#7 Ryan James
Height: 5’ 9”
Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
College: Bowling Green State University
Previous Club: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL Championship)
James made 33 appearances in his first year with the Black and Gold in 2021 and was a vital part of its defensive structure and movement on the pitch. He led the team with 65 interceptions and secured four assists, tied for second most on the team. Additionally, James had a passing accuracy of 76.5 and won 27 tackles.
James was a nailed-on starter for the Riverhounds the past two years, mainly featuring as a left wingback. He also spent time at leftback and central midfield while playing in 55 of Pittsburgh’s 56 matches across all competitions. The Canadian finished the 2019 season with a career high in assists (6) and then followed that statistical milestone up with a career high in goals (5) in an abbreviated 2020 campaign. A two-goal performance against Hartford Athletic to go along with a shutout earned the fullback the USL Championship Player of the Week Award in Week 10 this past season.
Before joining the ‘Hounds, James played for Nashville SC in 2018 and made 19 appearances. After being drafted in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by Sporting Kansas City, he signed with the USL’s Rochester Rhinos for the 2016 and 2017 seasons and played there with current Legion FC midfielder Marcos Ugarte.
James spent his collegiate career at Bowling Green State University where he played in all 79 games in four years, making 69 starts, and racked up nine goals and 15 assists on his way to consecutive Second Team All Mid-American Conference selections following his junior and senior seasons. He was also named a MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete two years in a row and earned a spot on the Academic All-MAC Team in 2015.