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Julius James vs Independiente Santa Fe

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers today announced the signing of Trinidad and Tobago national team defender Julius James. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

James, 31, signs with the Strikers after impressing in the 2016 Florida Cup. He started and played 90 minutes at center back in both matches against FC Schalke 04 and Independiente Santa Fe. He also featured against Corinthians and FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

“We are delighted to sign an experienced defender like Julius,” said Head Coach and General Manager Caio Zanardi. “He has made tremendous progress to overcome injury and is an example for many of the younger guys in the locker room.”

In 2014, James was an active member of the San Antonio Scorpions defense that set a modern NASL record for fewest goals allowed, conceding just 24 times during the regular season. He started the NASL Championship Final against the Strikers, claiming the Soccer Bowl trophy for the Scorpions in a 2-1 victory.

James has represented Trinidad and Tobago’s national team more than a dozen times after earning his first cap against Guyana in September 2008.

Following a college career at the University of Connecticut, James was drafted by Major League Soccer (MLS) side Toronto FC in 2008 as the 9th overall pick. In Toronto, James played alongside current Strikers teammate Nana Attakora.

For the next five seasons, James played with three other MLS teams, the Houston Dynamo, D.C. United and the Columbus Crew, before signing with the Carolina RailHawks in 2013.

James holds a U.S. green card and does not count against the foreign player limit.