Jan. 29, 2013
SEATTLE - The 2012 men's soccer team held their annual postseason awards banquet Jan. 18, honoring Husky players and alumni.
This year the Husky community decided to name the Most Inspirational award after the late soccer legend Mike Ryan. Ryan was the head coach at Washington from 1966-76, earning 101 wins and four NCAA tournament appearances.
"We are very grateful that the people in UW's program decided to honor our father in this way," said Kevin, one of the sons for the former coach. "He did a lot for the soccer community but sometimes you don't realize how far his reach went until someone offers to do something like this. His time at the UW was before we could comprehend what he was doing there, but judging by the response from people affiliated with the program, alumni, and even people outside the program, he had an impact on people's lives that have lasted their lifetimes, and there is no greater accomplishment than that."
The Dublin native served in the U.S. Army and settled in the Seattle area after he took his discharge. Through his passion for teaching, he became one of the most influential figures for youth soccer in the state. Ryan helped organize what is now known as the Washington State Youth Soccer Association since its inception, which currently has over 115,000 youth players. He also started the first organized women's league in the state and through his efforts became the first coach of the U.S. Women's National Team.
Marty Rood, Class of 1975, played under Coach Mike Ryan and was honored to present the first ever Mike Ryan Most Inspirational award. The recipient of the award was senior captain, Ben Fisk. Fisk enjoyed two great seasons at UW after transferring back home from Cal Poly. He finished his senior year with many accolades, including All-Pac-12 First Team and All-Pac-12 Academic. He was also selected in the second round of the MLS Supplemental Draft by the New York Red Bulls.
The Rookie of the Year award went to Michael Gallagher. After his sensational opening season, he was named the 30th best freshmen in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer and helped the Husky back line earn 10 shutouts this season.
Sophomore Andy Thoma finished a successful season on the backline. He started every game and earned two assists earning him this year's Most Improved Player award. This award was presented by former Husky and ex-MLS player Bill Sleeth (2002).
The Offensive MVP award was presented by Kevin Forrest (2007) who won the award during his great UW career. Nate Sackeyfio won that award after a fantastic senior season. He scored crucial Pac-12 goals vs. UCLA and Stanford, and his performance against Stanford earned him many national honors including Pac-12 Player of the Week and Disney Soccer/NSCAA Player of the Week.
The final award of the evening was presented by Dylan Tucker-Gangnes. Tucker-Gangnes was a defensive stalwart for the Huskies in his senior year. He finished his Husky career with 32 points and 13 goals and was the 34th pick to the Portland Timbers in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft.