Ryan Zinkhan has made a habit of lifting trophies, first with RVA FC (now Fredericksburg FC) and another with the University of Virginia. He is a winner that surrounds himself with winning programs. Two national titles in two years is quite an accomplishment.
“Winning the national championship for both was incredible. Growing up, I would imagine playing in big games such as those and to be able to not only play in two national title games, but to win both of those games is something that cannot be explained; only felt. I’m very lucky.”
Zinkhan is a versatile talent, having played and started in every position on the field at UVA. He is a player good enough to help you anywhere on the pitch, but most scouts believe he is at his best up top or in the midfield. Speed and quickness are key assets for the Fredericksburg, VA native.
He is hoping to show off his skills in front of pro scouts and coaches at the NPSL Combine Tournament in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend. Getting a chance to represent his club and college is a big deal for Zinkhan.
“Representing FFC and UVA is huge. UVA has a very strong tradition of being successful on the soccer field and I believe FFC will grow into such a program. Representing both clubs is a privilege and the high standards they have instilled in me will hopefully give me an advantage, not only at the combine, but in life as well.”
He counts FFC head coach Grover Gibson as a key influence on his career.
“Because of his long, successful playing career in Germany, he has been exposed to some of the best soccer environments in the entire world. Having him shed some of that knowledge and wisdom on me through coaching is something I am very grateful for. He created a very professional environment, which has allowed me to stay fit and develop as a soccer player. I trust him with my life. Everything he does is to benefit his players. I credit the work I put in with him for having such success at UVA.”
Zinkhan also pointed out the importance of playing in the summer with the NPSL. It was a crucial part of his development as a player, especially considering he was playing for a nationally recognized, high profile program like UVA in the fall. The extra training and the opportunity to be fit year-round is absolutely essential for players competing in a global soccer market.
“The NPSL and programs such as FFC are necessary if players hope to make it to the next level.”
That is what this weekend is all about, getting NPSL players to the next level. And that would be a dream come true for Zinkhan.
“It is every athlete’s dream to eventually become a professional in their sport. Becoming a pro has been a goal of mine since I was five years old. It would be a massive understatement to say it would be very, very cool.”