Sporting Kansas City winger Ryan Smith still has a lot to prove

5 04 2011

Sporting Kansas City winger Ryan Smith insists Wizards supporters have yet to see the best from him.

The 24-year-old moved to the United States in March last year after a largely disappointing career in England which included spells with six clubs.

Smith, who started as a trainee at Arsenal, made 26 appearances in all competitions for the MLS side.

He told British Footballers Abroad: “I felt I could have done better but it was my first year and I had everything that went along with it.

“I’ve had to adapt, get used to my team mates and be happy off the field too which was key. It was OK but I know I can do a lot more.”

Smith, whose former clubs include Derby County, Millwall, Southampton and Crystal Palace, admits it took time to adapt to a new culture and being separated from his loved ones.

Ryan Smith has enjoyed his first 12 months with Sporting Kansas City

“It helps that we speak the same language over here and back home but it was never easy especially for myself being away from my immediate family and daughter, it’s tough but it’s worked out well so I’m happy,” he said.

“I would say back home at the top level, if someone has a chance nine times out of ten they’ll score and you have to keep possession and avoid making mistakes.

“Over here you can make a mistake and get away with it but even so it’s still ruthless here as well – there are some really good players.

“I think it’s more physical than in England. You can get away with a lot more over here.”

In the past some English players who have tried their luck in the US have returned swiftly but Smith says he wants to be an exception to the norm.

“When I spoke to Peter Vermes (Kansas City manager), he had a plan and he really wanted me to be a part of it. He convinced me that he wanted me here and wanted me to excel here and get back to track with my football.

“I’m here and I want to focus on what I have to do here.”

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One response

5 04 2011
KC Cauldron

Smitty’s been a great addition to our club. Beyond the on-the-ball skill that makes him fun to watch, he’s great with the supporters. He was injured for the opening game so he came out to our watch party and had a beer with us. We can’t wait to see him back on the field.

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