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Sounders sign 16yo centerback to Homegrown contract

Stuart Hawkins has been one of the top young centerbacks in the country.

Last Updated
1 min read
Photo courtesty of Vancouver Whitecaps communications

Stuart Hawkins has signed a Homegrown Player contract with the Seattle Sounders, the team announced on Wednesday. The 16-year-old had previously signed with Tacoma Defiance in June 2022 and has made 18 starts with the MLS Next Pro team this year, while also regularly getting time with the United States U17 team. Most recently, he was with the U17s during the Jezek Cup in Czechia, where he started 2 of 3 matches.

Hawkins is the first Sounders Homegrown Player to primarily play centerback and the fourth youngest overall at signing. His contract is guaranteed through 2026 with options in 2027 and 2028.

“We’d like to officially congratulate Stuart, a talented young player with a bright future ahead of him,” Sounders FC General Manager Craig Waibel said in a press release. “He has performed well in our Academy and with Defiance, and we look forward to continuing his development in a professional environment.”

With the Sounders’ depth chart reasonably set on the first team, it seems unlikely that Hawkins will get much, if any, time in MLS this year.

The Fox Island native has enjoyed a solid campaign with Wade Webber's side, which includes his first professional goal. He is third on the team with 25 interceptions, has won 54.5% of his duels, and was named to the MLS Next All-Star Game for a second consecutive season. He is the 23rd player ever signed by the Sounders to a Homegrown contract and is the 12th player on the current roster to have come through their academy.

“It’s always exciting to see players progress through our developmental system all the way up to the First Team,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said in a team release. “Stuart is a promising young defender who has a great opportunity to learn and grow alongside our veteran players and coaching staff. I look forward to formally welcoming him into our group and seeing how he performs.”