Sockers Add Top Free Agent Defender Drew Ruggles
(By Kevin Lyons) - The San Diego Sockers - presented by Kaiser Permanente - today announced the signing of defender Drew Ruggles to a four-year Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) free-agent contract. As per league and club policy, the financial details of the deal will not be revealed.
Ruggles, 30 (July 28th birthday), who competed for the Florida Tropics since the 2019-20 season, brings exceptional defensive skills while providing an offensive flair on the field. This past season, he logged 18 goals, along with six assists, while leading his squad to the conference semifinals of the Ron Newman Cup before falling to the Baltimore Blast. The Blast served as the team in which Ruggles would start his MASL career in 2014-15 before departing to Milwaukee, then eventually playing in Florida.
“We are thrilled with the addition of a veteran MASL defender who has found success over the past decade,” said Sockers Player Personnel Director Chiky Luna. “We aim to bring a championship to San Diego year in and year out, and Drew Ruggles’ exceptional insights and accomplishments lead us to believe that his addition will enforce these organizational standards.”
Before the MASL, he would obtain his education and compete for Georgia Southern University. As an Eagle, the defender also gained experience on the football field as a placekicker. Following his collegiate career, Ruggles launched his professional outdoor soccer campaign in the USL. Ruggles played for the Wilmington Hammerheads, Rochester Lancers, and eventually the Michigan Bucks for a single season in USL League Two.
The Fayetteville, NC native is no stranger to the playoff culture in the MASL. Out of his nine pro seasons in the league, he has competed in seven postseasons, logging 15 blocked shots and 18 points in those games.
“I’d like to thank Phil, Chiky, and the entire Sockers organization for believing in me and my skill set," said Ruggles. "It’s an honor to wear the Sockers jersey, and I look forward to defending the badge with pride. It’s an exciting team, loaded with talent and veteran savvy, and I can’t wait to go to work with all the guys in search of another championship. Grateful, hungry, and excited for what is to come!”
The Sockers will return to Pechanga Arena San Diego for the upcoming season beginning in December. The full MASL schedule is expected to be announced this fall. Season ticket memberships are available by calling (866) 799-GOAL, or online at sdsockers.com/memberships.