Handwalla Bwana - Seattle Sounders

ORLANDO, Fla. – Playing time for Seattle Sounders midfielder Handwalla Bwana has been hard to come by recently.

After signing a Homegrown Player contract with the Sounders ahead of the 2018 MLS season, consistent playing time has been hard to come by at times.

The 2019 season for Bwana looked promising, after playing 10 out of Seattle’s first 17 games, but since then, his minutes have dwindled.

The Kenyan-born player missed an away game on July 3 against New York City FC due to a “family, personal issue” according to coach Brian Schmetzer, and hasn't played for the first team since then.

Bwana didn’t comment regarding that matter, but is hopeful the opportunity to feature again for the Sounders will come sooner than later.

“I started great, starting a lot of games then coming off the bench,” Bwana recently told MLSsoccer.com. “We have really good, world-class players in our team, so if someone goes down in injury or the team needs me in the second half, I’m always there to help and provide for the team.”

Bwana, who featured in Tuesday’s MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer against Chivas’ U-20 team, said playing in Seattle has been a great experience, especially going through the academy when he joined during his junior year in high school.

“Playing at the Sounders has been a great experience because it’s helped in my development,” he said. “For me, the most important part, is to develop and continue getting better and Seattle is the perfect place for me because they gave me the opportunity. I’m learning from all the coaches and I’m loving that.”

He also praised Schmetzer as a father figure across the Sounders’ development network.

“Seattle is a good place,” said Bwana. “They give you the opportunity to show your talent, not only once but multiple times. If you mess up, they give you again and again until you feel comfortable.

“At the same time, all the young guys who haven’t signed with an academy, they come train with the first team, so they can see how fast the level is,” he added. “The coaching staff is perfect because Brian Schmetzer is like a dad, he always cares and takes the young guys under his wing and try to make sure they get better.”