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Rhode Island FC Signs Former San Diego Loyal Center Back
Rhode Island FC announced that they had signed their second former member of the San Diego Loyal, and their fourth player overall.
Rhode Island FC has announced that they have signed their second former member of the now defunct San Diego Loyal, and their fourth player overall. The San Diego Loyal’s strong competitive performance and loyal fanbase saw the area snapped up as the MLS’s next big expansion market. As a result, RIFC has been taking advantage to sign top players from a great side.
The latest signing is center-back Grant Stoneman, 27, who played in the heart of the defense that protected San Diego goalkeeper Koke Vegas, RIFC’s first signing. Stoneman played four seasons with the San Diego Loyal — the last two with Koke — and was a significant player in their back line making 99 league appearances, scoring 4 goals, and adding 4 assists.
“We continue to build a roster that all Rhode Islanders will be proud of. Grant has years of league experience and has a strong presence with his teammates. We are focused on creating a culture on and off the pitch that prioritizes winning and connectivity. The pieces we are putting together will position our club to compete at the highest levels of the league from our opening match in March,” said Rhode Island FC Head Coach Khano Smith.
Prior to his time with the San Diego Loyal, Stoneman played one season with Lansing Ignite FC in USL League 1 making 24 total appearances and notching 1 goal and 1 assist. He also played college soccer for the Wisconsin Badgers and the Loyola Ramblers where he won Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year and twice earned a place with the First Team United Soccer Coaches All-West Region, in 2016 and 2018.
“I am excited to be one of the first players to join Rhode Island FC’s roster, and to do it alongside my former teammate makes it even more special,” said Stoneman. “I look forward to putting in the work alongside my teammates to make Rhode Island FC’s inaugural season one that all of Rhode Island can be proud of. I’m thankful to Coach Smith and the entire Rhode Island FC front office for the opportunity to be a part of the club’s inaugural roster.”
With the addition of the center-back, Rhode Island’s defense is starting to come into shape.