SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC today announced that it has signed defender Abdoulaye Cissoko. The French centerback, nicknamed “AB,” joined the organization in 2019 and played the 2020 campaign with Tacoma Defiance before training with the First Team throughout 2021 preseason. Cissoko signs to a one-year contract, with club options in 2022 and 2023, bringing Sounders FC’s active roster to 25 players ahead of Sunday’s home match against Atlanta United FC (1:30 p.m. PT / FOX, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
“It’s promising to see another young player perform well when given the opportunity to train in the First Team environment,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “AB is a talented defender who played last year as a member of Tacoma Defiance and has steadily improved. We look forward to his continued development at the MLS level.”
Cissoko made 12 appearances for Tacoma during the 2020 campaign, including nine starts. He scored one goal, coming against Reno 1868 on September 18. The 21-year-old becomes the second Defiance player to sign with Sounders FC after training with the First Team this preseason, following Reed Baker-Whiting’s signing last week. Cissoko started Tacoma Defiance’s 2021 season opener on May 9 and scored a penalty kick in second half stoppage time to force a road draw at LA Galaxy II.
“I’ve been pleased with AB’s performance training with the First Team during preseason and he has earned his MLS contract,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “His tenacity and competitiveness going up against our veteran attacking players has shown us that he is up to the challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing how he continues to improve from here.”
Cissoko came up through local French club CO Les Ulis, which was the first club of French internationals Patrice Evra, Anthony Martial and Thierry Henry. He competed as an amateur for SD Zest of USL League 2 in 2019 prior to signing with Defiance. He then went on loan with San Diego 1904 FC of the NISA for the remainder of 2019 before returning to Tacoma for the 2020 campaign.
“Seeing players progress within the club’s development pipeline provides a lot of optimism about the future,” said Sounders FC Senior Vice President of Soccer Operations & Sporting Director Craig Waibel. “AB has promise as a professional defender and will only improve more as he continues to work with the First Team.”
After matching its club record with 16 points from six matches to start the season, Sounders FC hosts Atlanta United FC this Sunday, May 23 at Lumen Field (1:30 p.m. PT / FOX, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
TRANSACTION: Sounders FC signs defender Abdoulaye Cissoko to a one-year contract with club options in 2022 and 2023 on May 21, 2021.
Name: Abdoulaye Cissoko
Born: December 27, 1999 in Les Ulis, France
Hometown: Les Ulis, France
Acquired: Signed by Sounders FC on May 21, 2021