As a sports fan, I have always wondered what ever happens to the players that don’t make the cut.
I’m talking about the athletes who get injured before the draft, have off-field issues, or just don’t fit the roster of teams available. In the case of 29-year-old former professional soccer player, Ryan Daniel Pierce, injuries kept him from having the long illustrious career we see some athletes enjoy.
Ryan was born in Glasgow, Scotland as Ryan O’Leary to his Canadian mother and Irish father; former pro soccer player, Pierce O’Leary. At the age of 15, Ryan decided to drop out of school to sign professionally for Aberdeen FC in the Scottish Premier league. After stints with Kilmarnock FC, Dundee FC and Scotland over an 11-year period, Ryan decided that it was time to hang up his cleats.
The now Venice Beach resident spends his time by the sea in California and after a couple of unforeseen circumstances, he is now one of the stars of the CBC’s soccer TV drama, 21 Thunder. Without further ado, let me introduce you all to Ryan Daniel Pierce, soccer’s Hollywood star.
What originally made you interested in soccer?
Definitely my dad. He was also a professional soccer player and was actually playing for Celtic FC at the time I was born. I was basically born with a soccer ball at my feet.
What made you stop playing?
I honestly have a love/hate relationship with the game. As a kid, I remember always having a ball at my feet. I loved playing with friends and even when I was alone I would dribble and do keep-ups by myself. When football became my job, I felt the love I originally had for the game slowly dissipate.I tried to quit multiple times throughout my teenage years, but for some reason I continued to play. Ultimately, I took a year off when I was 24, but was confused with what I wanted to do with my life – I decided to go back to football for a couple years after. With that being said, a lot of my career was plagued with injuries. In 2013, I decided to retire at the end of that current SPL season due to injuries and depression.
What led you into acting?
I decided to move to Los Angeles and help a friend with a kid’s soccer academy. At one of the games, a soccer mom approached me and told me she was a talent agent. She said that if I ever wanted to get into acting, I should give her a call. After much deliberation, I decided to reach out and before you know it, she was my agent. After booking several commercials gigs, I decided to step away from acting to do some much-needed soul searching. Eight months later, she contacted me asking if I wanted to do a few theatrical auditions. Thank god I did, as one them was in 21 Thunder – and the rest, they say, is history.
How would you describe your style?
I tend to dress very classic and timeless. I like wearing slim fitted jeans, a classic t-shirt, and either a pair of Converse or Chelsea boots. If the weather calls for it, I like throwing on a leather moto jacket or a denim jacket to create another layer of interest to my look. Despite how my appearance may look to others, I’m pretty picky when it comes to what I wear. I, unfortunately, have an eye for expensive items, so I’m all about quality over quantity.I also like when my clothes show off my physique. This means I have to take care of my body, which is actually one of my passions.
Speaking of taking care of your body, what’s your secret to getting a great physique?
Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of treating your body like a Ferrari. You’ve got to start from the ground up and from the inside out. If I put healthy fuel in my body, I feel better – and in turn, I perform my best. Nowadays, I’m a maniac when it comes to nutrition. I’ve dabbled with many different diets from people I meet in California, but ultimately I trust my common sense when it comes to food. My advice would be to listen to your body often and eat more whole foods. I personally avoid refined sugars, dairy and grains as much as possible.
It seems to me that health & wellness is something that is quite important to you. Would you agree?
Definitely. Health has always been a stumbling block for me over the years, as I’ve had stomach problems since I was a kid. For this reason, health and wellness has become something I’ve recently started taking very seriously. Before, I just thought it was just going to be something I’d have to deal with, but since becoming stricter with my diet and health, my stomach issues have been few. Nowadays, I can’t help but read the ingredients on things.
Let’s get back to your style. You feel your best when wearing…
I love dressing up in the summer because I can throw on a pair of dark blue jeans with a nice pair of shoes and a plain white T-shirt. On occasions, I’ll throw on a cool hat with a pair of shades and boom, I feel like a lady-killer! (chuckles)
What is your favorite item in your wardrobe?
It would have to be my leather Belstaff jackets. They are both timeless and pair well with everything in my wardrobe. They also make my outfit look better and most importantly they make me feel good.
How do you approach getting dressed every day?
Living by the beach definitely calls for a casual dress code. I love a pair of comfortable slim fitting cotton sweat pants. My personal favorites are from a brand called Alternative Apparel. I typically throw those on with a tee and I’m out the door.On the other hand, if I have an audition I have to dress accordingly for the role. My plan in the near future is to move back to the city and I can imagine my style will probably change with my zip code.
What is your sartorial pet peeve?
I’m not a fan of anyone who wears head-to-toe high end labeled clothing. People who walk around like a Gucci or Louis Vuitton mannequin bothers me.
Do you have a favorite brand or retailer?
I can’t say I have one yet – I just judge items on how they feel and fit.
Who or where do you get your style inspiration?
As a kid, it was probably David Beckham. I loved how he always looked so dapper. Nowadays, I don’t really copy anyone and I would say I’m not really up to date on current trends. If I like the way something feels and fits on me I wear it and that’s it.
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Lastly, I want to thank Ryan for taking the time to talk to me. He is a proven example that in life, and in soccer, the harder you fall the stronger you become.