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The West Press

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Rhode Island FC Signs First Ever Player

Rhode Island FC Signs First Ever Player

Rhode Island was announced as the 24th team in the USL Championship and will play their first season in 2024. With the current season ending and playoffs wrapping up, Rhode Island has announced its first signing in club history.

 

Koke Vegas, one of the USL Championship’s top goalkeepers, will be the first player to wear the Yellow and Blue of Rhode Island FC’s crest. He is moving on a free transfer, as San Diego Loyal is disbanding at the end of this season due to MLS transferring their rights to a new ownership group, in preparation for adding a San Diego team in 2025.

 

Vegas joins Rhode Island from San Diego Loyal, after a decade spent playing professionally in Europe before coming to the United States. Vegas made his professional debut in 2016 for Levante B, starting in a 1-1 away draw.

 

After playing 78 professional games in Spain, including 5 La Liga games, he made the move across the Atlantic to the USA. He would move to San Diego on a free transfer in 2022 after having his contract expire with Levante. He would go on to play 63 total games for San Diego, including 2 playoff games.

 

In those 63 games, Koke would establish himself as a top goalkeeper in the USL, grabbing 15 clean, and conceding 1.3 goals a game. He is a key component in allowing Rhode Island’s head coach, Khano Smith, to play the possession-based soccer he wants.

 

Vegas, at his inaugural press conference for Rhode Island, expressed his happiness about joining Rhode Island FC, stating “I am thrilled to be a part of a new club and look forward to moving to New England for Rhode Island FC’s inaugural season… Coach Smith, Michael Parkhurst, and the rest of the club are committed to building a winning team and establishing Rhode Island FC as a top USL Championship club.”

 

Rhode Island FC will play its first season at Bryant University until Rhode Island FC’s stadium is ready in Pawtucket.

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About the Writer
Ethan is a Junior at Lakota West and is a second-year journalism student. He has a massive amount of knowledge in soccer, with his best region being North and Central America. He is also a member of the Lakota West Broadcast Club. In his free time, Ethan enjoys listening to music, whilst watching and researching soccer to continue advancing his knowledge of the sport. Ethan joined the West Press to share his interest and love for soccer with the people of Lakota, whilst also improving his journalism skills, as his future goal is to become a Soccer Journalist.

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