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Henry Wingo transfers to Norway’s Molde FK

Sounders will retain all of what is apparently a “six-figure” transfer free.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

In what could be a sign of a growing trend, the Seattle Sounders have transferred Homegrown Player Henry Wingo to Norway’s Molde FK. He signed a 2.5-year contract.

Wingo had previously been on trial and it was presumed that the most likely outcome would be a loan. But apparently Molde liked enough of what they saw that they made a compelling transfer offer. Wingo’s transfer value was estimated at close to $250,000 and Sounder at Heart confirmed the fee was “for sure six-figures.” Since he was a Homegrown Player, the Sounders keep 100 percent of that fee and can choose to convert it into allocation money.

“Henry is a promising young player that has played extensively at all levels of our club’s pipeline,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “When he wasn’t getting consistent minutes with the First Team, he was able to utilize our USL side to get games under his belt and continue his development, allowing a move like this to be possible. He’s always been a good pro and we wish him the best of luck going forward.”

Wingo first joined the Sounders Academy during the 2012-13 season and played there two seasons while attending Shorecrest High School. He then played two years at the University of Washington before signing with the Sounders prior to the 2017 season. Clearly a gifted athlete, he also showed some impressive technical ability while playing mostly as a central midfielder under Jamie Clark at UW.

Wingo started reasonably strong as a rookie, helping set up a goal in his 2017 debut and making 11 appearances that year. He also had two goals and an assist with Sounders 2, often showcasing the sort of potential that seemed poised to blossom.

Wingo set up a Clint Dempsey winner against Chivas in CONCACAF Champions League in 2018 and seemed well on his way to building on a solid rookie campaign. He added three goals and an assist in USL competition. Again, the potential seemed to be there.

After trying him there several times during his first two years, the Sounders said they were “fully committed” to making him a right back during 2019 training camp. Despite some promising performances during preseason, though, Wingo found himself third on the depth chart at right back and once again saw most of his competitive playing time with both the First Team and Tacoma Defiance as an outside midfielder. His best performance came in a start against the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 29 in which he looked consistently dangerous.

But after an underwhelming showing at New York City FC in the following game, Wingo suddenly found himself buried on the depth chart as the Sounders returned closer to full strength.

The Sounders gave Wingo permission to do a two-week trial in Norway, where his older brother briefly played for a third-division team. Wingo was also reunited with former teammate Magnus Wolff Eikrem, who is having a standout year with Molde.

“I came to Molde for a new experience,” Wingo told Molde’s website. “This is a great club with a great history, and besides, I’ve been in MLS for a number of years, so I thought the time had come for a change. I am very happy about this choice.”

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