TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa Roughnecks FC announced the club’s first signings under new Head Coach David Vaudreuil on Wednesday as MLS veterans Kosuke Kimura and Donovan Ricketts joined the club for the 2017 season. The signings are pending league and federation approval.
Both Kimura and Ricketts will serve as player-coaches for Vaudreuil as he enters his first season in Tulsa, and bring strong credentials to the Roughnecks having both been part of MLS Cup winning sides during their careers.
Kimura became the first Japanese player in Major League Soccer when he was drafted by the Colorado Rapids in 2007 after a standout collegiate career at Western Illinois University. Kimura spent six seasons in Colorado, scoring four goals in 117 appearances, and helped the side claim the 2010 MLS Cup as he scored the game-winning goal in a playoff victory over San Jose that sent the Rapids to the MLS Cup Final. Kimura then played all 120 minutes in the final as the Rapids defeated FC Dallas 2-1 in extra time to claim their first MLS championship.
Kimura has also spent time in MLS with the Portland Timbers and New York Red Bulls, and this past season competed for Vaudreuil with Rayo OKC, where he made 33 appearances to help the club reach the postseason.
"I had the pleasure of coaching Kosuke last season," said Vaudreuil. "Not only was I impressed with his substantial MLS career, but I was also impressed with his on-field coaching and his attention to detail. He was the first person that I thought of when considering our coaching positions, and he will be an invaluable addition for us, both on the field and off."
Ricketts arrives in Tulsa to continue a distinguished career that saw him twice earn MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors, and make more than 100 appearances for the Jamaica National Team. Ricketts made nearly 200 appearances in Major League Soccer for the LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Montreal Impact and Orlando City SC, and earned Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2010 and 2013. He also made more than 100 appearances English club Bradford City.
"I saw Donovan play and train on a daily basis when we were both with the LA Galaxy," said Vaudreuil. "I was always extremely impressed with his work rate, discipline and approach to the game. In addition to the playing experience he brings with him, Donovan will be a huge asset to our players and to our club. He will provide an international presence in our locker room and in the community."
The Roughnecks will open their third season in the USL on Saturday, March 25 when they host Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at ONEOK Field.