The Seattle Sounders today announced the second First Team signing of the offseason, another Homegrown Player in goalkeeper Jacob Castro. Castro played with the Sounders Academy as a high school senior in 2017 and went on to make four total appearances as an amateur with Sounders 2 (now Tacoma Defiance) between 2018 and 2019 before beginning his college career.
Initially attending the University of Washington, Castro redshirted his 2019 season before getting two starts in 2020 while playing behind fellow Sounders Academy player Sam Fowler. Following the 2020 season, Castro transferred to San Diego State University for a chance at a starting role. He made the most of the opportunity, starting all 17 games for SDSU and putting up some impressive stats on his way to being named to the All-Pac-12 First Team, becoming the first SDSU GK to earn that honor since 2006 — which coincidentally went to another GK from Washington, Gig Harbor’s own Tally Hall, who went on to make over 150 MLS appearances.
In 2021, Castro was part of an SDSU team that allowed only 16 goals with 7 shutouts. According to SDSU, he recorded 66 saves with an 80.5% save percentage while the team went 8-7-2.
Castro started 16 games for SDSU in 2022, but he and the team had a tougher time than in 2021. Going 4-9-4, he and SDSU earned three shutouts as Castro’s save percentage dropped to around 65% and his goals allowed average reached 1.65 goals per game, but his performance was still strong enough to earn him All-Pac-12 Second Team. Even during a more difficult year, Castro was still capable of doing the spectacular, as can be seen below.
Jacob Castro, at 6’4”, will be the tallest among a talented group of goalkeepers with the Sounders. He joins Stefan Frei, Stefan Cleveland and Andrew Thomas with the First Team, as well as Wallis Lapsley from Tacoma Defiance. MLS minutes will be hard to come by, but Castro could see some time with Defiance in MLS Next Pro, or potentially go out on loan, as General Manager & Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel has indicated the organization will be more active in their use of loans to get players game time.
Castro becomes the 21st Sounders HGP and is the ninth on the current roster. He joins Josh Atencio, Reed Baker-Whiting, Ethan Dobbelaere, Sota Kitahara, Danny Leyva, Jordan Morris, Dylan Teves (whom Castro has previously played with at both the Academy and UW), and Obed Vargas.
With the 2022 MLS SuperDraft just over a week away on December 21, there may still be more news to come between the Sounders and Tacoma Defiance. Castro’s signing brings the roster to 26 players.