On Wednesday the Riverhounds SC announced the signing of defender Ryan James to a one-year deal with a club option for the 2020 season, pending USL and USSF approval.
James, 24, most recently played with Nashville SC during its 2018 campaign. The Mississauga, Ontario, Canada native started 11 of his 16 appearances with the club, totaling 30 clearances and 32 interceptions in 1,011 minutes. He also played more than 60 games (including playoffs) under head coach Bob Lilley while with the Rochester Rhinos from 2016-17.
“Ryan is a versatile player who is comfortable as an outside back or anywhere in the midfield,” Lilley said. “He reads the game well and has an exceptional engine. During my time in Rochester, he was a key piece in our lineup and we are looking forward to having him in Pittsburgh.”
During his two seasons with the Rhinos, James posted one goal and three assists in 60 regular season games played. In 2017, he led the club with 34 appearances and 2,983 minutes, including two postseason starts. The 2016 campaign was the highest scoring of his professional career, as he recorded one goal and two assists for four points.
Prior to joining Rochester, the Bowling Green State University product was selected 52nd overall by Sporting Kansas City in the third round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. He did not play a match with the MLS side.
While competing as a midfielder at Bowling Green from 2012-15, James started 69 of his 79 games played en route to racking up nine goals, 15 assists and 33 points in his collegiate career. He was named All-Mac Second Team during both his junior and senior campaigns.
With the signing of James, the Hounds now have 12 players under contract heading into the 2019 season.
Roster breakdown for 2019 season
Forwards (2): Neco Brett, Christiano François
Midfielders (4): Mouhamed Dabo, Kenardo Forbes, Noah Franke, Kevin Kerr
Defenders (5): Tobi Adewole, Jordan Dover, Joe Greenspan, Ryan James, Thomas Vancaeyezeele
Goalkeepers (1): Kyle Morton