Colorado Rapids announced today that they have signed journeyman defender James Riley to a contract and added him to the roster in preparation for their trip to take on Philadelphia Union. Riley has played for multiple MLS teams including Seattle Sounders FC, New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes, Chivas USA, DC United and most recently LA Galaxy.
Riley joins a defensive corps with the Rapids that features Drew Moor, Shane O'Neill, Marc Burch, Axel Sjoberg, Bobby Burling, and Michael Harrington and he should provide coverage and additional depth along the back line. And after a rough 2014, it was clear that the Rapids needed to add more to the defense. Marlon Hairston and Jared Watts can also play in the back as needed, but are relatively new those roles.
In addition the Rapids announced these moves today:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rapids96?src=hash">#Rapids96</a> have waived defenders John Neeskens and Grant Van De Casteele. Full statement here <a href="http://t.co/msPNEyd5Mf">http://t.co/msPNEyd5Mf</a></p>— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) <a href="https://twitter.com/ColoradoRapids/status/573999962670915584">March 7, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The departure of Grant Van De Casteele and John Neeskens may come as a surprise, as they appeared to be candidates for time with the Rapids USL affiliate, Charlotte Independence. But when you look at the current roster as a whole, even if Neeskens and Van De Casteele were getting time in Charlotte, it is difficult to see how they would break through with the first team.
What do you think Rapids fans? Are you happy with these moves? Let us know in the comment section below!