Shaler freshman excelling in world of soccer
Shaler freshman soccer standout Ryan Landry is already perhaps the best player on his high school team, has earned a trip to play with West Ham United and twice in the past three years was selected to the Region 1 pool for the Olympic Development team.
Landry broke through and earned a spot on the Olympic Developmental squad and will head overseas to Croatia and Italy to play from March 24 until April 2.
Landry's coach at Shaler, Nick Russo, said Landry made the 15-year old team and that only the top 18 players from Maine through Virginia (about 1,000 players) get to make the trip.
Russo said the coaches for the Olympic team narrow the field to 25-30 players, then after practices select the top players to make up the team.
“Ryan was our leading goal scorer,” Russo said. “He is a very skilled young man and has a good knowledge of the game. He is very passionate about soccer.”
The freshman has been in the pool for the Olympic team for a few years, and he has played overseas — in London with West Ham.
“I am pretty excited for this new opportunity,” Landry said. “It is an opportunity to go to and explore new countries and play new competition. Exploring the world is exciting, and I can't wait to see how they do it.”
Landry said he was really motivated to make the team this time around.
“I think I am a good passer, dribbler and I have good vision to see open players,” Landry said. “I am a good slide-tackler, too.”
Having played international competition with West Ham, Landry said the speed of the game and players themselves are much quicker, and decisions have to be made accordingly.
“You have to receive the ball and get rid of it, then get open again,” Landry said.
“I am getting ready for it by lifting and running every day.”
There will not be a lot of time to practice with the team, because the players are from all over the east coast. Landry expects the team to practice briefly once it gets to Europe then
play the games.