The pair of local products join a roster crowded with northwest talent in preparation for the Stars first full season in the Major Arena Soccer League.
Lee, 27, spent four years competing with the Sounders U-23 team in the Premier Development League, where he earned PDL First Team honors multiple times, before joining the Stars last season. Prior to his time with the Sounders U-23 club, Lee played one season for the Kitsap Pumas, also a member of the PDL.
“Lee is a pit bull and I have enjoyed having him on my teams,” Sawatzky said. “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.”
Lee played collegiately for Northern Idaho College and Pierce College, and originally hails from Puyallup, Washington.
“I am excited about being part of the organization and playing at the highest level of indoor soccer,” Lee said.
Cox, 28, played one season with Highline Community College before transferring to the University of Washington prior to his sophomore year. Coming out of college he was drafted into Major League Soccer by Real Salt Lake, where he won the MLS Cup in his first professional season. The Tacoma native has spent time in the NASL with both the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Atlanta Silverbacks. He is currently playing for the Charlotte Independence, and will join Tacoma following the conclusion of the USL season.
“Raph’s resume speaks for itself and we love signing winners,” Sawatzky said. “Raph gives us another fast attacking player with good experience. I expect to see him in the score column most nights.”
Complete 2015-16 schedule information and additional player signings are anticipated for release in the coming days.
Season ticket packages, group outings, and suite offerings for the Tacoma Stars 2015 season are available now. To purchase, call 1-844-STARS-TIME or visit the Stars online at http://www.tacomastars.com. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Stars leading up to the start of the 2015 season can be found by following the Stars on Twitter (@TacomaStarsSC) or liking the team on Facebook.