For the 2021 Regular Season, Head Coach Mark Lowry will be fielding not just one mainstay captain on the field but will instead have two players lead the charge through the third USL Championship campaign. Yuma and Richie Ryan stand as the two primary pillars of leadership for Locomotive.
The Spanish defender is no stranger to branding the captain’s armband for the Locos Blue. Through the first two seasons, Yuma has captained Locomotive through 14 games, the majority of which came after Chiro N’toko’s unfortunate season-ending injury in early September last season. With a storied career that has led the 35-year-old footballer through some of the most prolific clubs in Spain as well as Puerto Rico and now with Locomotive, Yuma has a veteran look on the game, rivaled by few on the team.
Looking to slide back from the holding midfield into the center back position, Yuma has one of the few unique positions on the pitch to view everything at play, providing a vantage point to be a commanding presence for Locomotive. So far with Yuma donning the armband for Locomotive, the El Paso team has gone 6-4-4.
Alongside Yuma, acting a co-captain for the squad, is Irish defensive midfielder, Richie Ryan. Like Yuma, over the course of the first seasons, Ryan has branded the captain’s armband six times. An experienced veteran in the world’s game, Ryan has experience in the English Football Association, League of Ireland Premier Division, as well as Extensive USL and NASL experience in the United States. An accoladed midfielder, Ryan helped lead Silgo Rovers to back-to-back FAI Cups (2010, 2011) as well as the 2010 League of Ireland Cup. 2013 saw Ryan obtain the League of Ireland Cup again with the Shamrock Rovers before jumping to the United States where he took home the NASL Fall Championship with Ottawa Fury.
A leader on and off the pitch, Richie Ryan's passion and experience in the game makes him an obvious choice to help lead the team in the third Locomotive season.
“It’s a role that I’ve been fortunate enough to have in the last few years of my career,” shared Ryan. “Wearing the armband is just something that the captain has to do, but I believe you don’t need an armband on to be a leader. We have a squad full of leaders – Me, Yuma, Nick Ross, Andrew Fox, Logan Ketterer, I could name the whole squad really. Yuma and I can bring experience from the career that we have, but we have plenty of leaders both on and off the pitch.”