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Intimidation: Ryan Caugherty

Posted by espo On 1:04 PM

10 games played and a league leading 22 fouls committed. Ryan Caugherty, central defensive midfielder for the Riverhounds FC, has been terrorizing the opposition all season.

It’s been a strange transformation for a player who’s been an offensive force. In 2005, the Kansas City Wizards selected Ryan with the 47th pick in the MLS Supplemental draft, but he choose to play overseas. He signed with Boldklubben 1909, a Danish football club playing in the 2nd division. In front of the Odense supporters, he made an immediate impact taking Man of the Match in his first five starts. He ended the 2005 season with 11 goals in 31 games where he also spent time with Boldklubben 1913.

In 2006 he signed on with Swedish club Bodens BK and suffered a career-threatening ankle injury. After a remarkable recovery, he ended the season with 5 goals in only ten games.

So when a player of his caliber has no goals in 10 games you have to wonder what’s been going on. Out of need, he has taken on more of a defensive role with the Hounds this season.

He’s changed from an attacking player into a defensive beast. Running down loose balls, challenging forwards, distributing the ball from the back half of the pitch and shutting down the opposition’s passing lanes have become his forte. You can compare his game to that of New England’s stellar defensive midfielder Shalrie Joseph.

Ryan has been the ultimate team player this year for the Hounds; swapping goal-scoring glory for a hardhat and lunch pail. More importantly, he’s sending a painful message to the league’s forwards…

Caugherty has been tagged ‘The Korean Assassin’ by the Steel Army faithful.

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