SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC today announced that it is exercising the 2020 contract options of several players, putting the club’s roster at 18 contracted players heading into next season. Following Seattle’s second MLS Cup victory in four years, the Rave Green have now officially entered the 2019-2020 offseason, with preparations underway for the club’s title defense.
“We’re excited to bring back so many players from our championship squad in an effort to make another run in 2020,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Making these decisions at the conclusion of every year is always difficult, but we’re excited about moving forward with the group we have and seeing what we can accomplish next season.”
The following players saw their options exercised for 2020: goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, midfielders Handwalla Bwana, Jordy Delem and Gustav Svensson, in addition to forward Justin Dhillon. Following these decisions, Meredith was selected by Inter Miami CF with the ninth pick in yesterday’s Expansion Draft, marking the second time in three seasons the Rave Green have seen a player selected by an expansion side. Fellow goalkeeper Tyler Miller was acquired by Los Angeles FC in the 2017 Expansion Draft.
“Bryan was a good goalkeeper and an even better person for the Sounders,” said Lagerwey. “He was a solid partner to Stef Frei and an amazing mentor to some of our young players with Tacoma Defiance. As an immensely positive influence in both locker rooms, Bryan will be missed and we wish him well in Miami.”
Fourteen players were already under contract for next season, including: goalkeepers Stefan Frei and Trey Muse; defenders Xavier Arreaga, Joevin Jones, Kelvin Leerdam and Nouhou; midfielders Emanuel Cecchini, Danny Leyva, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan; forwards Will Bruin, Jordan Morris, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Raúl Ruidíaz.
Additionally, Sounders FC declined the contract options of defenders Jonathan Campbell, Saad Abdul-Salaam and Román Torres, in addition to midfielders Víctor Rodríguez and Alex Roldan, along with forward Luis Silva. Defenders Kim Kee-hee and Brad Smith are both out of contract, as is midfielder Harry Shipp. For a number of these players, conversations with the club about returning in 2020 are ongoing. Also of note, longtime central defender Chad Marshall was forced to retire earlier this season due to injury, following one of the most illustrious careers in MLS history and several major titles with the Rave Green.
Per Major League Soccer policy, the club has until 10:00 a.m. PT on November 21 to re-sign Re-Entry Draft-eligible players, including those players whose contracts were not exercised.
Sounders FC won the 2019 MLS Cup on November 10 with a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC at CenturyLink Field, marking the club’s second championship in four seasons. Seattle previously won the 2016 title before falling in 2017, both against Toronto at BMO Field. The crowd of 69,274 provided the largest standalone attendance for a sporting event in the history of CenturyLink Field, as well as the largest for a soccer match in the history of Washington state.
CURRENT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Stefan Frei, Trey Muse
DEFENDERS (4): Xavier Arreaga, Joevin Jones, Kelvin Leerdam and Nouhou
MIDFIELDERS (7): Handwalla Bwana, Emanuel Cecchini, Jordy Delem, Danny Leyva, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Gustav Svensson
FORWARDS (5): Will Bruin, Justin Dhillon, Jordan Morris, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Raúl Ruidíaz