Written by Michael Lewis

You’ve probably read plenty about Ryan Carmichael on the Long Island Rough Riders website this year.

It should come as no surprise, considering Carmichael was on the receiving end of many of the USL League Two team’s goals this past summer.

It also should come as no surprise that the Armagh, Northern Ireland native was named the team’s offensive player of the year.

The honor capped a momentous season for the 5-11, 145-lb. Carmichael, who was one of two Rough Riders named to the League Two All-league team. Defender Bjarne Thiesen was the other Long Island player to earn such an honor.

“He’s a special player,” Rough Riders head coach Tom Bowen said. “I think he’s one of the best forwards in the country, at the college level in particular, and obviously the USL proved that, too. He’s just got everything.

“He’s almost skin and bones when you look at him but he’s super-fast, running behind. He can hold the ball up. He’s got a great first time [shot]. He’s also deceptively very good in the air. He’s got a number of great headers. He’s just a defender’s nightmare.

“If there was one player I would hate to play against, it would be him because he can do everything you know. As a forward you need to put them all in the back of the net, and he did that over and over again for us.”

For the record, Carmichael accomplished that feat 13 times in 17 games this summer. He also had four assists.

He missed only two of 19 matches. That included the League Two final against the Ventura County Fusion as a leg injury kept the Hofstra University junior on the sidelines. LI dropped a 2-1 decision in the championship game.

“No disrespect to any of the other players,” Bowen said, “I think he would have just offered us something different that we really needed in the final. I think if Tyan gets to the final then we’re coming home with a national championship. I truly believe that.”

Just as importantly, Bowen also has been impressed with Carmichael’s character.

“He’s just a great lad. He’s a special player and just another great lad to have around the group,” he said. “The boys all love him both as a player and as a person. He’s the player that the other players point out. He’s the player that other opposition coaches point out as being special. He’s got a bright future in the game, for sure.”


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