James Riley (soccer)

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James Riley
James Riley.jpg
Riley waving to the crowd at Qwest Field
Personal information
Full name James Riley
Date of birth (1982-10-27) October 27, 1982 (age 35)
Place of birth Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1998–2001 Colorado Rush
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2004 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 82 (3)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003 Carolina Dynamo 12 (1)
2004 Colorado Springs Blizzard 5 (2)
2005–2007 New England Revolution 70 (1)
2008 San Jose Earthquakes 24 (0)
2009–2011 Seattle Sounders FC 84 (1)
2012 Chivas USA 32 (0)
2013 D.C. United 21 (0)
2014 LA Galaxy 4 (0)
2015 Colorado Rapids 16 (1)
Total 268 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of July 2, 2015.

James Riley (born October 27, 1982) is a retired American soccer defender who spent eleven seasons in Major League Soccer (MLS) with the New England Revolution (2005–2007), San Jose Earthquakes (2008), Seattle Sounders FC (2009–2011), Chivas USA (2012), D.C. United (2013), LA Galaxy (2014) and Colorado Rapids (2015). He has been the MLS' director of player relations since May 2016.[1]

Playing career[edit]

College and Amateur[edit]

Riley played college soccer at Wake Forest University, and in the USL Premier Development League with both Carolina Dynamo and his hometown team, Colorado Springs Blizzard.[2]


New England Revolution drafted Riley in the second round of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft, and he acquitted himself well in his rookie season, playing various positions and scoring a goal. He continued to keep himself in the mix in defense, starting the majority of the games in 2006 and 2007.

Riley was selected by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2007 MLS Expansion Draft and subsequently made 24 appearances for the team before being taken by the Seattle Sounders FC in the 2008 MLS Expansion Draft. He stayed with Seattle through the 2011 season, helping the club win three consecutive U.S. Open Cup championships.

Riley was left exposed by Seattle in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft and he was selected by expansion side Montreal Impact in the November 23, 2011 draft.[3] He was then immediately traded with allocation money to Chivas USA for Justin Braun and Gerson Mayen.[4] Riley was traded to D.C. United on February 14, 2013 for a 2015 Supplemental Draft pick.[5]

Riley won his 5th US Open Cup title in 2013 with D.C. United. In the sixth minute of stoppage time there was on open header in the box from Álvaro Saborío that Riley was able to deflect onto the cross bar to prevent extra time.[6]

After his release from D.C. United, Riley trialled with and was eventually signed by LA Galaxy.[7]

On March 6, 2015, he signed with Colorado Rapids. During the 2015 season, Riley made 17 appearances in all competitions, scoring a lone goal on May 8, 2015 against former club San Jose in the third minute of stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw. The Rapids declined their option on Riley on December 3, 2015.

Retirement and beyond[edit]

Riley formally announced his retirement as an active player on June 23, 2016.[8] One month prior, he had been appointed the MLS' director of player relations, a position that had been vacant since Ali Curtis became the New York Red Bulls sporting director in December 2014.[1]


Years Club Competition Apps. Goals
2003 Carolina Dynamo USL Premier Development League 12 1
2004 Colorado Springs Blizzard 5 2
2005 New England Revolution Major League Soccer 23 1
2006 20 0
2007 27 0
2008 San Jose Earthquakes 24 0
2009 Seattle Sounders FC 28 0
2010 27 1
2011 29 0
2012 Chivas USA 32 0
2013 D.C. United 21 0
2014 LA Galaxy 4 0
2015 Colorado Rapids 2 0


New England Revolution[edit]

Seattle Sounders FC[edit]

D.C. United[edit]

LA Galaxy[edit]


  • Prost Amerika's Sounders FC Player Of The Year 2009
  • MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month for October 2010


External links[edit]