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Dublin: 11°C Saturday 24 October 2020

Robbie Keane isn't the only Irish player having a fantastic season in North America

Two less high-profile footballers are a big part of memorable campaign.

Colin Falvey and Richie Ryan are having a fantastic season with Ottawa Fury.
Colin Falvey and Richie Ryan are having a fantastic season with Ottawa Fury.

ROBBIE KEANE CONTINUES to attract plenty of headlines at LA Galaxy and rightly so.

The Dubliner is on fire in the MLS at the moment, and was on target again last night against the Seattle Sounders, as well as laying on a sumptuous assist for his side’s third goal.

Nevertheless, while Keane is by far the most high-profile Irish player in North America, he is not the only one enjoying a hugely impressive season.

Colin Falvey and Richie Ryan — both of whom The42 interviewed last month — are continuing to make a big impression in Canada with Ottawa Fury.

The duo both played the full match as their side comfortably beat Indy Eleven 4-1, taking their unbeaten run to 12 games.

And if their names sound familiar, it’s because they have also spent time playing football closer to home.

Ryan started off with Sunderland as a youngster, and also made over 100 appearances for Sligo between 2008 and 2011, while Falvey began his career at Cobh Ramblers, and also had a short stint at Kilkenny City among several other clubs.

The duo have excelled for the Canadian side, with glowing reports of their respective roles in the side’s impressive run.

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Of Ryan, the Ottawa Sun yesterday wrote:

“Richie Ryan may prefer to downplay his significance to this club, but if his desire is to fly mostly under the radar, he’s doing a lousy job of it. Ottawa hasn’t loss in the eight games this season in which Ryan has appeared, even when those appearances were a pair of 15-minute runs as the Irishman tried to make his way back from injury. Ryan is the heartbeat of the team, even without the two highlight reel free kick goals and one from the spot he’s tallied so far in the fall season. His influence continues to rub off mostly on protege Mauro Eustaquio, who scored his first Fury goal against Indy and is taking a regular turn alongside Ryan in midfield.”

The paper also acknowledged Falvey’s integral role as part of an impressive backline, reporting:

“There’s not much left to be said about Fury’s formidable back line that hasn’t already been repeated. But the quartet of Ryan Richter, Rafael Alves, Colin Falvey and Mason Trafford is the story of the year for Ottawa. Coming into the season, only Richter and Trafford had played together, and that was for only a portion of last year and with Trafford playing centre back. After starting the season on the bench, Trafford has found a home on the left side and hasn’t looked back, while Falvey and Alves have been so good together they’ve spawned a nickname, Falves. Tweeted injured Fury midfielder Nicki Paterson after the win in Indy: “Offence wins games. Defence wins championships.”

With the success of Messrs Keane, Ryan and Falvey, coupled with Jack Byrne’s recent loan move to Dutch top-flight side Cambuur, perhaps more Irish players will decide to chance their luck further afield in the future, rather than taking their chances in the increasingly difficult environment that English football constitutes.

h/t @EmeraldExiles

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Paul Fennessy

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