Ballard FC ushers in new head coach for 2024 season

The homegrown soccer club Ballard FC is welcoming a new head coach for its third season.

James Riley is Ballard FC’s new head coach. He’s been both a player and a coach for various teams over the years: He played in the Major Soccer League (MLS) for over a decade for teams such as D.C. United, Seattle Sounders, and LA Galaxy.

Ballard FC announced the news today, saying that bringing on Riley “marks a pivotal evolution of Ballard FC.” The team is coming off a hugely successful 2023 season, clinching the 2023 USL2 national title in just its second year of existence.

“The appointment of James Riley signals the club’s commitment to building on this success and taking the team to new heights,” team co-founder Sam Zisette wrote in a press release.

“We are delighted to welcome James Riley to Ballard FC as our new head coach,” Ballard FC co-founder Lamar Neagle said in a statement. “His impressive track record both on and off the field aligns perfectly with our vision for the future of the club. With James at the helm, we are confident in our ability to continue competing at the highest level.”

Ballard FC has an exciting season in the works: The team will debut at the upcoming US Open Cup in March.

“It is a great honor to be chosen as the new Head Coach of Ballard FC,” Riley said in a statement. “The club’s impressive history of success and unwavering dedication to excellence for the community of Ballard and the Greater Seattle region is truly remarkable.

“With a humble and servant leadership approach, I am excited to lead this exceptional team into 2024 and beyond. I feel incredibly privileged and enthusiastic to contribute to the growth and success of this remarkable project. Up The Bridges!”

The 2024 season tickets are now on sale, and Memorial Stadium will host this year’s home games.

Photo: Head Coach James Riley | Courtesy Ballard FC