The Soccer Show: Spaulding savoring opportunity after loan spell
Just a few weeks ago, Revolution defender Ryan Spaulding was introducing himself to Florida as a fan-favorite with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the USL Championship. Fast forward to July 1st and the second-year MLS player had to contend with a different experience when he started in front of a sold-out Cincinnati crowd, with all of TQL Stadium booing every his every touch.
After being fouled early in New England’s 2-2 draw against Supporters’ Shield leaders FC Cincinnati, the crowd decided that perhaps Spaulding went down a little too easy. They decided to reward him with the ‘welcome back to MLS’ treatment for the remainder of the match.
“I went over and grabbed the ball for a throw-in and boos started raining down [on me],” Spaulding said. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is what we’re going to do for the next 65 minutes.’”
Saturday’s upcoming competition against the New York Red Bulls marks Spaulding’s third game back with New England since being recalled from his loan with Tampa Bay in the second division. With the Revolution on a seven-game unbeaten streak, Spaulding brings more experience and renewed confidence to Bruce Arena’s squad. During his time in Tampa, the 24-year-old tallied two goals and four assists in just nine games, earning two USLC Team of the Week nods. Spalding told DJ Bean the experience was exactly what he needed.
“When I got down there, I think we were maybe seventh or eighth in the league,” Spaudling said. “They were looking for some kind of spark in their season, and I was looking to get to a team where I could make an impact and play a solid number of minutes.
“It was a great fit for everyone. It was a win-win on both sides, and we just ran with it.”
Now with two consecutive MLS starts under his belt, the Hartford native is relishing the opportunity to go out and compete each day. He is driven by the fact that there are no guarantees in soccer.
“You just never know in the soccer world. Things change quick and move fast,” Spaulding said. “I’m just going to take this opportunity every day and just try to make the most of it to see where it goes.”
The Revolution are now 3-0-4 in their last seven games, and will look to close the gap on Eastern Conference leaders on Saturday evening when they travel to Red Bull Arena.
Watch Saturday’s match on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV in English and Spanish or listen live on 98.5 The Sports Hub with Brad Feldman and Charlie Davies calling the action.