Veteran defender James Riley joins select group of MLS players after LA Galaxy signing

James Riley with the LA Galaxy

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of LA Galaxy

James Riley’s signing with the LA Galaxy on Tuesday may not have turned many heads.

But the journeyman outside back did become part of a select group of MLS players when he won a spot in Bruce Arena’s group after a preseason trial. Riley is just the sixth player to have played for six different teams, joining Ezra Hendrickson, Alejandro Moreno, Nathan Sturgis, Carey Talley and Andy Williams.

Entering his 10th season in MLS, Riley has played for the New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, Chivas USA, D.C. United and now the Galaxy. It all started when the former Wake Forest standout became a second-round pick of the Revolution in the 2005 SuperDraft.

He played significant roles on the Revolution's three consecutive MLS Cup final teams in ’05, ’06 and ’07. Riley then spent one season with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2008 and started 23 games.

He then went to the Sounders for three seasons, where he was a mainstay along their backline, turning in the best offensive numbers of his career with four assists in 2009, three in 2010 and two in 2011.

After the 2011 season, he joined Chivas USA, where he started a career-high 32 games. Last year, he appeared in 21 games (19 starts) for D.C., picking up his fifth US Open Cup title in the process.