Armada FC Adds Defender Kalen Ryden

Ryden spent last season with the Oklahoma Energy FC in the USL
Jacksonville Armada FC Staff | Jan 20, 2017

Photo credit: Columbus Crew SC

Jacksonville Armada FC have announced the signing of defender Kalen Ryden to the 2017 roster pending USSF approval. The versatile 6-foot-2-inch center back adds another strong, defensive presence to the Armada FC backline. 

Ryden, 25, comes to Jacksonville from the USL in the Oklahoma City Energy FC, where he played 26 games and 1,893 minutes with in 2016. The Norman, Okla., native joined the Energy in August 2015 as the team played out the rest of the season and qualified for the USL Playoffs. Ryden appeared as a sub in overtime and netted a penalty kick during the shootout victory against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the Western Conference Semifinals.

“Kalen is a fantastic professional and checked all the boxes in the profile we had been looking for,” Armada FC Technical Director Nathan Walter said. “He is a natural left-footed player that can play center back and left back. His addition to this squad strengthens our identity.”

Before joining the Energy FC, Ryden was a college standout and later had a brief stint in the MLS.  His college career included 35 appearances at Oral Roberts University, where he made three goals and two assists. He then transferred to Midwestern State University and tallied one goal and two assists in his 28 appearances.

Ryden’s professional career began in the Premier Development League when he played for the Des Moines Menace, Midland/Odessa Sockers, and Austin Aztex.

In 2015, Ryan participated in the MLS SuperDraft and was selected in the fourth round by the Columbus Crew SC. The defender was loaned out to the USL team Austin Aztex FC, where he scored his first professional goal and earned an honorable mention in the USL Team of the Week. Energy FC signed the rookie later in 2015 when he was let go by the Crew SC.

“Kalen’s physical attributes are there for all to see," Jacksonville coach Mark Lowry said. "What really stood out to us though is his passing ability. During our time at the helm here we have established ourselves as a possession-orientated team who puts demands on its defenders to build out from the back. Kalen will offer us this, and more, and we are excited to have him on board.”

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