Ryan Martin named as new D.C. United Academy Director
WASHINGTON (Via D.C. United) – D.C. United have hired Ryan Martin to succeed Nolan Sheldon as the new director of the youth academy.
Martin, who last year helped former United player and current FC Cincinnati head coach John Harkes build the roster for the USL side’s inaugural season, will oversee all youth development for the Black-and-Red and work closely with the first team technical staff to integrate members of the academy in trainings.
“Ryan has a proven track record of identifying, attracting and developing top talent,” Dave Kasper, United general manager and VP of soccer operations, said. “He understands what it takes to become a high-level player, and his familiarity with our methodologies and eagerness to build off Nolan’s success made him the obvious choice to oversee our academy.”
An NSCAA All-American midfielder at Ohio Wesleyan under his father Jay Martin, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history, Martin went on to play for Real Salt Lake and teams in Iceland and Germany before following his passion into coaching. He returned to Ohio Wesleyan to begin his coaching career, and the following year moved to Wake Forest University in 2007. During his time at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons won one national championship, made three NCAA College Cups and won two ACC Championships while compiling a record of 102-39-22.
Starting as a volunteer, Martin worked his way up to recruiting coordinator and assistant coach, stepping in as interim head coach on an as-needed basis. After becoming the recruiting coordinator in the spring of 2010, Martin earned top ten recruiting classes every year (including the best class in the country in 2012). More than 15 Demon Deacons have gone on to play Major League Soccer since Martin began at the university, including current United defender Jalen Robinson, former United midfielder Collin Martin and 2016 rookie of the year finalist Jack Harrison, as well as 2016 USL MVP and Golden Boot Winner Sean Okoli (who he worked with this past season at FC Cincinnati before Okoli’s transfer to NYCFC).
At FC Cincinnati, Martin acted as assistant coach to Harkes, where he helped form a roster of 26 players from scratch in four months en route to finishing third out of 29 teams (16-6-8) and having the Goalkeeper of the Year, MVP and Golden Boot winner, Coach of the Year finalist and three First-Team All-USL players. He holds both a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) license.