Written By: Lalo Mata
Published: August 15, 2020
Ryley Kraft has taken himself from the city of Roseville in the 916 to the Richmond Kickers of the USL League One as a midfielder with his signing last fall season.
The 22-year-old professional soccer player from Roseville has had a lifetime of success that has led him to where he is right now. Growing up from Sacramento led him to become a part of the Sacramento Republic’s youth team from 2015-2017, United States U-19 National Team, Orlando City B, and Oklahoma City Energy, but one goal is still left unaccomplished.
Achieving these accomplishments over the past couple of years, Ryley has found it in himself to still be aiming for higher levels of success such as playing in a World Cup for the US.
While on his way to becoming a professional soccer player, Ryley was also faced with many obstacles such as being overlooked at the ages of 15 to 17-years-old and even being rejected from his U16 Academy team during those short years of his career.
Although Kraft has faced adversity he was also very resilient when pushed to his limits. Going through his struggles he learned to never give up, as cliche as it sounds.
“It’s something I’ve lived by. It’s never going to be easy,” says Ryley.
Growing a passion for the love of the sport through hard-work and challenges is what made Ryley put it in the extra and showed how much he wanted it- wanted it even more than his teammates.
Even though Kraft comes with the strong mentality to become better and prove the doubters wrong he always had his father and his older brother in his corner to cheer him on and help inspire his fire for the soccer. His father is who truly inspired him the most through his career and even the person who got him to love soccer the most.
“My parents both have been through all the ups and downs and supported and believed in me the whole way,” Ryley adds.
Through all the inspiration from his family, Ryley also found role models in Iniesta as a child and Frenkie De Jong as of right now.
As the Richmond Kickers continue their season and try to maintain a top seed in their league, Ryley doesn’t forget the city he calls home. Coming from the Sacramento/Roseville area Ryley appreciates being apart of the sports culture we breed in the 916. Sacramento produces tons of top athletes and professionals and expresses how happy he is to be apart of it.
While we watch sports from home don’t forget to show your love to the soccer field by watching #98 tear up the turf and put the 916 on his back in building the reputation of success in Sacramento.