SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC today announced that it has signed defender Stuart Hawkins to a First Team Homegrown contract. A Sounders FC Academy product, Hawkins signed with Tacoma Defiance in June of 2022 following a successful Academy career, earning Most Valuable Player honors during the Rave Green’s championship run at the 2022 U-17 Generation Adidas Cup. The two-time MLS NEXT All-Star selection signs a deal through the end of 2026 with club options in 2027 and 2028.
“We’d like to officially congratulate Stuart, a talented young player with a bright future ahead of him,” said Sounders FC General Manager & Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel. “He has performed well in our Academy and with Defiance, and we look forward to continuing his development in a professional environment.
Hawkins, 16, joins the First Team after nearly two seasons with Tacoma Defiance. Following four appearances in 2022, the Fox Island native has 20 appearances (18 starts) this year for the MLS NEXT Pro side, scoring in a 2-1 win over Colorado Rapids 2 (June 18). He is currently third on the team in 2023 with 25 interceptions, in addition to winning 54.5% of his duels. Earlier this year, Hawkins was named to the 2023 MLS NEXT All-Star Game for the second consecutive season.
“It’s always exciting to see players progress through our developmental system all the way up to the First Team,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “Stuart is a promising young defender who has a great opportunity to learn and grow alongside our veteran players and coaching staff. I look forward to formally welcoming him into our group and seeing how he performs.”
Hawkins joined the Sounders FC Academy via the Sounders Discovery Program at age 12, later starting one match for Defiance as an amateur before signing a MLSNP contract. He has represented the United States at both the U-16 and U-17 levels, most recently receiving a call-up this month to the U-17s for a tournament in the Czech Republic as the squad continues to prepare for the 2023 U-17 FIFA World Cup in Indonesia later this year. Hawkins was notably named Most Valuable Player of the 2022 U-17 Generation Adidas Cup, helping lead the Sounders FC Academy to its second consecutive title.
Hawkins becomes the 23rd Homegrown Player in team history. His addition marks the 11th Homegrown Player signing on Sounders FC's current roster, joining Josh Atencio, Cody Baker, Reed Baker-Whiting, Jacob Castro, Ethan Dobbelaere, Sota Kitahara, Danny Leyva, Jordan Morris, Dylan Teves and Obed Vargas.
After a week off from competitive action, Sounders FC travels to Texas for a matchup against FC Dallas on Saturday, September 16 at Toyota Stadium (5:30 p.m. PT / Apple TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
TRANSACTION: Sounders FC signs defender Stuart Hawkins to a contract through the end of 2026 with club options for 2027 and 2028 on September 13, 2023.
Full Name: Stuart Hawkins
Hometown: Fox Island, Washington
Date of Birth: September 18, 2006 in Fox Island, Washington
Nationality: United States
Transaction: Signed to First Team on September 13, 2023
Previous Clubs: Tacoma Defiance (2022-2023)