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Seattle Sounders sign Raul Ruidiaz, Joao Paulo & Xavier Arreaga to contract extensions


Seattle Sounders FC have locked down three key players with contract extensions, the club announced Friday, with forward Raul Ruidiaz, midfielder Joao Paulo and defender Xavier Arreaga all agreeing to new deals.

Ruidiaz, a back-to-back MLS Best XI selection, remains in Seattle through 2024. João Paulo, a finalist for the 2021 Landon Donovan MLS MVP award, is now under contract through 2023 with a club option for 2024. Arreaga, a backline anchor, is now guaranteed through 2023 with club options for 2024 and 2025.

“Raúl, João Paulo and Xavier have proven they are important pieces of the club’s success, and we’re pleased to have signed each of them to a contract extension,” general manager & president of soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a release. “With 28 players under contract, we feel that we’re in a great position ahead of upcoming Concacaf Champions League action and the MLS regular season.”

Ruidiaz, a Peruvian international, has 50 goals and nine assists in 79 regular-season games since joining Seattle in 2018 from Liga MX’s Morelia.

Joao Paulo, a defensive midfielder who initially arrived in 2020 on loan from Brazil's Botafogo, has five goals and 16 assists in 50 regular-season games with Seattle.

Arreaga, a regular with Ecuador’s national team, has two goals and two assists in 54 regular-season games upon arriving from Barcelona of Ecuador’s top division.

“These are three players who have been very important to our team, on the field and in the locker room,” head coach Brian Schmetzer said in a release. “As a coach, I’m always pleased to have talented players available for selection, so I couldn’t be happier that these three will remain in Seattle for the foreseeable future.”

With this trio secured, Seattle will chase their 14th straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance in 2022. They’ll be joined by stalwarts like Jordan Morris, Albert Rusnak, Cristian Roldan and more.

“It was very important to us to ink Raul, Joao Paulo and Xavier to new deals and secure each of their futures in Seattle,” sporting director Craig Waibel said in a release. “It’s a testament to their performance since they arrived, as well as the club’s commitment to winning consistently. We look forward to continuing to see them in Rave Green.”