Eight days ahead of the MLS is Back Tournament, the Seattle Sounders announced the signing of Kapolei native, midfielder Shandon Hopeau to a Homegrown contract, according to a Tuesday release from the club.
“We are pleased to announce Shandon as the latest Homegrown signing to the first team,” Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said in Tuesday’s release. “He’s shown steady development in his time with the organization and I’m looking forward to seeing him at the MLS level.”
A native of Kapolei, Hawaii, Hopeau joined Seattle’s academy in 2016 before signing with the club’s USL Championship affiliate Tacoma Defiance in 2017. The speedy winger has made 72 USL appearances, scoring eight goals. He started 25 games for Defiance last season, recording a career-best five goals and four assists.
The 21-year-old made one first-team appearance for Seattle last season, playing 32 minutes in a 2-0 loss against the Colorado Rapids on Sept. 7, 2019. He had been signed to a short-term agreement after the Sounders qualified for Extreme Hardship, when a club has less than 14 outfield players or has fewer than two goalkeepers available.
The Homegrown Player Rule is a Major League Soccer program that allows MLS teams to sign local players from their own development academies directly to MLS first team rosters.
The Seattle Sounders will make their return to the field on July 10 against the San Jose Earthquakes on ESPN at 4:30pm HST.