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Sounders sign two Defiance players to ‘extreme-hardship’ contracts

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Shandon Hopeau and Nick Hinds will both be available for the Rapids match.

Charis Wilson / Sounders FC Communications

As expected, the Seattle Sounders made two signings from the Tacoma Defiance using MLS’s “extreme-hardship” rule. Midfielder Shandon Hopeau and left back Nick Hinds will both signed short-term deals and will be available for selection for Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids.

Although the league’s roster-freeze deadline has already passed, the Sounders are permitted by league rule to sign players from their USL affiliate if they will not have at least 14 outfield players available. The Sounders are without 10 players due to international duty, are missing Román Torres due to suspension and Will Bruin due to a longterm injury. That would have left them with no more than 13 outfield players, assuming otherwise full health. But Alex Roldan and Victor Rodriguez both missed last Sunday’s game with injuries, and this move suggests at least one of them will not be available for the Rapids match.

Hopeau, 20, has been one of the Defiance’s top offensive weapons this season and has been in particularly good form recently. Hopeau has three goals and two assists in his past six matches, and has generally looked to be the team’s most effective offensive player.

After struggling to get consistent minutes early in the season, Hinds, 21, has established himself as the regular starter at left back, a position at which the Sounders will be missing all three of their regulars on Saturday. His six straight starts have coincided with the Defiance’s most consistent play of the season and he’s picked up two assists during that time.

The Sounders Academy products are the fourth and fifth signings the Sounders have made from the Defiance this year. Saturday’s Sounders roster could include as many as 11 players who have appeared for the Defiance this season.