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Tacoma Stars sign Raphael Cox and Mark Lee

Both members of last year's WISL championship side return for the 2015/16 season

Cox will join the Stars after the conclusion of the USL season
Cox will join the Stars after the conclusion of the USL season
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The roster for the Tacoma Stars 2015/16 Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) season continues to take shape. The club announced on Monday the signings of Raphael Cox and Mark Lee, both of whom played significant roles for the Stars last season.

Raphael Cox will again join his brother Jamael on the roster. The Tacoma native has 6 years of professional soccer experience. After spending his college career at Highline Community College and the University of Washington, he was drafted by Real Salt Lake in the fourth round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft as the 54th overall pick. He played 205 minutes in 6 appearances for RSL in the team's MLS Cup winning season. After spending a season with Tacoma Tide in PDL in 2010, Cox spent 3 seasons in the NASL with the Atlanta Silverbacks and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. In 2012, he helped the Rowdies win the Soccer Bowl, converting his penalty in the shootout. Cox and brother Jamael spent the 2013 season with the Rowdies. Cox left the NASL for the Harrisburg City Islanders in USL Pro in 2014 and currently plays for the Charlotte Independence in USL.

This will be Cox's fourth season with the Tacoma Stars. In the old PASL, Cox had 12 goals and 9 assists in 14 games over the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. Last season, he recorded 2 assists in 2 games in the MASL. He added 3 goals in the local Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL), including the game-tying goal in the championship game.

Cox will join the Stars after Charlotte's season in USL is finished. They are currently in position for the playoffs with one game remaining.

Raph's resume speaks for itself and we love signing winners. Raph gives us another fast attacking player with good experience. I expect to see him in the score column most nights.

- Darren Sawatzky, Tacoma Stars head coach/GM

Mark Lee is a native of Puyallup and a veteran of the PDL's Northwest Division, having played for the past 8 seasons with Tacoma Tide, Kitsap Pumas, and Sounders U23. He is also currently the head coach of Pierce College's men's soccer program.

Like Cox, Lee is also entering his fourth season with the Stars. In each of his 3 seasons with the team, Lee has been one of the Stars 2 leading scorers, with a total of 44 goals and 23 assists in 33 appearances in the PASL and MASL. His 5 goal performance against the Turlock Express in February gave Tacoma its first win in the MASL.

Lee is a pit bull and I have enjoyed having him on my teams. You can play Mark in a multitude of roles and he gets the job done with every task. This should be a good year for him playing the position he loves indoors. His leadership will help our young team come along.

- Darren Sawatzky, Tacoma Stars head coach/GM

Lee was a part of the Sounders U23 defense that conceded 13 goals in 16 games in the 2015 PDL season. He logged 945 minutes in 11 appearances for the U23's under Sawatzky's side that won the PDL Western Conference title.

I am excited about being part of the organization and playing at the highest level of indoor soccer.

- Mark Lee

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