SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC today announced that it has signed midfielder Paul Rothrock to a First Team contract. Rothrock, a Sounders FC Academy product, signed with Tacoma Defiance in January following a two-year stint with Toronto FC II, leading Seattle’s MLS NEXT Pro side with five assists in 2023, in addition to three goals. The midfielder signs a deal through the end of 2023 with club options in 2024 and 2025.
“We are excited to welcome Paul to the First Team, a well-deserved reward for his play since coming back to Seattle in January,” said General Manager & Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel. “He is a good professional on and off the field, and has taken advantage of his opportunities this season. We look forward to continuing his development at the MLS level.”
Rothrock, 24, has started 15 of his 18 appearances this season for Defiance, tallying three goals and a team-leading five assists (tied for eighth in MLSNP). The midfielder notably scored three goals in three First Team appearances for Sounders FC earlier this year via short-term agreements. After finding the net in a pair of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches against San Diego Loyal SC (April 26) and LA Galaxy (May 10), Rothrock scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 regular-season win at Houston (May 13).
“I’d like to congratulate Paul and officially welcome him to the First Team,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “In addition to performing well for Wade Webber and Tacoma Defiance, he stepped-up and fully seized his First Team opportunities earlier this season. I look forward to bringing him into our group as we head into the back half of our campaign.”
The Seattle native joined Sounders FC Academy in 2016 and scored in his lone appearance as an amateur for Sounders FC 2 against Real Monarchs on July 9, 2017. He played collegiately from 2017-2021 with Notre Dame and Georgetown, helping the Hoyas to the program’s first NCAA Championship in 2019, tallying four goals and seven assists. Rothrock was selected 64th overall in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto, scoring four goals in 12 USL League One appearances for Toronto FC II in 2021, before an eight-goal effort in 2022, leading the club to the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference Final.
After nearly three weeks off from competitive action, Sounders FC returns to MLS regular-season play on Sunday, August 20 against Atlanta United FC on the Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field (7:30 p.m. PT / Apple TV, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360 AM).
TRANSACTION: Sounders FC signs midfielder Paul Rothrock to a contract through the end of 2023 with club options for 2024 and 2025 on August 15, 2023.
Full Name: Paul Rothrock
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Date of Birth: January 9, 1999 in Seattle, Washington
Nationality: United States
College: Notre Dame / Georgetown
Transaction: Signed to First Team on August 15, 2023
Previous Clubs: Tacoma Defiance (2023), Toronto FC II (2021-2022)