SEATTLE, WASH. - Seattle Sounders FC today announced that it has acquired defender Brad Smith on loan from English Premier League club AFC Bournemouth using Targeted Allocation Money. The 24-year-old comes to Seattle after five professional seasons in England, including the last two at Bournemouth after being transferred from Liverpool, where he rose through the Reds’ youth system. He will occupy an international roster slot and is being added to Sounders FC's roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
“We are excited to add another quality player during this summer transfer window in Brad Smith,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “At just 24 years old, Brad brings a wealth of experience from both the Premier League and his time with Australia at the international level. Combined with his background, Brad’s significant speed and versatility on the flanks make our team immediately better for the stretch run of the season. We believe he can help our club continue its climb up the table and into the MLS Cup Playoffs.”
Smith has spent the last two seasons with AFC Bournemouth, where he has made 11 appearances across all competitions, including five in Premier League play. Prior to Bournemouth, Smith played for storied English club Liverpool, where he came up through the youth ranks after moving from Penrith, Australia as a teenager. He made his first team debut in a 2-1 loss to Chelsea on December 23, 2013 in Premiership action. After being loaned to League One side Swindon Town in 2014-2015, Smith returned to Liverpool for the 2015-2016 campaign, making 10 appearances across all competitions and scoring his first professional goal for Liverpool in a 2-2 draw with Exeter City in the FA Cup on January 8, 2016. Smith also made an appearance in Europa League play, a scoreless draw with FC Sion on December 10, 2015.
“Brad is a good player with a strong background and a skillset that we believe fits the style we want to play in the most important part of our season,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “He has participated at some of the elite levels of professional football, and we think he can give us some immediate help down the homestretch.”
Smith has 19 caps for the Australian National Team, including 12 appearances for Australia in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. He made his senior debut in a 2-0 loss to Belgium on September 4, 2014. The son of English parents, Smith played extensively at the youth levels for England, including representing the England U-17 side at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
“When we became aware of Brad’s availability through our staff and scouting network, it was a straightforward decision to bring him into our club,” said Sounders FC Vice President of Soccer & Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “Anytime you can add someone entering the prime of their career with the type of background Brad brings to the table, it’s only going to make your team stronger. Brad’s reputation as a good pro, in addition to his speed, technical ability and proficiency at multiple positions are all strengths we’re eager to utilize. We’re excited to welcome him to Seattle.”
Smith’s acquisition marks the second addition to Seattle’s roster in this current transfer window, following the signing of Designated Player Raúl Ruidíaz. The Peruvian international has already made his mark on Sounders FC, with the club winning all four matches he’s played in since his debut on July 21 versus Vancouver, bagging a goal and an assist along the way.
Just five points back of the sixth and final Western Conference postseason position, Seattle returns home for a clash with Western Conference-leading FC Dallas on Sunday, August 12 at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff for that contest is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT inside CenturyLink Field, with national television coverage being provided by FOX Sports 1. Seattle has not lost in its past seven league outings, bolstered by a four-match winning streak.
Transaction: Acquired by Sounders FC on loan from AFC Bournemouth on August 8, 2018 using Targeted Allocation Money.
Name: Brad Smith
Jersey Number: 11
Born: April 9, 1994 in Penrith, Australia
Hometown: Penrith, Australia
Acquired: Joined Sounders FC on August 8, 2018 via loan from AFC Bournemouth