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Sounders add standout Stanford goalkeeper in special waiver draft

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Sounders send $50,000 in General Allocation Money to Chicago Fire for top spot in draft and select Andrew Thomas.

Photo courtesy of Sounders FC

Down a goalkeeper for at least a few more weeks and apparently seeing some unexpected value, the Seattle Sounders sent $50,000 in General Allocation Money to the Chicago Fire in order to select Stanford’s Andrew Thomas in a special waiver draft on Friday. He had pre-signed a MLS contract and was immediately added to the first-team roster.

“After a strong career at Stanford, we see Andrew as a goalkeeper that we think can develop and help us out down the road,” Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a team release. “We’re always on the lookout to add talented players to our roster, so I’m looking forward to watching Andrew get to work with Tom Dutra and our existing goalkeepers.”

Thomas was a standout during three seasons at Stanford, leading the Cardinal to three Pac-12 titles and compiling a goals against average of .67 with 23 shutouts in 55 appearances. Thomas was born in Russia and grew up in England, where he was part of Watford’s academy before moving to the United States where he spent some time with the U23 team. Over the summer, he also trained with the Sounders. Thomas holds US, English and Russian citizenship and will not occupy an international spot.

“Andrew is an up-and-coming young player who we’ve had our eyes on,” Schmetzer told the media on Friday. “When we had a chance to grab him, he’s another good young player we can develop. He’ll learn a lot. We’ll see what happens.”

Due to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic — which extended the 2020 college soccer season into spring — MLS created an additional opportunity for standout players to be drafted by MLS teams following the close of the college season. The waivers process ends on Monday with Georgetown’s Jacob Montes and Indiana’s Spencer Glass also available.

CURRENT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ROSTER (24 on active roster)

GOALKEEPERS (4): Stefan Cleveland, Stefan Frei, Spencer Richey, Andrew Thomas

DEFENDERS (7): Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Jimmy Medranda, Nouhou, Shane O’Neill, Alex Roldan, Brad Smith

MIDFIELDERS (9): Josh Atencio, Reed Baker-Whiting, Jordy Delem, Ethan Dobbelaere, João Paulo, Danny Leyva, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Kelyn Rowe

FORWARDS (4): Will Bruin, Fredy Montero, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Raúl Ruidíaz

PLAYERS ON LOAN (3): Shandon Hopeau (San Antonio FC), Jordan Morris (Swansea City), Trey Muse (San Diego Loyal SC)