Stars sign former Sounder to contract

MLS veteran will add depth, skill to defense

The Tacoma Stars have have signed 11-year Major League Soccer veteran and former Seattle Sounder James Riley for the 2018-19 season.

Per Major Arena Soccer League and team policies, terms of the agreement were not released.

“I am thrilled to be back in the Pacific Northwest, raising a family,” Riley said. “It goes without question that my time as a player with the Seattle Sounders were some of the best of my career. I represented this great city to the best of my ability, and I remain humbled that my commitments, both on and off the field, are still recognized. It gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to compete and represent this vast region once again as a member of the Tacoma Stars. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Over his MLS career, Riley appeared in 251 games, 230 as a starter. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native and Wake Forest University alum will add to an already strong Stars defense. He was named the Seattle Sounders Defender of the Year in 2010 and twice was awarded the team’s Humanitarian of the Year honor. Prost Amerika awarded him as the Seattle Sounders FC Player of the Year in 2009.

Riley also was awarded the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Month in October 2010 for his work toward breast cancer awareness. Winning awards dates back to Riley’s college days at Wake Forest. He won the Walt Chyzowych Award in 2003 and was named team captain the following year.

Riley was named 2018 Captain for Cascadia Association Football Federation for the CONIFA Football Cup. He is a five-time Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion and picked up an MLS title with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2014. He also won a National Futsal Championship in 2004 as a member of the Pittsburgh Futsal Club.

“James is a true professional in the game we love, and he is a proven winner at the highest level,” said Stars general manager and coach Darren Sawatzky. “Adding his leadership qualities, along with his proven track record, helps bolster our team.”

Stars owner Lane Smith added, “James is an all-around great guy. An outstanding, passionate player and longtime ambassador of the game at many levels. We are very excited for him to join the Stars family. His skills as a player combined with his community outreach is a perfect fit for the Tacoma Stars organization.”

The Stars kick off the season on Saturday, Dec. 1 against the Turlock Express at the accesso ShoWare Center.

For tickets and more information, call 1-844-STARS-84 or visit