By: Cannon Dees '20
BEREA, Ohio- In its inaugural year as a National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) team, Cleveland Soccer Club has called up Danny Ruple (Berea/Berea-Midpark) and Kurt Raney (Mentor) of the Baldwin Wallace University men's soccer team to help find success in the 2018 season.
A record-breaking 2017 season for Ruple featured his first Ohio Athletic Conference Forward of the Year selection and his second All-OAC honor, which all led up to his NPSL debut. His 19 goals and 45 points not only broke two single-season school-records, but also topped the OAC leaderboards. He tallied seven assists on his way to becoming an United Soccer Coaches All-Great Lakes Region first-team selection and D3soccer.com nominee for "Most Impactful Player in Division III in 2017."
For his first game in the orange and black, Ruple started and played the full 90 minutes of the match. In that time, he scored the first goal and notched an assist in a 5-0 win over Greater Binghamton FC. Following his performance, Ruple earned more playing time as he came on as a substitute in the next contest against Fort Pitt Regiment and scored his second goal of the season.
"I hope to learn from players who have been playing at such a high level these past few years," Ruple said. "Just from training and a few games, I feel more comfortable on the ball and better tactically and technically than I did at the end of last season." Ruple also mentioned that his favorite part of the whole experience is being able to play the sport he loves while representing his city.
Raney will also be on the field for Cleveland SC this summer. However, this isn't his first time taking the pitch for a semi-professional team. Last summer, the midfielder played for the Dayton Dutch Lions of the Premier Development League, where he played in 14 games and earned himself two goals and an assist.
He has also already logged minutes for his new team in the first match of the season as a substitute, coming on in the 65th minute in a 2-0 win over the Rochester Lancers. Out with injury during the 2017 season for Baldwin Wallace, Raney hopes to use this summer as an experience to come back stronger and better than ever.
"Coming off of a serious injury this past season, I hope to be able to get myself to the level I was playing at last summer in Dayton," Raney said. "I hope to bring back a high standard of play that can be filtered into the team at BW. Every player is great at what they do at this level, so you always have to be on your toes in anticipation for the unexpected". Raney was sure to add that he loves the semi-professional atmosphere at the game and always appreciates the overwhelming fan support on the road.
Although they have proven themselves thus far into the season, this opportunity wasn't just handed to the two Yellow Jackets. In order to make the new Cleveland team, Ruple and Raney had to showcase their talents in two try-outs attended by over 80 local players. It also helped that Baldwin Wallace men's soccer head coach, Reid Ayers, has been around the soccer community long enough for his word to have an impact.
"Both Ruple and Raney had indicated their interest in pursuing opportunities at the next level. After looking at all the possibilities, Cleveland SC was a good challenge based on the success of the previous Cleveland clubs and I was very comfortable recommending them," Ayers said. "I had a brief discussion with the head coach, Ryan Osbourne, and they received an invitation to try-outs, which they were prepared for by the culture and player development strategies of our soccer program at BW."
Ruple and Raney are the eighth and ninth Baldwin Wallace soccer players to play in an American semi-professional league under Coach Ayers' regime.
Cleveland SC is the third semi-professional soccer team Cleveland has had in the past 12 years and plays at John Carroll University's Don Shula Stadium. As of June 13, the club has compiled a 3-1-1 record and currently sits in third place of seven teams in the Midwest East Conference. For more information on Cleveland Soccer Club, visit their website at www.clevelandsc.com.
June 13, 2018 Meet the Players: Patrick Mehal '20
June 5, 2018 Meet the Players: Danny Ruple '20
May 22, 2018 Meet the Players: Jeffrey Elder-Hoff '20
May 15, 2018 Meet the Players: Rafael Davalos '20
May 9, 2018 Meet the Players: Cannon Dees '20
May 1, 2018 Meet the Players: Cole McDaniel '20
April 24, 2018 Meet the Players: Timmy Jonas '20
April 17, 2018 Meet the Players: Jake Woodruff '20
April 10, 2018 Meet the Players: Kurt Raney '19
April 3, 2018 Meet the Players: Joey Rini '19
March 27, 2018 Meet the Players: Ryan Hassell '19
March 20, 2018 Meet the Players: Jeremy Foust '19
January 31, 2018 Men's and Women's Soccer Announce 2017 Team Awards at Annual Banquet
December 19, 2017 Foust Selected to OCSA Academic All-Ohio Team
December 18, 2017 Ruple Earns Second OCSA All-Ohio Honor
December 5, 2017 Ruple Earns CoSIDA Academic All-America Honors
November 29, 2017 Ruple Earns All-Great Lakes Region Honors
November 15, 2017 Ten Men's Soccer Student-Athletes Earn Academic All-OAC Honors
November 10, 2017 Ruple Earns OAC Forward of the Year Honors
November 9, 2017 Ruple Named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Team
October 28, 2017 Men’s Soccer Celebrates Seniors in Season Finale Loss to Capital
October 25, 2017 Men’s Soccer Falls to Ohio Northern in OT
October 24, 2017 Men’s Soccer Looks to Make Progress in Final Two Home Games
October 20, 2017 Men's Soccer Falls Short Against Otterbein
October 19, 2017 Meet the Players: Garrett McCue '19
October 17, 2017 Men’s Soccer Falls to High-Powered Heidelberg
October 14, 2017 Ruple Makes School History as Men’s Soccer Beats Muskingum
October 13, 2017 Meet the Players: Brian 'Zach' Haviland '19
October 11, 2017 Men's Soccer Battles Nationally Ranked JCU, Loses 1-0
October 9, 2017 Raney ’19 Pursues Soccer Dreams in Premier Development League
October 6, 2017 Men’s Soccer Draws Wilmington in Second Consecutive OT Game
October 3, 2017 Men's Soccer Falls to Mount Union in Overtime
September 30, 2017 Men's Soccer Drops Conference Opener
September 29, 2017 Meet the Players: JT Taubeneck '19
September 28, 2017 Men's Soccer Prepares for Challenging OAC Season
September 27, 2017 Men's Soccer Battles Back, Ties Grove City in 2OT
September 23, 2017 Men’s Soccer Tops Defiance
September 21, 2017 Meet the Players: Ryan Asbury '18
September 20, 2017 Second Half Surge Leads Oberlin Past Men’s Soccer
September 18, 2017 Ruple Earns First Career OAC Player of the Week Honor
September 16, 2017 Two Men’s Soccer Players Earn Hat Tricks in Win over Bluffton
September 14, 2017 Ruple Scores Golden Goal for BW in Double OT Winner
September 13, 2017 Meet the Players: Logan Davis '19
September 12, 2017 Men's Soccer Falls in Final Seconds of Home Opener
September 11, 2017 Men's Soccer Week in Review: Week of September 3
September 9, 2017 Men's Soccer Earns Shutout for First Win of the Season
September 8, 2017 Men's Soccer Drops Opening Game of 28th Annual Bob Allen Nissan Classic
September 3, 2017 Men's Soccer Drops Consolation Game
September 2, 2017 Men's Soccer Falls in Season Opener
August 25, 2017 Pheasant Joins Men's Soccer Staff
August 23, 2017 Men's Soccer Prepares for 2017 Campaign
June 8, 2017 Men’s Soccer Reveals 2017 Schedule