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Rhode Island adds Grant Stoneman to back line for inaugural campaign

By Staff, 11/14/23, 10:20AM EST


Former San Diego Loyal SC center back has spent past four seasons in Championship

Rhode Island FC has signed defender Grant Stoneman, who joins goalkeeper Koke Vegas at the club having both competed for San Diego Loyal SC over the past two seasons. | Photo courtesy Ben Nichols / San Diego Loyal SC

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Rhode Island FC announced on Tuesday the club had signed experienced defender Grant Stoneman to its inaugural 2024 USL Championship season roster. Stoneman most recently played for San Diego Loyal SC alongside Koke Vegas, the first player to be signed by Rhode Island FC, spending four seasons with SD Loyal.

“We continue to build a roster that all Rhode Islanders will be proud of,” said Khano Smith, Head Coach and General Manager of Rhode Island FC. “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.”

Stoneman made 101 appearances for SD Loyal, one of five players to make play in a century of games for the club. He was San Diego’s all-time leader in clearances (269) and aerial duels won (169), posting a 63.1 percent success rate in the latter category, and also recorded 106 interceptions while recording a 55.8 percent success rate in overall duels and 57.1 percent success rate in tackles.

The 27-year-old began his professional career in USL League One with Lansing Ignite FC in 2019, where he helped the side advance to the postseason. Prior to his professional career, the St. Charles, Illinois native played collegiate soccer at Loyola University in Chicago, earning numerous accolades. In 2018, he was honored as the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Additionally, Stoneman's performance earned him a spot on the First Team United Soccer Coaches All-West Region in both 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.”

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