The Tacoma Stars announced today that they signed 3 former Sounders Academy players. Defender Chase Hanson, midfielder Troy Peterson, and midfielder Jamael Cox will play for the Stars in the 2015/16 Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) season. Both Cox and Hanson played for the Stars last season. This marks the beginning of Hanson's and Peterson's professional career. Cox has been a pro since 2013, when he signed with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Hanson completed his college eligibility after the 2014 NCAA season with Seattle University. He finished with 60 career appearances with the Redhawks, in addition to 19 appearances with Barry University as a freshman. He graduated from Seattle University in June. Hanson also played under Stars head coach and GM (and former Sounders Academy director) Darren Sawatzky with Sounders U23 for the past 4 Premier Development League (PDL) seasons, appearing in 31 games. Sawatzky has known Hanson and his family since he was a toddler and helped develop him at the Sounders Academy during the 2010/11 season.
Signing with the Tacoma Stars is a true honor. I look forward to being a part of a club that has a great history and looks to make a run in its first full season. I am excited to contribute to a young team and continue my career under an outstanding coaching staff and club.
Troy Peterson was a teammate of Chase Hanson in the inaugural season of the Sounders Academy. Peterson spent four years at College of Charleston, where he finished with 12 goals and 5 assists in 66 games. He has also played for the Sounders U23 in 2012, 2014, and 2015. Peterson appeared in 22 games for the U23's over 3 seasons, helping them win the PDL Western Conference title in 2012 and 2015. Peterson also made 2 appearances for the Stars in the 2014/15 MASL season. He had a goal and an assist in Tacoma's 12-2 win over Turlock in February.
I am excited to further my career coming out of college and I couldn't be happier to make the leap to the next level with a local team in front of all the hometown fans. I grew up being coached by a lot of former Tacoma Stars players and I'm happy to be able to put on the jersey myself.
Jamael Cox is the only one of the 3 signings with pro experience. He was one of the players that signed with Seattle Impact before walking out over the leadership of the team's owner, along with 21 other players, many of whom wound up signing with the Stars for the remainder of the season. Weeks before leaving the Impact, he had a 2 goals, 1 assist performance vs. San Diego. Most of his playing time came in the local Western Indoor Soccer League (WISL), in which the Stars posted a perfect record and won the championship. The Tacoma native also played for the Sounders U23 in 2012 and 2014 before spending the 2015 PDL season with Burlingame Dragons, who were eliminated by Sounders U23 in the Western Conference semifinal. In total, Cox has 3 goals and 5 assists in 37 PDL appearances.
I am excited about signing and playing for the Tacoma Stars this upcoming season. I'm glad to be playing in my hometown and I am ready to contribute to the team.
It's not a coincidence that former Sounders Academy players are signing with the Stars. The team could be a good place for players who have used up their college eligibility to use to try to launch their pro careers. Last year, Duncan McCormick played for the Stars for much of the 2014/15 season and secured a spot on the S2 roster. Josh Phillips was able to secure a contract with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks and has had an excellent season with them. Other players who played for the Stars last winter and landed pro contracts in 2015 include Cameron Vickers, Gibson Bardsley, Raphael Cox, and Adam West.
Hanson, Peterson, and Cox join the previously announced signings of former MLS and USL midfielder Joey Gjertsen, returning leading scorer Derek Johnson, and veteran indoor goalkeeper Danny Waltman, all of whom are natives of 253.
Tacoma opens the 2015/16 MASL season on November 6th at ShoWare Center in Kent against the Sacramento Surge. Single game tickets have not gone on sale yet, but season tickets start at $150.