EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A pair of El Paso Locomotive FC staples since the club’s inception in 2019 are parting ways with the team.
Sources confirmed to KTSM on Tuesday that midfielders Richie Ryan and Sebastian Velasquez are no longer with the club and are looking into different options to continue their playing careers. Neither player was at training on Tuesday and won’t be moving forward.
Locomotive FC head coach John Hutchinson was asked directly by KTSM about Velasquez’s absence after practice and hinted that he could be on his way out.
“There is an idea for him that he wants to go overseas and try something different,” said Hutchinson. “We’re not going to stand in people’s way, but we have to make sure the club is at its best and ok with that. Sometimes it’s people’s time to move on, we’ll work that out over the next few days.”
On Wednesday, afternoon, Velasquez officially announced his departure from Locomotive on his own social media pages.
Velasquez has had two stints with El Paso, first in 2019 and then from Spring, 2021 through this week. In between, he played for Miami FC of the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference, as well as a team in Israel.
Ryan, however, is a different, more curious story. He wasn’t at training on Tuesday morning and later that afternoon, the Seriously Loco Podcast was the first to reveal why.
KTSM has confirmed that as Ryan’s contract gets set to expire at the end of the 2022 campaign, he was offered a deal with a pay cut for upcoming years. While Ryan wants to continue playing in El Paso – his entire family is here and he’s spent four seasons living in the city – a pay cut for a player in USL could mean playing for a wage that would be unlivable. Most players in USL make between $25,000-$60,000 per season.
Ryan subsequently asked for his release from Locomotive FC, but as of Tuesday night, sources told KTSM that it hadn’t been given to him. Locomotive FC’s remaining roster was told that he would no longer be training with the team, KTSM confirmed.
KTSM has learned that there are teams that are interested in Ryan and would pay him a competitive salary if or when he gets released by El Paso, including Indy Eleven, which is coached by former Locomotive FC head coach Mark Lowry.
Ryan has become a fan favorite in his four seasons with El Paso and is a respected leader in the locker room around the entire league. Under Lowry, he was both a player and an assistant coach and it was thought that he would transition into a coaching role of some kind when his playing career ended.
KTSM reached out to multiple members of Locomotive FC’s front office on Tuesday for comment, but did not hear back. On Wednesday afternoon, a Locomotive FC official said the club did not currently wish to comment on either player’s situation.
- Instagram, OnlyFans model Courtney Clenney charged with murdering boyfriend
- Intense ‘fire tornado’ seen on video during California grass fire
- USPS plans to hike prices for holidays
- Video: Father, daughter removed from Frontier flight after pilot turns plane around
- Texas system that could stop school shooters is underused, state ramping up outreach
- Roxy’s Thursday Forecast: More possible flooding