Athlete of Week: Arambula comes home to lead Mutiny

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Former Myrtle Beach High soccer standout and University of South Carolina junior soccer player Ryan Arambula was struggling to come back from injuries in the spring. As it turns out, all he needed was some home cooking – both literally and figuratively.

The Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week returned to the same sports complex where he was an all-state selection to play for the NPSL’s Myrtle Beach Mutiny this summer. Not only has the trip home been good for his health, he’s also leading the undefeated Mutiny to their best start in team history.

“I had two foot surgeries my sophomore year and I spent all of last summer and last season trying to recover,” said Aramabula, who has three goals for the Mutiny this season. “It was frustrating because I was playing really well before the injuries, and I kept getting smaller injuries that held me back.”

“I wanted to come home this summer and regroup, and playing for the Mutiny seemed like a great opportunity to get a lot of good training in against some good competition. It’s been since I’ve been home that I really started getting back to form. I’ve been able to take better care of myself, and it never hurt to have momma’s cooking.”

Arambula has gotten even more than he bargained for in his half-season with the Mutiny. Despite being an amateur and a newcomer to the team, The midfielder has blended right in with his teammates and made an instant impact. The Mutiny are 5-0-1 at the season’s midpoint and they have five of their final six games at home – Arambula’s old stomping grounds.

“I started preseason doing two-a-days for three weeks and it was really hard, but it was good for me and got me into playing shape,” Arambula said. “The coaching has been great too. I’ve had a lot of coaches in my career and Paul Morris is one of the best. He really understands the game and he’s doing an excellent job.

“I love my teammates. They are a great group of guys who give 100 percent and they’re a bunch of competitors. We’ve gotten really close as a team and it shows on the field. We play entertaining soccer and it’s a lot of fun. It’s definitely exceeded my expectations.”

The best way to top his summer experience at home before his senior season at USC, along with a championship run with the Mutiny, would be a full house at Ashley Booth Stadium for these final home games, the way the crowds used to flock to watch him play at next-door Doug Shaw Stadium during his high school days.

“I would love to pack the stands (for these final home games). Even though they aren’t very big, it makes it feel full and it’s a pretty cool environment,” Arambula said. “Maybe we could even have to move and play one at Doug Shaw. Either way, it’s already been a great experience.”

The Mutiny return home Saturday night to face Upward Stars.

Photo by Paul Morin/MB Mutiny

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