Veteran defender Tyler Ruthven in action for Arizona United SC in the 2015 USL regular season against Sacramento Republic FC. | Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
ATLANTA – ATL UTD 2 announced on Tuesday it had signed veteran defender and Georgia native Tyler Ruthven, pending league and federation approval. The 30-year-old center back brings more than eight years of professional experience to the club, including competing in both Major League Soccer and overseas.
“We are happy to add Tyler to our group and bring him back to Atlanta,” said ATL UTD 2 Head Coach Scott Donnelly. “He is a proven centerback with experience, maturity and technique. Tyler’s presence will no doubt add a valuable element to our team and club.”
A collegiate standout at the University of South Carolina, Ruthven began his career with the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL Second Division in 2010 before joining the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2011, where he made 27 appearances. Ruthven then earned a contract with the New York Red Bulls after a successful trial in MLS preseason in 2012 and spent a season with the club before moving overseas to play for Sweden’s IK Brage and Finland’s KuPS.
In recent years, Ruthven has played domestically for Arizona United SC, Jacksonville Armada FC and Miami FC, with which he reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup before the side was eliminated by current USL Eastern Conference-leader FC Cincinnati.
POLAK HEADS TO SAINT LOUIS: Saint Louis FC has added depth to its back line with the signing of defender Tyler Polak for the remainder of the 2018 USL season, pending league and federation approval. A former member of FC Cincinnati, Polak has made 69 appearances overall in the USL over his career, having also previously played for the Rochester Rhinos.
“I’m pleased with the addition of Tyler who is an experienced left-back at this level,” said STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “He is somebody who I’ve seen and know about for a number of years and I’ve always been impressed with him. With the loss of Aedan [Stanley to Duke University], he fills a spot we needed filled and now we have two really good left-backs to compete for a starting spot.”
“I am beyond excited to be joining STLFC,” said Polak. “Being back in the Midwest and closer to home is giving me an extra edge to perform and help the team win. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and pushing for a playoff spot and beyond.”
New Saint Louis FC defender Tyler Polak spent two seasons with FC Cincinnati. | Photo courtesy Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati
STEEL FC ADDS CONGOLESE YOUTH INTERNATIONAL: Bethlehem Steel FC announced it had acquired midfielder Antonio Lokwa pending receipt of his P-1 Visa. A native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lokwa joins Steel FC on loan from Czech club MKF Vyškov for the remainder of the 2018 season. The deal was completed prior to the transfer window closure on August 8th and Lokwa will occupy an international spot for Steel FC.
“We’re excited to add another good young player,” said Steel FC Head Coach Brendan Burke. “He brings physical qualities that we are looking for in a central midfielder going forward as a box-to-box and a six role. He’s only 18 so we aren’t expecting anything right out of the gate but hopefully these months become the start of something special with an introduction to our club culture and to the United States. Hopefully, he can be part of the frame work of next year’s team and if he helps on the run up for the USL Cup Playoffs, even better.”
The 18-year-old joins the club after making appearances with MKF Vyškov, which plays in the Moravian-Silesian Football League in the Czech Republic, and A.C. Ujana. Lokwa brings more international youth experience to Steel FC having played and trained with the U-20 Democratic Republic of the Congo national team.