Andy Iro
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Andy Iro
Andy Iro
Andy Iro Crew.jpg
Iro preparing for his first MLS game, 29 March 2008
Personal information
Full name Andy Iro
Date of birth (1984-11-26) 26 November 1984 (age 33)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[1]
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Kingsley United
St. Edwards
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004-2007 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 86 (10)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008-2011 Columbus Crew 58 (5)
2011 Toronto FC 13 (0)
2012-2013 Stevenage 0 (0)
2012-2013 -> Barnet (loan) 9 (1)
Total 80 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Andy Iro (born 26 November 1984) is an English former professional footballer who played primarily as a defender.

Iro played college soccer for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's soccer team, where he was named the Most Outstanding Player (Defensive) for the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship en route to winning the national championship. He was drafted by Major League Soccer side Columbus Crew with the sixth overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. He spent four seasons in MLS, joining Toronto FC for part of his last season, before playing in England from 2012 to 2013 with Stevenage F.C. and Barnet F.C..

Early life and education

Iro was born on 26 November 1984 in Liverpool, England.[1] His parents, Paul and Rose, both immigrated from Nigeria, eventually settling in the Toxteth area of Liverpool.[2][3][4] He played youth football for Kingsley United.[2][5] He attended St. Edwards, where he competed on the school's soccer, rugby, and track teams.[2] He trialed with Everton F.C., but ultimately proved unsuccessful.[4]

At the age of 17, Iro founded and operated a local grocery with a $1,000 initial loan from his mother, Rose.[4] He ran the store until he was 19 years old, doing brisk business, until an attempted robbery resulted in Iro getting shot in the thigh.[4] Iro had a relative run the business while he bounced between jobs and unemployment, eventually connecting with the University of California, Santa Barbara for an athletic scholarship.[4]

Iro and the 2006 UCSB Gauchos soccer team honored at the White House.

Iro was a student-athlete for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's soccer team and started as a freshman as the team went to the championship match of the 2004 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship.[6] Iro and UCSB were victorious in the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship just two years later with Iro being named the College Cup's Most Outstanding Player (Defensive).[7] For his career, Iro made 86 appearances, all starts, for the Gauchos and added 10 goals and 4 assists.[8][9][10][11] He was a four-time All-Big West Conference First Team selection and was named as back-to-back-to-back Big West Defensive Player Of The Year.[12][13]

Professional playing career

Columbus Crew

Iro making his professional debut with Columbus Crew, 29 March 2008.

Despite being thought of as the possible top pick, Iro was drafted sixth overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by Columbus Crew after coach Sigi Schmid was convinced Iro would remain in the United States to play.[14][15] Iro made his professional debut on 28 March 2008, coming on as an 89th-minute substitute in the Crew's first game of the 2008 Major League Soccer season against Toronto FC.[16] He would score his first MLS goal on 6 September 2008 against New England Revolution, heading in a Guillermo Barros Schelotto free kick.[17] Iro and the Crew would win both the 2008 Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup 2008.[18][19]

In the 2009 Major League Soccer season, Iro and the crew again dominated the competition, resulting in their second consecutive Supporters' Shield.[20] As a result of their accomplishments from the previous year, Iro also saw his first continental action in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League.[21]

Iro began to take more of a leadership role in the Crew's 2010 Major League Soccer season and 2011 Major League Soccer season, which saw the club compete in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League with Iro wearing the captain's armband on occasion.[22][23] During his time with the club, Iro made 58 league appearances and scored five goals, but had grown disgruntled during the 2011 preseason and his contract was expiring at the conclusion of the season.[24]

Toronto FC

With Iro's inexplicably falling out of favor in addition to his looming contract situation, Columbus Crew traded him along with teammate Léandre Griffit in July 2011 to Toronto FC for Tony Tchani.[25][26][27] He made his debut on 20 July 2011 against FC Dallas.[28] He would appear for Toronto in 13 league games in addition to work in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League.[29][30] At the end of the season, Iro and Toronto could not agree on a new contract and he left the club.[31]

England

Following his departure from Toronto, Iro returned to England to trial with Nottingham Forest F.C..[32] The trial was unsuccessful, but Iro later signed with Football League One side Stevenage F.C. in September 2012.[33][34] The move meant Iro would be playing under Gary Smith, a former Major League Soccer manager for Colorado Rapids, who he had known during his time playing in the United States.[35][36]

In November 2012, having failed to make a first-team appearances for Stevenage, Iro joined Football League Two side Barnet F.C. on loan until January 2013.[37] The loan at Barnet was extended until 9 February.[38][39] Iro made 9 league appearances for Barnet, scoring once, before returning to Stevenage.[40][41]

Iro returned to Stevenage in February 2013, but did appear in any first team games for the club.[42][43] He made no senior appearances for the club.[43]

Personal life

Following his professional soccer career, Iro worked in operations for Uber in Santa Barbara, California.[44] He also trained youth soccer players in the local area and ran Next Step Academy, which placed a focus on academics.[45][46]

Honours

UC Santa Barbara
Columbus Crew
Individual
  • 2006 First Team All-American (College Soccer News)
  • 2006 College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player
  • 2006 Big West Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2004 Big West Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2004 Freshman All-American (Soccer America)
  • 2004 First Team All-American (College Soccer News)
  • 2004 College Cup All-Tournament
  • 2004 Big West Freshman of the Year

Career statistics

As of 9 February 2013.
Club Season League[A] FA Cup League Cup MLS Cup Other[B] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Columbus Crew
2008[47]
18 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 21 1
2009[48]
11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 15 1
2010[49]
25 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 7 1 33 4
2011[50]
4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Total 58 5 0 0 0 0 4 0 11 1 73 6
Toronto FC
2011[51]
13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 18 0
Total 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 18 0
Stevenage
2012-13[52]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Barnet (loan)
2012-13[53]
9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 1
Total 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 1
Career totals 80 6 0 0 0 0 4 0 16 1 100 7
A. ^ The "League" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the MLS and the Football League.
B. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the CONCACAF Champions League.

References

  1. ^ a b "Andy Iro Player Profile - ESPN FC". ESPN FC. Retrieved 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "2006 UC Santa Barbara Soccer: PLAYER BIOGRAPHIES" (PDF). CSTV. pp. 8-9. Retrieved 2016. 
  3. ^ Rogers, Martin (September 30, 2011). "Iro's odd career path could careen to Nigeria". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Mitchell, Shawn (7 May 2010). "Soccer lifts Crew's Iro from hard life". The Columbus Dispatch. Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved 2016. 
  5. ^ "Match Reports, 2002-03". Altrincham F.C. Retrieved 2016. 
  6. ^ "2004 College Cup - The Final Four - The Tale Of The Tape". www.CollegeSoccerNews.com. Retrieved 2016. 
  7. ^ "NCAA Soccer Men's Championship Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 3. Retrieved 2016. 
  8. ^ "2004 UC Santa Barbara Overall Individual Statistics". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 2016. 
  9. ^ "2005 UC Santa Barbara Overall Individual Statistics". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. 23 November 2005. Retrieved 2016. 
  10. ^ "2006 UC Santa Barbara Overall Individual Statistics". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. 3 December 2006. Retrieved 2016. 
  11. ^ "2007 UC Santa Barbara Overall Individual Statistics". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. 2 December 2007. Retrieved 2016. 
  12. ^ "UC Santa Barbara Grabs Three of Six Big West Men's Soccer Awards". Big West Conference. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 2016. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "2007 Big West Men's Awards". Soccer America. Oakland, California. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 2016. 
  14. ^ McKee, Sandra (19 January 2008). "Wizards make Myers surprise No. 1". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore. Retrieved 2016. 
  15. ^ Lifton, David (18 January 2008). "Crew fill holes with Iro and others". Major League Soccer. Archived from the original on 20 January 2008. Retrieved 2016. 
  16. ^ Linton, Nathan (29 March 2008). "Crew start strong with win over TFC". Major League Soccer. Archived from the original on 7 April 2008. Retrieved 2016. 
  17. ^ "Columbus Crew 4, New England Revolution 0". New England Revolution. 6 September 2008. Retrieved 2016. 
  18. ^ Mahoney, Ridge (14 October 2008). "Crew labels Supporters' Shield as 'first step'". Soccer America. Oakland, California. Retrieved 2016. 
  19. ^ Mahoney, Ridge (24 November 2008). "Crew strikes at critical moments". Soccer America. Oakland, California. Retrieved 2016. 
  20. ^ "Sirk's Notebook: Supporters' Shield". Major League Soccer. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 2016. 
  21. ^ Jiménez M., Gustavo (17 September 2009). "Saprissa no tuvo respuestas y se estrelló con el Columbus". La Nación (in Spanish). San José, Costa Rica. Retrieved 2016. 
  22. ^ Merz, Craig (25 February 2011). "Iro expected to become a leader at Crew". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 2016. 
  23. ^ "SAY IT ISN'T SO.*". www.MassiveCityFootballFanCorps.com. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2016. 
  24. ^ Mitchell, Shawn (15 July 2011). "Crew trades veteran defender Iro". The Columbus Dispatch. Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved 2016. 
  25. ^ Wolstat, Ryan (19 July 2011). "TFC cavalry arrives in nick of time". Toronto Sun. Toronto. Retrieved 2016. 
  26. ^ Scianitti, Matthew (15 July 2011). "TFC picks up Iro and Griffit from Columbus". National Post. Toronto. Retrieved 2016. 
  27. ^ "Toronto FC acquires Andy Iro, Griffit from Columbus". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2016. 
  28. ^ Scianitti, Matthew (20 July 2011). "Revamped Toronto FC falls short against Dallas". National Post. Toronto. Retrieved 2016. 
  29. ^ "Andy Iro: Stevenage deal for former MLS defender". BBC Sport. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  30. ^ "TORONTO FC ADVANCES IN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE". The Sports Network. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 2016. 
  31. ^ "Iro & Marosevic Decline Offers". Toronto FC. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  32. ^ "Nottingham Forest trial for MLS star". Daily Star. London. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  33. ^ "Iro signs on for Stevenage". Football League One. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  34. ^ "Stevenage capture Iro signature". Sky Sports. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  35. ^ "Gary Smith to continue dipping into US for Stevenage". BBC Sport. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  36. ^ Creditor, Avi (24 September 2012). "Former MLS defender Iro reunites with Rogers at Stevenage". www.Goal.com. Retrieved 2016. 
  37. ^ "Barnet sign George Barker, Melvin Holwijn & Andy Iro". BBC Sport. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  38. ^ "Stevenage centre-back Andy Iro's loan at Barnet has been extended while Jack Saville has joined Ebbsfleet United". Times. High Wycombe. Retrieved 2016. 
  39. ^ "Iro extends Bees stay". Eurosport. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 2016. 
  40. ^ "Football League Statistics: 2012/13 nPower Football League 2 Appearances". The Football League. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 2016. 
  41. ^ "Football League Statistics: 2012/13 nPower Football League 2 Leading Scorers". The Football League. Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 2016. 
  42. ^ "IRO GRATEFUL FOR OPPORTUNITY". Barnet F.C. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 2016. 
  43. ^ a b "Stevenage release three and put three on the transfer list". BBC Sport. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 2016. 
  44. ^ Brugger, Kelsey (19 December 2013). "Uber Taxi App a Fit for Santa Barbara?". Santa Barbara Independent. Santa Barbara, California. Retrieved 2016. 
  45. ^ Murray, Jim (15 December 2014). "Behind-the-Scenes Look at Andy Iro's Early Morning Soccer Training at Cate School". KEYT-TV. Retrieved 2016. 
  46. ^ "Mission - Next Step Academy". www.NextStepAcademySB.com. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  47. ^ "Statistics - Columbus Crew - 2008". Columbus Crew. Retrieved 2012. 
  48. ^ "Statistics - Columbus Crew - 2009". Columbus Crew. Retrieved 2012. 
  49. ^ "Statistics - Columbus Crew - 2010". Columbus Crew. Retrieved 2012. 
  50. ^ "Statistics - Columbus Crew - 2011". Columbus Crew. Retrieved 2012. 
  51. ^ "Andy Iro - Game Log - 2011". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 2012. 
  52. ^ "Stevenage 2012/2013 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2012. 
  53. ^ "Barnet 2012/2013 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2012. 

External links



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