EMSC are proud to announce the addition of Damani Ralph to the Boys NPL staff program. A native of Kingston Jamaica, Ralph brings an enormous wealth of knowledge of the game to the players of EMSC considering his extensive playing career.
Damani started his playing career with Harbour View and St. George's College before moving to the United States. Ralph began his collegiate career in America playing at Meridian Community College in Meridian, Mississippi, where he scored 59 goals in 45 games and was named MVP of the NJCAA National Men’s Division 1 Soccer Championship in 2000.After two years with Meridian Damani left for the University of Connecticut. At UConn he scored 28 goals and added 11 assists, and was a Hermann Trophy finalist his senior year in 2002. He was named an All American in 2002 also.
Damani was drafted 18th overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. He quickly earned a spot in the starting lineup, and finished the season with 11 goals and 6 assists in 25 games. In scoring 11 goals, Ralph broke the MLS record for goals scored by a rookie and was deservedly named MLS Gatorade Rookie of the Year. In 2003 he also was awarded the Pepsi Goal of the Year Award for the MLS.
In his second year with the Fire, he scored 11 goals again and added 3 assists to lead the team in scoring. Ralph scored the game-winning goal in the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final to win the Fire their third U.S. Open Cup.
In 2005 Ralph was sold from Chicago Fire to Russian Club FC Rubin Kazan. In his first season for Rubin, he played in 25 league games as helped the team gain a fourth place league finish.
Damani represented his beloved Reggae Boyz and the Jamaica Men’s National team between 2002 and 2005. He mad 18 appearances for the National team and was part of the team for the 2004 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Damani Secured his Associates Degree from Meridian Community College and his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Connecticut. He is currently the Vice President for Global Premier Management, an agency that handles professional soccer players. At Global Premier Management he is responsible for client contracts and negotiations between MLS and European professional soccer clubs. He is the company’s head scout in the North American region and top advisor for client management.
Damani was named to the NJCAA Men’s Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.