Former MLS player Riley is 'honored' to play in the CSL final

By Ralph Chery

NY Pancyprian Freedoms right back James Riley in his days with Seattle Sounders FC.

 

June 8th, 2017

 

Former MLS player James Riley will be competing in the CSL final on Friday as his side NY Pancyprian Freedoms take on NY Greek Americans at St. John's University Belson Stadium at 8:00 p.m.

Riley is pleased to take part in the final.

"It's an honor to play in such an historically rich league," the right back said. "Even more so, I am flattered to be representing the NY Pancyprian Freedoms in our quest to hoist a silverware."

Riley played in the MLS from 2005 to 2015, where he competed for seven teams: New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Chivas USA, D.C. United, L.A Galaxy and Colorado Rapids.

The 34-year-old won the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup five times and the MLS Cup once in his 10-year career in the elite division in the United States. 

Riley is eager to add a CSL championship medal to his collection.

"The opportunity to lift a silverware for your club should always be a special endeavor for any player," he said. "I am excited for the opportunity before us on Friday night against a superb opponent [NY Greeks]."  

He later added: "I compete and I want to win every time I step on the pitch. I want to make my teammates around me better."

This campaign is the Colorado native's first season in the CSL. Riley described his debut season in the CSL as "fantastic".

"The CSL has deep historical roots in our domestic landscape and allows great clubs and players to compete in a professional manner," the defender said. "The CSL is full of great players that I enjoy playing against."

Riley netted a spot kick in the Freedoms' 12-11 penalty kick (3-3 FT) win over Shamrock SC in the semifinals on May 31st.

Beside Riley, 12 more ex-professional players play for the two CSL finalists combined, NY Pancyprian and NY Greeks.

NY Pancyprian Freedoms: Chris Megaloudis (New York Red Bulls, Puerto Rico), Jeff Matteo (Columbus Crew, MetroStars), Stefan Dimitrov (Chicago Fire), Michael Palacio (New York Red Bulls, Fort Lauderdale Strikers), Diogo Alves Perreira (Academico de Viseu F.C in Portugal's second division), Panagiotis Halkidis (Greece second division), Panayiotis Onisiforou (Ermis FC in Cyprus first division)  .

NY Greek Americans: Stephen Roche (UCD in the League of Ireland), Jimmy Nealis (New York Cosmos), Daniel Gwyther (Fulham, Watford), Colin Murphy (Fort Lauderdale Striker), Roberto Pellegrini (AC Sparta Prague).

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