By CHARLIE CORR – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, December 3, 2015
It was a little more than two years ago when Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey suffered the biggest setback of his young career.
Richey finished his 2013 PDL season with the Washington Crossfire and delved into his senior campaign at the University of Washington, only to see things come to a halt. Richey broke his leg on Sept. 10 when he collided with Connecticut forward Cyle Larin, the 2015 MLS Rookie of the Year.
“The injury was a setback – a speed bump,” Richey said to whitecapsfc2.com’s Piccolo Ocampo. “In the long run, I believe that the cream rises to the top.”
So the following year, Richey returned to Washington, led his team to the NCAA Tournament and was then selected by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the third round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
For the 23-year-old Seattle native, the Whitecaps organization and WFC2 have helped him get back on the fast track that he was on prior to his injury.
“In the draft, you really have no choice where you’re going to go and what situation you’ll end up in,” Richey said. “So I feel incredibly lucky to have landed with Whitecaps FC, with [WFC coaches] Alan Koch, Steve Meadley and Raegyn Hall. … It’s pretty rare when you go to organizations and from top to bottom it’s all quality people.”
During WFC2’s first USL season, Richey started in 11 of 12 appearances, earned four victories and two shutouts and made 55 saves.
Though the 2015 WFC2 team took some time to come around, there is some optimism heading into 2016. WFC2 announced in mid-November the return of a heavy portion of its defense. Along with Richey anchoring the back, other returnees include defenders Jackson Farmer and Deklan Wynne who have represented Canada and New Zealand, respectively, at the international stage this year.
For Richey, he is soaking in the experience with both WFC2 and his opportunities to train with the first team. In particular, he has been able to compete alongside 2015 MLS All-Star David Ousted and hopes to utilize those moments to mold his game.
“Training with David, who is experienced and has been around the game much longer, you can always learn something,” Richey said. “From David, from [Marco] Carducci, they play the game so much differently. Ever goalkeeper is different.
“The more of those quality players you can be around, I can take pages from each one of their books and add them to mine, and hopefully make me better in the long run.”