The Seattle Sounders have signed midfielder Sota Kitahara from the Tacoma Defiance as the club’s 20th Homegrown Player in history. He joins on a two-year deal with club options in 2025 and 2026.
“It’s always nice to bring young players up to the first team who have earned their way through our system,” said head coach Brian Schmetzer. “I’m excited to see how Sota contributes to the squad when we begin preseason camp.”
Kitahara first joined the Sounders Discovery Program in 2014 before moving to the Academy, where he made 14 appearances in his first year at the U-16 level. He signed for Tacoma Defiance in December 2020, recording one goal in 28 appearances before seeing a loan spell with FC Pinzgau Saalfelden in Austria’s third division.
“We are excited to have Sota sign with the First Team,” said Senior Vice President of Soccer Operations & Sporting Director Craig Waibel. “Since joining the Sounders Discovery Program in 2014, he has shown continued improvement every year at all levels of our development pathway. I believe he will be an excellent addition to an already talented midfield.”
Kitahara stands as the eighth Homegrown Player on the current Sounders roster. This is the first reinforcement of the offseason for the Sounders.