SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC today announced that it has reached an agreement with AFC Bournemouth to extend the loan of defender Brad Smith through the end of the 2019 Major League Soccer campaign. The Australian defender ranks second on the team with five assists in 19 appearances this season, as Seattle sits second in the Western Conference with 38 points (11-6-5). The Rave Green return home to CenturyLink Field to take on Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, August 4 (7:00 p.m. PT / FS1, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).
“We’re very pleased to have worked out a deal with Bournemouth to keep Brad here through the current campaign,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Brad has performed admirably since he arrived in Seattle and is an important piece of our current squad, so we’re excited to have him here as we approach the homestretch of the season.”
Smith, 25, has started 24 of his 25 appearances with six assists for Sounders FC since signing on August 8 of last season. After recording one assist in six matches during the homestretch of the 2018 campaign, Smith ranks second on the team with five assists this year in 19 appearances (18 starts). Despite his short stint in Seattle, Smith was voted to the bench on Sounders FC’s Best XI campaign earlier this year.
“Brad has been a great fit in our team since he arrived in 2018, so I’m very happy that he’ll be with us through the end of the 2019 season,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “In addition to his on-field quality, he’s been a valuable member of our locker room and has meshed well with the group. He will be an important piece to the Team as we try and close out the Season as MLS Cup Champion.”
Prior to coming to Seattle, Smith spent the previous two seasons with AFC Bournemouth, where he made 11 appearances across all competitions, including five in Premier League play. Before 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.
“We’ve been very happy with Brad’s performance since he arrived here last August and we’re excited he’ll be staying through the season,” said Sounders FC Sporting Director & VP of Soccer Chris Henderson. “His athleticism and quality have been crucial to our play this season, and he has quickly emerged as one of the better fullbacks in our league.”
Smith has 20 caps for the Australian National Team, most recently appearing as a substitute in a 1-0 friendly loss to South Korea on June 7. After making his senior debut in a 2-0 loss to Belgium on September 4, 2014, Smith made 12 appearances for the Socceroos in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. 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.
Following a 1-0 road win at Houston on Saturday, Sounders FC (11-6-5, 38 points) hosts Sporting Kansas City (6-9-7, 25 points) on Sunday evening at CenturyLink Field (7:00 p.m. PT / FS1, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM). Jordan Morris scored the lone goal in Houston as the Rave Green jumped back into second place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes and 11 points shy of Supporters' Shield-leading LAFC.
TRANSACTION: Sounders FC extends loan of Brad Smith from AFC Bournemouth through 2019 MLS season on July 31, 2019. Originally acquired 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. Loan extended on July 31, 2019 (through 2019 MLS season).