Cosmos Acquire Ryan Richter from Bethlehem Steel

IMAGE, NY COSMOS

by JAKE NUTTING

The New York Cosmos have acquired right back Ryan Richter through transfer from the United Soccer League’s Bethlehem Steel FC. Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union — who own and operate Bethlehem Steel — handled the negotiations for the USL club.

Richter, 24, is well known to the Cosmos as major contributor to the 2015 Fall Season champion and Soccer Bowl runner up Ottawa Fury FC. The defender was rumored for a possible move to the Cosmos this past offseason before eventually landing in the USL in his native state of Pennsylvania.

“Ryan has great experience at this level,” said Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese. “He is a versatile player who can contribute to our push for another championship.”

Already eliminated from contention for a playoff spot, Bethlehem Steel’s year is set to end with the regular season finale on Sunday. As he was in Ottawa, Richter has been a mainstay on Bethlehem’s back line, leading the club in minutes. He’s also racked up five goals and four assists in his 29 appearances for the club.

The move for Richter is seen by the Cosmos as a direct replacement for veteran  Hunter Freeman, who transferred to rival NASL side Miami FC just last month. Richter is expected to come in and start at right back right away for the Cosmos as they play out their seven remaining matches of the fall and seek to lock up top seed in The Championship, the league’s four-team postseason tournament. He is also a younger option in the back, promising longevity in the Cosmos’ backline.

The Cosmos currently sit five points ahead of FC Edmonton on the Fall Season table and six points clear in the combined standings.

“It’s exciting to be back in the NASL,” said Richter. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for this club. Now it’s time to hit the ground running and help the team achieve its goals this season.”