joined them.

In 2015, Richter played every minute of every game for Ottawa Fury FC, anchoring the defense in a run to the NASL Fall Season title and a Championship Final berth.

In The Championship Final, Richter again played 90 minutes, but Fury FC fell 3-2 to the Cosmos at Shuart Stadium, putting a good season to an unfortunate end for the visitors.

“That was a heartbreaking loss,” Richter said. “To go out losing here in New York was really, really tough because it was such a close game. It was such a close season.”

Like many players, Richter wanted to do whatever he could to get another shot at a championship. In 2016, he was transferred to the Philadelphia Union in his home state of Pennsylvania, and then assigned to their USL club, Bethlehem Steel FC, during its inaugural season. Richter captained the club and was the team’s leading scorer, which led to an offer he couldn’t refuse.

On Sept. 20, the Cosmos signed Richter from the Union, bringing the 27-year-old back into the NASL.

“This came at a time in the USL season when I was looking for something a bit more competitive,” he said. “I wanted to get back in the NASL, and had a couple prior chances, but none were the right situation at the right time.”

With the Cosmos, Richter believes he has found a perfect fit.

“When the Cosmos came calling, it was so close to home and they were the best team in the league,” he said. “ There were so many positives. You can’t pass up this opportunity.”

So far Richter has seized his opportunity in New York, making six appearances and five starts since late September. The Cosmos are 5-1-0 (W-D-L) with the 6-foot-2 right back on the field. He feels he is getting better each day.

"The coaching staff makes you feel pretty comfortable from the first training session,” Richter said. “I feel like every game has been getting easier for me because I’m getting used to the players around me.”

Being part of the Cosmos has meant higher expectations for Richter as the club heads into The Championship Semifinals this weekend.

“When you play for the Cosmos, every team that you play against will give you its best shot. I’ve felt that since I’ve been here,” he said. “Going into The Championship, the good thing about it is if we’re playing at the top of our game and in form that day, then we’re a very tough team to beat.”

The first test for the Cosmos comes from first-year club Rayo OKC. In order to help the Cosmos win that game, Richter knows his role.

“What I can be for this team is a reliable defender. Play simple and support the attack when it’s on,” he said. “There’s so many great players here. When you get the ball, you have options every time. It makes the game easy with the quality that’s on this team.”