McMahen Inks Full Roster Contract With MLS' Kansas City Wizards
March 12, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Former Michigan State midfielder Ryan McMahen has signed a one-year, full-roster contract with the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer, the club announced on Thursday, March 1. McMahen, a 2005 graduate and a three-time All-Big Ten selection, has started all of the Wizards' games against MLS teams in the preseason.
"It's a tremendous thing for Ryan to be a full-time professional soccer player," Michigan State head coach Joe Baum said. "He is one of the most hard-working players I've ever been around and I'm just so proud that I was able to help him along his development. As a program, we're just delighted. It speaks well for us as a program that he was able to develop as a player here for four years."
In his first season as a professional in 2006, McMahen appeared in 11 of the Wizards' 12 Reserve Division games, starting nine games and scoring one goal. The MLS Reserve Division is designed to help develop players in the MLS by allowing players outside the top 11 a chance to get valuable playing experience.
"I'm extremely excited," McMahen said. "It's a lot of hard work that has started to pay off."
McMahen was an All-Big Ten selection in 2003, 2004 and 2005 for MSU. In 2005, he was named the Spartans' first All-American since 1968. He finished his career with 26 goals and 28 assists, totaling 80 points. The 2005 Big Ten Tournament Offensive MVP, McMahen scored both goals in a stunning 2-1 upset of the defending national champion Indiana in the semifinals. He earned NSCAA Second Team All-American honors as a senior, scoring seven goals and adding five assists, helping him draw the attention of Kansas City, which drafted him 16th overall in the 2006 draft.
"Playing for Coach Baum was a phenomenal experience. Not just as a player, though, because becoming a better man and person was something that he emphasizes," McMahen said. "He's not only a great teacher but a great man and a great leader. Playing in the Big Ten was also a great experience in a very competitive league. You had to play hard every day."
McMahen and the Wizards are in Argentina this week, continuing with their preseason training before opening the season on April 14 at the D.C. United.
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