Toronto FC have officially sent Ryan Richter out on loan to the Ottawa Fury. The defender had been training with the NASL club prior to the World Cup break and will now join them in time to take part in the fall season which kicks off for Ottawa on July 13th against FC Edmonton.
Richter was clearly not a part of Ryan Nelsen's plans for the back line this season and was no where near getting minutes in the league. He played at right back last season but during preseason this year the club began to work with him on transitioning to playing as a centre back. The problem with that move is that he was the fifth option at CB and was never going to see the field barring a major injury or suspension crisis.
Richter, now 25-years-old, has never really managed to make the break through in MLS to lock down a regular starting position since being drafted by the Philadelphia Union back in the 2011 Supplemental Draft. After failing to stick with the Union he put in a strong 2012 season with the Charleston Battery of USL Pro which was his spring board to signing with TFC prior to the 2013 season.
There were some minutes for Richter at right back in 2013 but now that the defensive options seem to have been upgraded and the back-line stabilized he has not been close to the starting lineup with 0 MLS minutes in 2014 and could not even crack the lineup during the Voyageurs Cup when some of the depth players were getting minutes.
With that in mind the loan deal makes sense for Richter. He can get himself some competitive minutes to help continue to develop his game and hopefully become more of a solid option at CB. Should any sort of injury crisis arise he would be just down the road and TFC should have no problem recalling him to provide needed coverage in the unlikely case that things get that bad. After all, Richter has only managed to make the bench seven times so far this season even with all the time different CBs have missed.
Here is what the two clubs involved had to say about the player and the loan deal:
"Ryan is a player with great character and provides depth to our defence. However, with positional depth it can become difficult to find the opportunity for match minutes," said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. "Ryan needs match minutes and we felt this loan will be of great benefit for him and for the club."
"We are always looking to get stronger as a Club," said Fury FC Head Coach Marc Dos Santos. "We believe we need more options and depth in our backline."
"Ryan will give us a different dynamic in the back and we are looking forward to play a role in his development as a player."
Richter may not just walk in to the starting lineup for the Fury though as they were defensively sound during the spring season with Omar Jarun and Drew Beckie forming a solid partnership in the middle of the field. Richter should press them for minutes though and give the Fury another option to work with in their defence during the much longer fall season.