State soccer founder, legend Mike Ryan passes away

State soccer founder, legend Mike Ryan passes away

SEATTLE, Wash. – Mike Ryan, a key figure in the founding of the sport of soccer in Washington state passed away in Seattle on Tuesday morning. Ryan was 77.

A family friend shares this sad news with, and adds that Mike had recently been ill.  “He had many visitors in his last days, many former players came to honor him,” our source says.

Ryan was honored by Seattle Sounders FC with a Golden Scarf back in July of 2009.

In a 2008 article posted by the Sounders, Ryan talked about the birth of organized youth soccer in Washington. “I called the first meeting at my house, which I’d just bought and hadn’t furnished. We sat by the fireplace and determined we had to get a league, had to get an association and communications. I guess you could say that was the first meeting Washington State Youth Soccer Association. We had a meeting down in Tacoma the next month and I was elected the first president.”

Ryan also coached the Washington Huskies Men, the US Women’s National Team, Emerald City FC and more recently both the Boys and Girls teams at Seattle’s Nathan Hale High School.

Mike’s family is updating his Facebook page with photos and memories from his soccer career. There is also a Facebook group page in honor of Ryan.

Mike Ryan’s Memorial Party will be held at the Arena Concourse (the concourse at Hec Ed, UW campus) January 12th at 4-7PM. It’s a drop in occasion, and will be a party per Mike’s wishes.

Seattle Times feature

Seattle Times extended Ryan feature




3 thoughts on “State soccer founder, legend Mike Ryan passes away

  1. Way back in my day, I had the opportunity and privilege of playing with Mike’s Emerald City team in Ireland and England .. I will never forget those memories. My older brother was on his team for many years, we are planning on having beers tonight, playing indoor, and reminiscing. Mike always had great practices and I try to mimic those trainings when I coach. He will never be forgotten and we live on for people like him. R.I.P.

  2. one of a kind. MIke taught a beautiful game of passing and support as a team. He rarely knew the parents names, focusing only on the kids. HIs name will live on as he donated the U12 SYSA City tournament trophies and they carry his name. Won’t be the same without him awarding them this year.

  3. I had the pleasure of playing for Mike for a couple of years with the Washington State Select team. He did indeed teach a beautiful brand of soccer. Without question he was the biggest influence to my coaching style and love of the beautiful game. I remember his great sense of humor after riding across the mountains with Marcus Haanaman in his VW Thing years ago. Mike watched Marcus chest trap a booming shot during a game in Canada. I happened to be playing in a wide position within earshot and heard Mike’s exasperated “I hate that kid!’ He of course was kidding, and everyone around him was in stitches.

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