SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC today announced that it as acquired goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland from the Chicago Fire in exchange for the club’s First Round selection (26th overall) in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. Seattle also received Chicago’s Second Round pick (35th overall) in January’s draft.
“Following Bryan Meredith’s departure in the Expansion Draft last week, goalkeeper depth became a priority for us this offseason,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Stefan is a young goalkeeper that we look forward to bringing into our current group and working with Tom Dutra once preseason begins.”
Cleveland, 25, was originally selected by Chicago with the 26th overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. Over the past three seasons, Cleveland made five appearances (all starts) in MLS play, in addition to 22 USL League One appearances (all starts) while on loan with Lansing Ignite FC in 2019. Cleveland’s 2020 contract option was declined by the Fire on November 21.
This marks Seattle’s first player acquisition this offseason. The club announced its roster decisions to conclude the 2019 season last week. The first stage of the 2019 MLS Re-Entry Draft is set for today at 12:00 p.m. PT.
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.
TRANSACTION: Sounders FC acquires goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland and a Second Round pick (35th overall) in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft from the Chicago Fire in exchange for a First Round pick (26th overall) in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
Name: Stefan Cleveland
Born: May 24, 1994 in Dayton, Ohio
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
Citizenship: United States
College: Louisville / Dartmouth
Acquired: Via trade from Chicago Fire FC on November 26, 2019
Previous Experience: Chicago Fire FC (2017-2019)