Believe it or not, Ryan Sierakowski, 23, had never been to the east coast before signing for Revolution II.
The forward has played four seasons with Michigan State, two with Portland Timbers 2, and one with Real Monarchs (Utah), but despite his travels, he’s never been to Massachusetts, let alone New England.
That all changed when Chris Tierney and Curt Onalfo gave the Illinois native a call a few weeks ago, expressing their interest in the forward’s talent. At the time, Sierakowski was in Chicago, where he spent the offseason after playing 14 games with Real Monarchs of the USL Championship in 2020.
“That conversation went very well, and I was on the road the next day driving from Chicago to Boston,” Sierakowski told The Bent Musket. “It was a very quick process from hearing the initial interest to actually making the trip down here.”
Before Sierakowski made the roughly 15-hour drive to Boston, he made sure to quickly message Revolution defender DeJuan Jones, his four-year teammate at Michigan State.
“We’re super close,” Sierakowski said, adding that the two were suitemates in college. “I have a great relationship with DeJuan. I’m very excited to be reunited with him.”
On Sierakowski’s first tour of the training facility, he actually bumped into Jones, who was being treated in the training room. It marked a reunion of sorts, but since Covid-19 protocols prevented direct contact between the first and second-team players, Sierakowski could only talk to Jones through the doorway.
“The new training ground is amazing progress for the club,” Sierakowski said. “It’s very evident that the Revolution are making steps in the right direction and they are very serious about the development of players.”
Now over a week into training with Revolution II, Sierakowski reflects positively on his experience thus far.
“The level [of play] here is great,” Sierakowski said. “The Academy guys are showing up at training every day, ready to perform. From day one to now, you can see the growth and how we’re developing.”
Since some Revolution II players are still in Los Angeles with the first team, Sierakowski has yet to meet all of his teammates, but so far, he’s been “gelling really well with everyone.”
Sierakowski is pretty confident he’ll be utilized as a striker with Revolution II, though he mentioned his ability to play on the wing, too. During his time at Michigan State, Sierakowski was a punishing forward who set the program record in points scored with 33 goals and 16 assists. He’s also the first player to ever lead the Spartans in scoring four years in a row.
With the departure of Orlando Sinclair, Revolution II’s go-to striker in 2020, the stars are aligning for Sierakowski to emerge as the starter in 2021. The roster is slim on the attacking end, with Connor Presley and Meny Silva listed as the only two other forwards on the team.
Ahead of the USL League One season, Sierakowski considers consistent goal scoring and production to be his chief goals. There’s also the ever-burning desire to rise to the first team, which he qualified as a key impetus behind his move to Foxborough.
“That was a big factor in my decision to come here,” Sierakowski said. “Speaking with Curt and Chris, they expressed that there’s an opportunity for me to...make the jump to the first team, and they saw me as a player who could potentially earn that spot. Seeing the movement between the two teams and how frequent it happens is something that gives me hope.”
After an “excruciatingly long” offseason that spanned over half a year, Sierakowski is chomping at the bit to open his Revolution II campaign. The season opener falls on April 10, when the team will face Fort Lauderdale CF at Inter Miami’s stadium.
“I can’t wait,” Sierakowski said. “This offseason has been brutally long. All the guys are dying to play. Just counting down the days, I can’t wait for the whistle to blow.”