The Seattle Sounders didn’t make any moves during the summer transfer window, but they’ve bolstered the squad’s depth ahead of the return to MLS play. The team announced on Tuesday that Paul Rothrock has signed an MLS contract, joining the First Team from Tacoma Defiance. The Sounders have club options on Rothrock in 2024 and 2025. Rothrock is the 10th player on the current roster to have spent time with the Sounders Academy.
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Having already played three times with the Sounders on short-term contracts, Rothrock has demonstrated an ability to contribute at this level with two U.S. Open Cup goals and an MLS goal for the club, the only player in team history to score in their first three appearances. His lone MLS goal so far came late on the road against Houston Dynamo in what was a 1-0 Sounders win back in May. In addition to his three goals with the Sounders, Rothrock has been a driving force in the Defiance attack, providing three more goals and five assists in 1,373 MLS NEXT Pro minutes.
Rothrock, who spent time with the Sounders Academy before beginning his collegiate career, has taken an indirect route to the First Team, but joins now with valuable experience. After starting his college career with Notre Dame, he moved to Georgetown University where he was an important part of a Hoyas team that won the NCAA Championship for the first time in program history in 2019. Then in 2021 Rothrock was selected in the third round of the MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC and signed to TFC II. He went on to make 31 appearances with TFC II (12 in USL League One, 19 in MLSNP), contributing 12 goals and seven assists, and another two with the MLS squad while playing on loan.
Paul Rothrock returned home to join Tacoma Defiance for the 2023 season as the team’s seasoned veteran, and has made the most of the opportunity. He’ll provide another option on the right wing where he provides a blend of skill and intelligence with a willingness to work for every ball and create opportunities by force if necessary. In Cristian Roldan’s absence, he’ll be a welcome addition to the options available.
Rothrock will have an opportunity to make an impact yet again with the Sounders on Sunday when the team hosts Atlanta United at Lumen Field.