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Justin Dhillon opens up about how Defiance gave him a second life

Prior to joining the Sounders USL team, Dhillon admits he was forced to consider life after soccer.

Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

It should come as little surprise that being a professional soccer player can sometimes be a bit rough. For every star, there are dozens of players who were forced to retire earlier than they wanted for a variety of reasons. Often times, it’s not even a matter of skill or ability, but just finding the right opportunity with a coach willing to give them a chance.

Like so many of his compatriots, Justin Dhillon had a serious brush with this decision prior to the 2019 season. The then 23-year-old forward had just finished a couple injury-shortened seasons with LA Galaxy II and was out of contract.

During our interview, Dhillon opened up a bit about that time and how signing with the Tacoma Defiance — and eventually landing a first-team contract — have reignited his love for the game. Dhillon also shared how he’s been filling the time — it apparently involves a fair amount of playing Settlers of Catan — and explained the genesis of his brush with TikTok stardom.

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