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Sam Adeniran signs with Seattle Sounders

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The Tacoma Defiance standout earned an MLS contract after setting a franchise record with 13 goals in a season.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Austin FC
Slammin’ Sam started one match for Seattle in 2021, a win at Austin.
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not quite officially official yet, but Sam Adeniran’s signing to an MLS contract was announced at today’s Seattle Sounders end-of-season press conference. Senior Vice President of Soccer & Sporting Director Craig Waibel used his opening remarks to highlight the success of the youth throughout the organization and confirm the move.

“We’ve already signed Sam Adeniran up,” Waibel said. “He had 13 goals with Defiance this year.”

Since his contract won’t start until 2022, he’s exempt from the upcoming MLS Expansion Draft.

Adeniran played 59 minutes for the Sounders in 2021 as an extreme hardship call-up, completing 9 of 11 passes, and taking four shots in his one start and one sub appearance. The team beat Austin FC in that start.

With Defiance he was the best single-season scorer in franchise history, scoring 13 goals and notching two assists. Used mostly as the lone forward for Tacoma, his best match was a hat trick against Orange County in a 4-1 win. Late in the season he played as the left wing in coach Wade Webber’s 3-4-3, scoring three goals in two matches.

In the early season, Sam earned plaudits and attention for stunning goals. During the season his transition to being a more complete player was apparent as he integrated better with other Defiance players. Adeniran’s play nearly lifted Tacoma to a road victory over Phoenix on the final match day.

Adeniran turned 23 on Sept. 30 and the Sounders will be his seventh pro team. With the Sounders organization he nearly doubled his career highs in both appearances (32) and goals scored (13).

Sam is the 13th player to sign with Seattle after playing as a professional for S2/Defiance, following in the footsteps of Andy Craven, Oalex Anderson, Nouhou, Jordy Delem, Zach Mathers, Danny Leyva, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Justin Dhillon, Josh Atencio, Shandon Hopeau, Reed Baker-Whiting, and Abdoulaye Cissoko. Eight of those players are now under contract with the Sounders for 2022.

Waibel also said during the press conference to expect more signings from Defiance, hinting that “there will be a few more on the way.”