It’s a known fact among only select soccer circles, but Philadelphia has a rich – and deep – soccer history on the world stage. During the month that is the FIFA World Cup, philadelphiaunion.com in conjunction with Philly Soccer Page will highlight one player from either the Greater Philadelphia region or that has ties to the Union that has been a part of the world’s greatest sporting event.
We’ve already kicked off with a pair of local connections in Robert Millar, Bert Patenaude, Jimmy Gallagher and James Gentle and others that were instrumental in the United States' appearances in past FIFA World Cups.
Today, we introduce another local legend, Francis "Hun" Ryan.
Francis “Hun” Ryan was a standout midfielder for the Philadelphia German Americans from 1931-37.
Ryan, who was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1958, won the National Amateur Cup in 1933 and 1934 as well as the American Soccer League title in 1935 and the U.S. Open Cup a year later in 1936.
According to the Philly Soccer Page, the total of 19 players included six from Pennsylvania-area teams. Ryan, the team captain, was part of that group and went on to participate in the 1934 World Cup.
Ryan would go on to play for several other clubs, but the 1934 World Cup had to be a highlight.
Ryan earned his first cap in 1928 in a loss to Argentina at the Olympics. His next cap came in the 1934 World Cup in a 7-1 loss to Italy.