TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
The Sounders announced on Thursday that they have signed University of Washington midfielder Handwalla Bwana to a Homegrown Player deal. Bwana, 18, is the 10th player in Seattle history to sign that type of contract, joining the likes of Jordan Morris and DeAndre Yedlin.
“Handwalla is a guy who can put defenses off-balance,” said Sounders vice president of soccer & sporting director Chris Henderson in a statement released by the club. “He’s proven it at the University of Washington and with our academy. He can score goals, he creates chances for himself, and he’s great at running at guys with the ball. Being able to bring another Homegrown through the system is exciting for the group. It’s a testament to our academy staff and what they’ve done with him at the University of Washington.”
Bwana, who joins Cristian Roldan and Henry Wingo as Washington products on Seattle's roster, scored 12 goals and assisted on 13 others in his two years playing for the Huskies. He played in 39 games during that span and made 26 starts.
Originally from Mombasa, Kenya, Bwana and his family immigrated to Atlanta, Georgia, before eventually moving to Seattle. He played for Sounders FC Academy and Seattle United, one of the MLS club's academy partners, prior to his time at the University of Washington.
“It’s an unbelievable moment,” Bwana said. “I never actually thought I’d be a pro from where I come from. I remember going to Sounders games for the first time, and it was incredible. The atmosphere was something I had never seen before. Being able to sign as a Homegrown, I can't believe it.”