WE HEART: Pro Athlete, James Riley

The Ultimate Catch: Intriguing Seattleites

Photo: OlugBenro Ogunsemore

James Riley

28 | Seattle, WA

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Occupation: Professional Soccer Player

Why We Heart Them

This proud Seattleite loves the city that loves him back. James calls Seattle a “small, big city,” and it’s the place he calls home — as well as where he shines both on and off the soccer field.

As a compassionate community leader and a pro athlete with the Seattle Sounders FC, James is a role model and inspiration to everyone he encounters. Named Sounders FC Defender of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year in 2010, he truly lives up to the prestigious title.

James is an avid supporter of numerous philanthropic causes that are close to his heart. His mother is a breast cancer survivor, and James has been a long-time devotee to the Susan  G Komen Foundation and continues to help bring awareness and raise funds for the organization. Last year, he served as starter for the Race for the Cure run in Seattle with 14,000 runners, as well as starred in a statewide televised public service announcement. This star athlete will do whatever it takes to support the fight against breast cancer.

A gentle soul, James is always lending a hand in helping others. His humanitarian spirit and passion, along with the guidance of Richard Martin, has led him to also volunteer with the Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Starlight Foundation, Seattle SCORES and the Ronald McDonald House.

As busy as he is with community outreach, he finds time to also work with the Boys and Girls Club of Renton/Skyway. James hosted a 7v7 youth soccer tournament last year, where 100 percent of the proceeds benefited the Boys and Girls Club, as well as produced a feature documentary piece for their organization. He is also the current honorary captain for the Washington State Special Olympics soccer team.

James believes it is his duty to be an ambassador for the game of soccer and the Sounders FC — and so he is an influential humanitarian off the field and a powerhouse athlete on the field.

James is a soccer phenom — his talents opened the doors for him to attend Wake Forest University, where he was considered one of the most versatile and consistent players in school history. And now,  as one of the key players on the Sounders FC, his impressive soccer career continues. He is one of two union representatives on the team and participated in the labor negations last year. Currently James is rallying his team for this upcoming season, with their first battle against the Los Angeles Galaxy on March 15th, the premiere game of the 2011 MLS season.

Are you intrigued and like what you see? Let us know! Email us at catch@seattleite.com.