Phoenix Rising FC has signed one of Arizona’s own in wingback Ryan Flood.
Flood, 22, is a Valley native who was born in Scottsdale and attended Corona del Sol High School in Tempe.
He also spent most of his youth career playing for SC del Sol and Sereno SC.
Flood would then go abroad to Brazil and Japan, the former of which he attributes much of his style to on and off the pitch, including the nickname “Floodinho.”
“I was 15, 16 and I went to go play with Santos [FC] a little bit,” he said. “I actually came back here for high school, finished my two years at Corona and then went to Japan and played [in the J2 League] a little bit over there. Had a fantastic time in Tokyo. Came back here and went to [Sporting Arizona FC].
“There’s definitely more of a flair that I learned in Brazil. I kind of believe it’s my second home. I have a lot of family friends over there. It grew onto me as a person as well — even the way I dress, the way I play — I always try to have that part of me as I play my game.”
After his time at Sporting AZ, Flood joined FC Arizona under the new ownership of Jamie Landreman and newly appointed technical director Dave Rogers.
In addition to having patience and being persistent over the course of his career, Flood also credits the guidance and coaching he received during his time at FC Arizona in helping him earn a spot on the PRFC roster after a third consecutive year of being a trialist.
“(Rogers) has been really big in developing me over the last 18 months,” Flood said. “Him, along with Jamie with FC Arizona, has made a huge pathway toward creating something for players who are trying to come out of Arizona who don’t really have much to grasp.
“I think (Rogers) has taken that role of being a role model for a lot of players here in Arizona and other places as well that want to come here. He makes a good image for that club and he’s doing wonderful things over there. I can only speak the best of him.”
For those that don’t remember, Flood has actually played against Phoenix Rising before back in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.
PRFC fans are probably trying to get the penalty shootout loss out of their memories, but the wingback notched an assist and converted on his spot kick in that match at just 19 years old.
“It was funny because right before that I had a trial with Rising and unfortunately I didn’t get signed, so I went to Sporting AZ,” Flood said. “… It was a crazy game, huge fan base. It was amazing to see how well Arizona has grown as a club and professionally.
“It was a daunting game to be fair. Crazy athleticism. Being able to put on a show as a young teenage kid at that point, it was an amazing feeling and I think that was one of the steps that helped me in the right direction as a professional.”
When it comes to Flood’s playing style, pace and power are what’s expected to come from the 6-foot-2 wingback.
Although he’ll most likely not start very much this season, that doesn’t mean his versatility and services won’t be utilized by manager Rick Schantz. Flood has the ability to play along the entire left side and will likely be Deklan Wynne’ s backup at the left back position, which fits right into Schantz’s mantra of being “two-deep” at every position and having a high level of competition in training.
“He’s got such pace and power,” Rogers said. “Even though he’s naturally left-sided as a left winger or left attacker or a left wingback or a left back, he’s also pretty good at coming off the right hand side as well because he’s got such power and accuracy in his passing and in his shooting. His delivery on crosses from wide areas is phenomenal and also set plays.
“He’s definitely got attributes that many people don’t have. He’s left-footed, he’s 6-foot-2, he’s 22 years of age. He’s local — fans and communities love a local player. They’d be a real success story in any town or country that you go to. But he’s got so much pace, strength and real fire in his belly to really kick on and succeed.”