Speaking to Irish publication the42, Richie Ryan described the night of his transfer to Miami FC and some of the conversations that happened in the lead up to it.
Most notable is the conversation he had with Tony Meola and Assistant Technical Director Nathan Walter.
“The lads arrived at about 8.45″, Ryan says.
“Tony said, ‘Look, there’s no easy way of putting this but for the last two weeks, we’ve been knocking back bids from Miami and it’s got to the stage now where the owner is thinking about accepting what’s been offered’.
He said, ‘We’ve turned them away four times already and they keep coming back so it’s up to you now. We never thought it would get to this stage and that’s why we quoted them a ridiculous figure. We never thought they’d come back and offer it. We thought we talked them out of it. But they came back and offered this.’”
Ryan was more than a little taken aback. Before signing for Jacksonville, he had heard Miami were interested but it was just rumour. Nothing concrete. Now, they seemed desperate for his signature.
“I was kind of thinking, ‘Well, if there’s not going to be that much more on offer then I’d prefer to stay here because we’ve just arrived so I don’t want to be picking my family up and moving them again’.
I think the teams had been speaking to each other behind the scenes but I wasn’t made aware of anything. Everybody wanted to have an idea what was happening before they told me. Nathan said ‘You should go into your room and call your agent. He’s already spoken to Miami’.
The conversation aligns with the general understanding that Miami FC had made an offer that the Armada simply could not turn down. It’s also logical to assume that the reported triple increase in salary is true, given Nathan’s remark at the end.
There’s more in there about his reactions to his wife and his time in Ottawa and the similar circumstances he faces in Miami.
It’s a great look into a great player. Check it out.