LA Galaxy Star, James Riley, Talks MLS and Soccer Idols With Us
The world of sports is a thrilling realm that unites fans from all walks of life, furthermore the ability to compete on a professional level is a both a dream and a blessing for many. Los Angeles Galaxy defender James Riley knows all about the trials and tribulations of being a professional athlete. The American born veteran has 11 years of Major League Soccer under his belt, but right when he signed with the legendary LA Galaxy earlier this season he hurt his left knee and was out for six months. It would’ve been easy for James to feel sorry for himself and throw in the towel, but instead he continues to work hard, rehab his injury, and support his team on and off the field as they go after another MLS title. Earlier this year, the D.C. United released him and he admits it was tough. James decided to go back to his hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado to spend time with his family, enjoy some home cooked meals, and train…next thing he knew the Galaxy was on the phone and wanted him on board. The emotional side of being a pro athlete is the fact that one day you are here and the next day you are gone, but listen to James Riley tell the story and he will say it’s all about the love of the game and being thankful. He defines what being a veteran is all about, such as keeping a level head in any situation and being a leader by having a good attitude regardless of the situation. The drive to be the best he can be gets a Rastaclat salute; recently we caught up with James between a rehab session:
Q) When did you first start playing soccer?
I played a ton of various sports growing up. Everything from basketball, football, baseball, track & field, and wresting. I started playing soccer when I was 8, which is considered pretty late.
Q) What has been your favorite experience internationally?
My favorite experience internationally has been to be able to host international teams that I grew up watching. It was a pleasure to be able to play Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, Celtic, and Boca Juniors. I grew up watching these teams play on television and to be able to play against them was fantastic.
Q) Name a few of your favorite moments during your career?
I have been very fortunate in my career to play alongside some wonderful teammates. Even more so, I have had the opportunity to play in 8 championship games over my 10-year career. I have won 5 of them (5 Open Cup Titles). I have not yet won the MLS Cup and that is a major goal of mine. My other favorite moments consist of my first ever professional game in 2005; the first ever Sounders FC game, which we won 3-0 at Qwest; and my first league game with the LA Galaxy are just a few of the many highlights that I have had in my career.
Q) What do you think of the Rastaclat products?
I am digging the product, specifically the bracelets. I have known my man B-Boy for 5 years now and I know he has a true heartbeat on urban culture. In my efforts to stay fresh and attached and always trust his judgments in staying relevant to street wear.
Q) How do you feel the MLS brand is doing?
Major League Soccer is only going to continue to grow leaps and bounds. It is the most played youth sport, so the maturing generation will already have a deep appreciation for the game, which was missing in the majority of the prior generation. Also, it is considered the “World’s Game” and soccer in the U.S. is beginning to become part of mainstream culture. I believe soccer in America has great momentum to continue growing and inspiring the youth of the U.S.
Q) Who was your favorite player to watch growing up?
My favorite players growing up were Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Zidane, Rivaldo, Romario, Bronco, and David Beckham.
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