Chris Aquino

TACOMA, WASH. – Tacoma Defiance today announced that it has signed midfielder Christopher Aquino. The 16-year-old Sounders FC Academy product was part of the Rave Green’s U-17 squad that won the 2022 Generation Adidas Cup and was named to the first-ever MLS NEXT All-Star Game in July. Following the inaugural 2022 MLS NEXT Pro campaign in which Defiance won the Pacific Division and advanced to the Western Conference Finals, the club’s roster currently sits at seven players ahead of the 2023 season.

“We are delighted to see Chris take next steps into the club’s professional pathway,” said Sounders FC Vice President of Player Development Henry Brauner. “Since coming into the Academy, he's shown the competencies as a player and, more importantly, the character as a person needed to project himself into the professional side of the game.”

Aquino, who joined the Sounders Academy in 2018 via the Sounders Discovery Program at age 12, has started all five of his MLS NEXT appearances this season for Seattle’s U-17 squad, scoring a hat trick against Sacramento United on October 22. The Pasco, Washington native also scored seven goals in 12 appearances for the U-17s last season and was one of two Sounders FC players named to the inaugural MLS NEXT All-Star Game.

“I am so excited to have Chris join Tacoma Defiance and begin his professional journey,” said Tacoma Defiance Head Coach Wade Webber. “I must express my gratitude to his Academy teammates and Steve Cooke and Xavi Bravo for helping him get this far. He has been part of our Academy program for years and has demonstrated over the last twelve months that he is ready to take this next step. His ability to score goals of all kinds and consistently be a threat might be what separates him from his peers, but I am confident he has the mentality needed to work at training on all aspects of his game and face challenges with humility and resolve. We can’t predict the future, but I know Chris is prepared to face whatever comes his way.”

Aquino was also on the U-17 squad that won the 2022 Generation Adidas Cup in April, scoring in a 2-0 win over Tigres UANL in the championship match. On the international stage, Aquino has represented the United States Men’s Youth National Team at the U-14 level. Today’s announcement brings Defiance’s current roster to seven players as the club prepares for next year’s MLS NEXT Pro season.

TRANSACTION: Tacoma Defiance signs midfielder Christopher Aquino on December 7, 2022.

Full Name: Christopher Aquino

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5-5

Weight: 150

Hometown: Pasco, Washington

Date of Birth: March 31, 2006

Nationality: American

Acquired: Signed on December 7, 2022