Soccer has no language and no nationality. The prime example is the former Japanese soccer player Ryo Shimazaki who played as a defender in an American soccer club, New England Revolution II, in 2020.
Shimazaki moved to the USA, leaving his soccer career in Japan to pursue higher studies. However, he did not know English and struggled in America due to the language barrier and culture shock.
But he knew soccer, and that’s what helped him to secure his place in America. Ryo made new connections and established a career out of soccer.
Unfortunately, Ryo announced his retirement from professional soccer in 2021.
The former soccer player seems to have passion for boxing as his several 2023 social media posts show him being involved in the sport.
So, how come an international student became part of the American soccer club and boxing, and what is his story?
In this article, we have covered the struggles he faced during the journey to his soccer career.
|Full Name||Ryo Shimazaki|
|Age||26 Years Old|
|Birthdate||August 6, 1997|
|Height||5’9″/1.75 m/175 cm|
|Weight||68 kg/150 lb|
|High School||Tachibana High School|
|University||Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)|
|Former Soccer teams||
|Last Update||November 2023|
Early Life And Education
Ryo Shimazaki was born on April 19 19, 1997, in Kawasaki, Japan. His father was a huge soccer lover who influenced him to pursue soccer as a career.
Shimazaki remembered watching soccer with his father and was ultimately hooked on it. While Ryo was in the 4th grade of elementary school, he made it to Kawasaki Frontale U-12 selection.
He used to play as an attacking player and became a member of the Kawasaki Frontale Academy Program for eight years.
Shimazaki believed that joining Kawasaki Fronatle Academy was a stepping stone for his soccer career. He said that he learned the basic skills of soccer from there.
Moreover, he represented Japan on the Under-16 Under 17 Youth National Team. Ryo was enrolled in Tachibana High School and focused on his studies and a soccer career.
Moving To America
Shimazaki initially thought about moving to the USA for higher studies, but he was also looking to enhance his soccer career. Moreover, he was interested in MLS and dreamed of winning it.
Ryo was inspired by a senior Japanese soccer player and coach, Kosuke Kimura, who went to Colorado Rapids in a draft and won the MLS.
Therefore, he emailed hundreds of schools, of which 20 wrote back. But, his poor TOEFL score even narrowed down his choices of university.
In the end, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) accepted him as a student with a condition of admission to its language school.
Ryo moved to the States for his higher studies, but nothing stopped him from pursuing a soccer career.
He attended Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and joined the college soccer team.
Shimazaki wanted to continue his soccer career along with his studies. So he met with coaches who helped him to grow his career further.
He made his first appearance against the University of Nevada on August 28, 2016, and made 14 games in his freshman year.
During his sophomore year, he played 19 matches as an outside back. Shimazaki kept moving forward with six points, two goals, and two assists.
He marked his first-ever football goal over Davidson on October 4 4, 2017. Ultimately, Ryo and his team won the match with a 4-1 win.
Shimazaki started playing as an outside back initially for 18 matches in the junior college season and managed to score one goal and set three assists.
Atlantic 10 Regular Season Champions
Ryo helped VCU become the Atlantic 10 Regular Season Champions in 2018 and received VaSID second-team all-state honors. As a senior, Ryo started as an outside back for 18 matches, scoring four goals.
The former player also scored a goal in a match against Dayton on October 9, 2019, and the team won with a 2-1 score. He also converted a penalty against George Maison in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals.
Likewise, he was named the Player of the week on September 30, 2019, and earned the A-10 all-conference first-team spot.
In his career at VCU, Shimazaki made 69 appearances in four seasons and registered seven goals and six assists.
2020 MLS SuperDraft
Ryo was selected in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft by Columbus Crew SC. He made it to the third draft round and was eventually selected for the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
It was a step closer for Ryo, as he had always dreamt of playing in MLS. But Ryo couldn’t make it because of nationality.
However, Shimazaki received a separate offer from New England Revolution II. Initially, he was skeptical about the offer but later accepted. Since he took the offer, Shimazaki did not make it to the drafts.
When asked about it, Ryo responded that he had no idea if he would make it, so he preferred to be on the safer side.
New England Revolution II
After two unsuccessful attempts, Shimazaki signed to New England Revolution II on January 16, 2020. He played 14 matches in USL League One and scored a goal.
His contract option was declined by New England on November 30, 2020.
Unfortunately, Shimozaki announced his retirement from professional soccer on August 29, 2021.
The ultimate football goal for Ryo Shimazaki was to play in Major League Soccer (MLS).
He dreamed of MLS after Columbus Crew SC selected him in the third round at the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
Bad for him, his MLS dream never came true.
Along with his soccer career, Shimazaki wanted to build his own business. So he started a fashion brand named Inc.Lusion, which is a high-quality fashion brand.
The brand aims to show equality between people and promote diversity’s beauty.
It was hard for Shimazaki to start a business, but he had wanted to do it since college. As a result, he is soon about to launch his clothing brand.
There has been no information regarding the girlfriend or relationships of Ryo Shimazaki.
However, Ryo has shared pictures with a beautiful girl on his Instagram. We have no information about whether she is his girlfriend or not.
We’ll update you if any new information drops on the internet.
Social media Presence
Ryo is active on various social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
Instagram: 1,037 followers
Twitter: 1,094 followers
View this post on Instagram.
Shimazaki shares his personal opinions and achievements there. In addition, he uses it as a platform to connect with his well-wishers and close ones.
Ryo is a former Japanese professional soccer player who spent eight years at Kawasaki Frontale academy.
The graph shows his search trend for 12 months.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why did Shimazaki start his clothing business?
Shimazaki enrolled as a Business major at VCU before playing as a soccer player in the team. Along with his soccer career, Shimazaki also wanted to be a successful businessman. It was something he wanted to do. So, he started a clothing business named Inc.Lusion.
What is the net worth of Shimazaki?
The net worth of Shimazaki is not known to the public. Neither is there any information about his assets and property.