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TACOMA, WASH. – Tacoma Defiance today announced that it has signed defender Stuart Hawkins to a MLS NEXT Pro contract. The 15-year-old Academy product was named Most Valuable Player of the 2022 U-17 Generation Adidas Cup, helping lead Sounders FC Academy to its second consecutive title.

“We are excited to have Stuart join our professional pathway,” said Vice President of Player Development Henry Brauner. “He first started with us at the age of 12 in the Sounders Discovery Program and has steadily progressed into the Academy. He has now taken another step in signing with Tacoma Defiance. We have enjoyed watching Stuart’s journey within our club and are excited to continue watching his progression into the professional game.”

Hawkins has one appearance for Defiance this season as an Academy player, starting in a 2-0 win over Colorado Rapids 2 last month. The Fox Island native also joined Seattle for preseason camp in February in Palm Springs prior to the beginning of the 2022 MLS season. He has played at both the U-16 and U-17 level for the U.S. Youth Men’s National Team, most recently attending a camp and tournament with Belgium, Italy and Portugal in Castelo Branco, Portugal in May with the U-17 squad.

“I am very excited for Stuart to continue his development with Defiance,” said Tacoma Defiance Head Coach Wade Webber. “While still very young, especially for a central defender, he has demonstrated a varied skill set and eagerness to learn that indicates he can face whatever challenges lie ahead.”

Sitting atop the Pacific Division, Tacoma Defiance looks to continue its nine-match unbeaten streak (6-0-3) in MLS NEXT Pro action on Sunday evening with a road matchup against Dynamo 2 at AVEVA Stadium (5:00 p.m. PT / mlsnextpro.com).

TRANSACTION: Tacoma Defiance signs defender Stuart Hawkins on June 23, 2022.

Full Name: Stuart Hawkins

Number: 50

Position: Defender

Height: 6-1

Weight: 158

Hometown: Fox Island, Washington

Date of Birth: September 18, 2006

Nationality: United States

Acquired: Signed on June 23, 2022