Ahead of their Sunday meeting with Oakland Roots, Tacoma Defiance announced that Jackson Ragen had signed, and then promptly inserted him into the lineup. Ragen played 90 minutes in the 3-1 win. The Seattle local played one season with the Sounders Academy U-18 team that finished third in the USSDA playoffs in 2016-17, and had been in training with Tacoma and the first team for about a month prior to signing this contract.
Following his season with the Sounders Academy, Ragen played at the University of Michigan for four years. He was named All-Big Ten First Team in both his junior and senior years, the All-Big Ten Tournament Team his Sophomore year, and won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in his senior year as well. As a senior, he also led Michigan in scoring with five goals. After an impressive college career, Ragen was drafted by the Chicago Fire in the second round with the 33rd overall pick, but ultimately didn’t sign a contract with the team.
Ragen remains on the Fire’s “college protected list” through the end of 2022, which would mean the Sounders would need to work out a trade in order to sign him to a first team contract before then.
Ragen is a towering 6-foot-6, making him and Christian Herrera tied for the tallest player in the organization. Ragen joins a packed centerback group in Tacoma that includes a total of seven players capable of playing the position. At 22 years old, Ragen is also one of the older players on the team, and will likely help to lock down the defense through his play as well as his leadership. Ragen is the second player signed with Tacoma to have played with the academy then gone through the MLS SuperDraft before rejoining the organization. Joe Hafferty, who was drafted by Inter Miami and traded to Seattle in 2021, is the other.