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English midfielder James Vaughan signs with the Kickers

By Staff, 01/09/24, 12:15PM EST


29-year-old has spent time in English National League, USL League Two, NPSL and NISA

29-year-old has spent time in English National League, USL League Two, NPSL and NISA | Image Credit: Wellington United FC

RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers today announced the signing of English midfielder James Vaughan, pending league and federation approval.

The 29-year-old joins the Richmond midfield as a technician with a high motor capable of sitting deep and picking out passes to break defensive lines. His positional awareness and ability to get up and down the center of the park also allow him to be a threat in scoring positions.

The Bexhill On Sea, England native returns to the United States to play following stints in his home country with Welling United FC and Eastbourne Borough FC of the National League South division.

Before returning home to play, Vaughan was a prolific player in the state of Michigan where he first arrived as a collegiate soccer player at Northwood University from 2014-18 as well as playing with both AFC Ann Arbor and the Flint City Bucks of USL League Two.

At Northwood University, Vaughan made an instant impact for the Timberwolves beginning in his freshman season, starting 14 of 18 games played and registering five points. He scored in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Semifinals to help secure the Timberwolves’ eventual conference championship win. 

Vaughan went on to enjoy a decorated collegiate career that included the 2014, 2015, and 2017 GLIAC Conference Championships, recognition on the 2015, 2016, and 2017 All-GLIAC First Teams, and recognition on the 2017 Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association All-Midwest Region Second Team. He finished his career at Northwood with 71 games played which ranks fourth all-time in program history, 49 points which ranks seventh all-time, 17 goals which rank eighth all-time, and 15 assists which rank second all-time.

Vaughan joined Detroit City FC’s midfield in 2019 when the club was still a member of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) where he played with former Richmond Kicker Jalen Crisler. Le Rouge went on to win the NPSL Members Cup and make it to the NPSL Regional Final. Following the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting much of the sport in 2020, Vaughan would again play with DCFC in 2021, this time in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), where he played in the midfield with former Richmond Kicker Maxi Rodriguez. Le Rouge finished as NISA Champions that season.

"The club's desire and passion for success made me want to join the Kickers," Vaughn said. "From the first conversation I had with Coach Darren I could tell and feel how much he wants to win. We seem to connect very quickly on similar playing style beliefs and how he wants his team to play. I have heard a lot of great things about the Richmond Kickers, from the great behind-the-scenes support staff to the unbelievable fan base. I'm looking forward to wearing the badge with pride and playing in front of this loyal fan base."

"James is a hard-nosed, box-to-box midfielder who is not immune to the physical parts of the game we see with USL League One teams," Richmond Head Coach and Chief Sporting Officer Darren Sawatzky said. "He has good passing range, is willing to take on the role needed for particular games, and his competitive nature will boost an already talented midfield. With James and our midfield core, we have the ability to play in different ways and in different formations. We welcome James to Richmond and we are ready to watch him battle for the Reds."

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