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Legion FC Announces First New Offseason Signing, Defender Ryan James

December 3, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Birmingham Legion FC News Release

BIRMINGHAM, AL - Birmingham Legion FC announced today the signing of defender Ryan James to a multi-year deal, pending league and federation approval. The club's first new signing ahead of 2021, spent the past two seasons playing for Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.

"Ryan is a dynamic, versatile defender that also has the ability to get forward in the attack," said President and GM Jay Heaps. "We're excited to add Ryan to our group as his experience in this league will be a great addition to our locker room."

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.

Transaction: On December 3, 2020, Legion FC signed defender Ryan James to a multi-year contract, pending league and federation approval.

Player Profile:

Name: Ryan Lee James

Position: Leftback

Height: 5' 9"

Weight: 155 lbs.

Birthdate: April 21, 1994 (age: 26)

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Citizenship: Canada, Jamaica

Previous Club: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL Championship)

Instagram: @jrleejames

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