Halifax Wanderers Reinforce Backline With Ryan James
The Halifax Wanderers backline is adding a USL Championship-tested defender to the books through Ryan James, a left-back arrives on a one-year deal with a club option for a further year.
He will join a much-transformed Halifax Wanderers defence that parted ways with centre-backs Peter Schaale and Eriks Santos (among many others) earlier this year, with the team bringing in Cale Loughrey and Riley Ferrazzo this year.
James spent the last season with USL Championship side Birmingham Legion, making 29 appearances as the side reached the eastern conference playoff stage.
Drafted by Sporting Kansas City in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, James ended up signing with the Rochester Rhinos, with further stints at Nashville SC (pre-MLS, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, and the aforementioned Birmingham Legion seeing him rack up 191 professional appearances during his time stateside.
“Ryan is a very experienced professional and a good footballer that can solidify the left-back position and provide some extra leadership to the Wanderers,” said Wanderers head coach Patrice Gheisar, who revealed that James was the first athlete he called after being named Halifax’s new gaffer.
While James was born in Mississauga and developed with the Toronto FC Academy, this will mark the 28-year-old’s first professional playing stint in Canada.
The club notes that he’ll provide competition for another new signing, Riley Ferrazzo, with his acquisition also freeing Wesley Timoteo to play further up the pitch as a left winger.
See Also: Timoteo Ready To ‘Repay The Faith’ in Halifax
Gheisar also noted that James can play on the wing or in central midfield, though he’sa natural left-back first and foremost.
“I am very excited to be joining the Wanderers this season; I have heard amazing things about the city, the people, and I can’t wait to give the supporters a fantastic season,” added James, who has family roots in Nova Scotia.
It’s there where he will aim to continue a community initiative he started in Alabama called ‘When I Was Little…’, which aims to help local youth obtain school supplies and soccer equipment.
Seen as a squad veteran who brings a leadership presence to the locker room, it’ll be interest to see how Ryan James’ first foray into Canadian Premier League action goes.
Ryan James has signed a one-year deal with the Halifax Wanderers with a club option for a further year.