By Max Zeger
Europe is littered with Americans, but few end up in Ireland. Ryan Guy is the exception. Though he had many suitors in Europe, Guy chose St. Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin as the starting place for his career in Europe.
"[Ireland] was the first place that I was able to get a work permit," Guy told Goal.com. "Even with English heritage, without a passport, I was unable to get a work permit in England. I had a very good chance of breaking in to the first team right away and they also offered me the best deal."
At St. Pat's, he has flourished, starting in more than 150 games, scoring 18 goals, including the very first Europa League away goal in the 80-year history of the club.
"Scoring in Europe is probably the biggest highlight of my career to date. The feeling was ecstasy and making a little history for my club made it all the better."
Guy credits his love of football to his family. In fact, his first word was 'ball.' The St. Pat’s ace played for various youth clubs in Southern California, traveling far and wide to places such as Brazil, Italy, and Costa Rica for tournaments. When it was time to choose a college, there was little doubt in Guy’s mind that University of San Diego was the right place for him.
"I loved the team and my teammates as brothers and even though we never achieved the success that our potential indicated, I can confidently say that my sporting and academic experience left me well prepared for life in the big scary world of professional sports and beyond."
After excelling for San Diego in college, it was time to think about professional football. Guy entered the 2007 MLS Super Draft and was drafted by FC Dallas in the second round.
"Being drafted in to the MLS was definitely one of the highlights in my life. When my name was called out to go to FC Dallas I went in to a daze. However, the more I found out about how contracts and salaries worked in the league, the more I began to focus on playing soccer professionally in Europe."
The meager salary he was offered in MLS pushed him to look for options in Europe. After numerous trials in Europe including stints at Crystal Palace and Hannover, Guy made the move to St. Pat's.
Guy has been in sensational form of late and netted twice last week. Most importantly, he scored the one and only goal as the Dublin club beat rival Shamrock Rovers to avoid the relegation playoff. With one year left on Guy’s contract, a move to a bigger league is on his mind as well as a potential call-up to the national team.
"Exposure is the name of the game to get a call up to the top spots and for me that means working my way in to a big team in a big league and showing that I can be successful there. I have already achieved many of my career goals thus far, but to put the shirt on for my country is now most definitely at the top of my list."
As well as the success on the field, Guy and his wife just gave birth to their first child, a boy named Zander, which the American says is his biggest motivation.
MLS is of great interest to Guy, who says he wants to play domestically before his career is over.
"I'm an American boy who is proud to be such, and when the time is right I would love to come home and play in front of my family and friends in MLS."
Max Zeger is a Goal.com contributor. You can follow Max Zeger on twitter @mcmz403.
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