FRISCO, Texas- Ryan Hollingshead’s return to the pitch this past weekend had everyone talking.
The 26-year-old came on as substitute for Tesho Akindele in the 88th minute during the 1-1 draw with New York City FC for his first game action this year.
Of course, Hollingshead’s story is well-known. While helping a stranded motorist on the night of Jan. 6, Hollingshead was struck by another car and suffered three fractures to the vertebrae of his neck.
Hollingshead was able to make a complete recovery by the end of March and received a huge ovation from the Toyota Stadium crowd when he entered late in the game on Sunday.
He then took to the airwaves Tuesday morning as a guest on the Norm Hitzges and Donovan Lewis show on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket to describe that moment.
“Stepping on that field in May after getting hit in January, and getting my first minutes of the season, was surreal to say the least,” he said.
The midfielder has logged nearly 4,500 minutes in his four seasons with FC Dallas, although the two minutes of playing time he got last weekend were extra special.
“It was an amazing feeling because I went from the extremes of ‘I may die’ to ‘I may be paralyzed’ to ‘I may never play soccer again,’” Hollingshead said. “I was just trying to calm myself down and make good decisions on the field. It was nerve-wracking for sure.”
Hollingshead credits the FC Dallas family, including fans, staff and teammates, with his quick turnaround from the scary injury.
“Everybody has been just incredibly supportive to my wife and I through this whole process,” he said. “To get on that field, and again to just hear the ovation of the crowd for me running on, it really meant a lot to me.”