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LAFC’s Ryan Hollingshead Makes MLS Cup Debut: Faith ‘Gives Me A Lot of Peace In The Way That I Play’

Photo from Ryan Hollingshead’s Instagram

LAFC’s Ryan Hollingshead Makes MLS Cup Debut: Faith ‘Gives Me A Lot of Peace In The Way That I Play’

By Movieguide® Staff

As a member of LAFC, defender Ryan Hollingshead made his first-ever MLS Cup appearance after years of falling short of the championship round.

Despite a successful career with FC Dallas, making the MLS playoffs in six of his first eight years in the league, Hollingshead and his team rarely made it past the quarterfinals and never to the finals.

However, after a dominant 3-0 win over Austin FC on Oct. 10, Hollingshead and LAFC will face off against Philadelphia Union for the Cup this year.

Although the trade to LAFC was a surprise to the 31-year-old, in a devotional, the California native was thankful for the return home.

“The Lord is so good and faithful,” he wrote. “I’m from California and I went to school at UCLA, so we’re now back in L.A., where we just have a ton of family and friends and connections. It really has been special and we’re super excited to be here. It’s been a really fun transition for my family.”

Hollingshead shared his testimony in 2018, noting that his older brother introduced him to faith and the Bible.

“My junior year of high school, I began to just slowly read through the Bible, and through that time of reading through the Bible was just convinced of its truth and convinced that Jesus was God,” he told Sports Spectrum. “That’s when faith came into play for me.”

In 2013, at the same time that he was helping his brother launch a church plant, Dallas drafted Hollingshead.

After four seasons in the league, Hollingshead experienced a life-threatening accident on the highway.

After noticing that a car had hydroplaned into the median, Hollingshead and his wife pulled over to help the people involved in the crash, however, Hollingshead was struck by oncoming traffic and landed 30 feet away from the initial crash site.

“The Lord’s mercy on me even through that accident was very tangible and evident,” Hollingshead said after breaking three vertebrae in his neck.

Miraculously, Hollingshead returned to the field after just four months.

“We’re so grateful because I’m back and playing and feeling really good,” he told Sports Spectrum.

As LAFC looks to cap off their season with a Cup win, Hollingshead continues to rely on his faith.

“It factors into everything I do,” he said in a post-game press conference earlier in the year. “That’s been one of the things coming into L.A., it’s been fun in this organization getting to know a lot of other believers on this team. So for me as a Christian, it gives me a lot of peace in the way that I play.”

“There’s not this anxiety of I have to do all these things, or I have to perform in all these ways,” he added. “I get to just kind of play out of a confidence in who I am as a player, what the Lord has given me, and how I can not only be a good player on the field but also a good man on and off the field. So it really does affect everything that I do.”