“He’s a winner”: Paul Rothrock makes it big with recent signing to Sounders First Team

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The decision to sign Tacoma Defiance midfielder Paul Rothrock to a First Team contract was inevitable.

After making a positive impact with Defiance and supporting the Sounders with two US Open Cup goals and a MLS game-winner over Houston Dynamo earlier this year, Rothrock’s presence on the pitch earned him a spot on the Rave Green roster.

“Paul’s done well this year and he’s definitely earned the opportunity,” said General Manager and Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel. “We believe you’ve got to prove yourself within our system and Paul’s done nothing short of that over the course of the season not only with Defiance, but in the opportunities he’s received with the First Team.”

Since Rothrock’s arrival in January to the Tacoma Defiance squad, he’s proven to himself and the Sounders staff how he can contribute to the First Team. Whether it be through his work ethic in practice and in games, or his character off the pitch, there was no question that Rothrock was ready to take the next step in competing at a higher level.

“He’s a winner,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “He finds ways to help his team win games, he’s a smart soccer player, and he makes stuff happen.”

To be a top flight professional soccer player has been a dream for Rothrock since he was young, and to be representing his hometown club makes it that much more special.

“In the [Sounders] inaugural match, I remember saying to my dad, ‘I’m going to do this one day,’ so [I’m feeling] relief, joy and pride.” said Rothrock. “This is a great success story for me but it’s also a big success for the community of Seattle…I grew up in the club systems of Seattle, playing for school teams, Seattle United, [Seattle Sounders] Academy here, so I have a lot of people to thank.”

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