Return of Ryan Murphy a Deciding Factor in L.A. Current’s ISL Playoff Victory


Return of Ryan Murphy a Deciding Factor in L.A. Current’s ISL Playoff Victory

It fought for every point available. Anastasia Gorbenko and Tom Shields came up with critical performances in the closing Skins events. Coach David Marsh made all the right moves when it came to designing his lineup. An argument can be made, however, that the biggest factor in the L.A. Current’s victory in International Swimming League (ISL) playoff action was the return of Ryan Murphy.

After winning three medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, raising his career medal count to six, Murphy opted to bypass the ISL regular season. It was a decision Murphy was more than entitled to make, especially with the work he has logged to become one of the greatest backstrokers in history. And the Current compensated the best they could without Murphy.

But this much is true: A team with Ryan Murphy is significantly better than a team without him.

As the postseason opened in Eindhoven, Murphy swept the backstroke events and captured MVP honors for the match with 58 points. That type of output was necessary as the Current eked out a 506-494.5 triumph over the London Roar. In addition to his backstroke contributions, Murphy helped the 400 medley relay to a second-place finish and he twice scored in the 50 butterfly, an off event for the Team USA veteran.

Without Murphy, the outcome of the Current’s playoff match would have been markedly different. Simply, Los Angeles would not have won, or been in position to have Gorbenko and Shields put the team over the top.