FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Ryan Guy's transition from Ireland’s Airtricity League to Major League Soccer took a bit longer than he expected.
“From deciding to coming over here, it was about six months,” the New England winger told MLSsoccer.com earlier this week. “That's definitely tough. I've been basically playing non-stop for the past four years.”
The former University of San Diego midfielder made 139 appearances during his four years at St. Patrick's Athletic, but he decided in January that he wanted to move back to the States to be closer to his family.
Deciding to leave Ireland represented a big step for a player once drafted by FC Dallas back in 2007. Latching on with an MLS club – even with the experience gained in Ireland – proved even more difficult.
“MLS is a tough nut to crack,” Guy said. “It's the top level and there are a lot of levels leading up to it. I was fortunate to have a lot of good connections and a lot of good networking opportunities.”
Those connections landed him trials with a couple of MLS sides earlier this year, but they couldn't prevent the complications that arose once he embarked upon them. Guy pulled his calf after just two days with Portland in February. He trained with FC Dallas for a spell in April, but FCD didn't have enough room within their salary budget to make a move, according to Guy.
As Guy continued to pursue his MLS objective, he trained with local NPSL side San Diego Flash to stay in shape. The stint ultimately played a critical role in his MLS move. Flash head coach Warren Barton – a former right back for England and Newcastle United, and a current commentator for FOX Soccer – put in a good word with the Revolution brass and paved the way for Guy's trial in New England.
“At that point, there were really no nerves,” Guy said. “Because what's (the worst that could happen), that it's going to happen again? Being a player and having some experience, I knew what it would take and I knew that it was just a matter of getting the right opportunity and someone just saying, ‘we're going to take a chance on you.’”
Revolution boss Steve Nicol liked what he saw from the 25-year-old winger during his one-week stint with the club.
“(I saw) pretty much what he brought to the game the other night (on his debut as a sub against Chicago),” Nicol said. “He wants to go forward, he wants to get around, he wants touch the ball, he wants to make chances and he wants to score goals. All of the good things. Also, for his age and for an American kid, he's got a fair bit of experience that a lot of guys don't have. You can see that.”
Guy eventually inked an undisclosed deal to join the Revs on June 9 to finally complete his transition from Ireland to the United States. Now that he has made the leap to MLS, Guy said he plans to do his best to make his diligence – and New England's leap of faith – pay off.
“I'm really fortunate that Stevie (Nicol) saw something in me,” Guy said. “I'm looking forward to paying him back for that.”