|Full name||Richard Jata|
|Date of birth||September 21, 1985|
|Place of birth||Dunedin, Florida, United States|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of November 20, 2012.
† Appearances (Goals).
College and Amateur
Jata began his college career at Furman University, where he led the team in points. After one season with Furman he transferred to Campbell University. During his time at Campbell, he was a three-time All-South region midfielder, had 12 game-winning goals, was a three-time All-Atlantic Sun Conference First Team selection (2006, 2007, 2008), and amassed 71 points (28 goals, 15 assists) in 3 seasons. In Jata's senior year at Campbell he led the team to a 14-6 record, including an undefeated record in A-Sun conference play. He also achieved numerous individual awards, including being named the 2008 Athlete of the Year, the 2008 Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year, a 2008 NSCAA All-American Second Team selection, and a 3-time NCCSIA All-State team selection from 2006-2008. He finished his college career with 32 goals and 18 assists.
Jata was drafted in the fourth round (58th overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by Chicago Fire, but failed to make their final roster and was released by the club during their pre-season. He then proceeded to trial with numerous clubs in the US and Europe, but failed to sign with any of them. Jata eventually returned to USL PDL club Carolina Dynamo to play for them during their 2010 season.
Due to his perceived funny and touching speech at the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, Jata's journey in trying to secure a pro contract were followed and blogged about heavily on the internet, including one run by his brother for Campbell University.
Jata signed his first professional contract in February 2011, joining USL Pro club Wilmington Hammerheads. He made his professional debut on April 17, 2011 in Wilmington's first game of the 2011 season, a 1-0 win over the Rochester Rhinos. Jata left Wilmington at the end of the 2011 season for personal reasons.
Richard has two older brothers, Jacob and Ben. Jacob lives with his wife in Massachusetts and Ben lives in New York City. Ben was also a very talented soccer player in high school, but never pursued any offers to play at the collegiate level. He now works as and editor and fantasy expert for Major League Soccer. He also works as an analyst for Opta Sports and as a high school coach in the Greater New York City area.