Spencer Richey is close to signing with his hometown club. The Seattle Times confirmed reports Richey, who was born in Seattle and played goalkeeper for the University of Washington, is in negotiations with the Sounders FC and the deal could be announced this week.
Richey, 28, played the last two Major League Soccer seasons for FC Cincinnati. He started nine of his 10 matches and totaled 19 saves last year. He started all 19 of his matches in 2019 and finished with 61 saves and two shutouts.
The addition of Richey would add depth to the Sounders’ goalkeeping group. The club announced Wednesday it re-signed keeper Stefan Cleveland. Cleveland’s return joins defender Jimmy Medranda, bringing the roster to 21 players.
Terms of Cleveland and Medranda’s contracts were not disclosed.
Cleveland was acquired via trade from Chicago in November 2019 to be Stefan Frei’s backup. The Ohio native didn’t log a minute during the 2020 season but was frequently praised by Frei for his work during training.
Medranda was an October 2020 pickup from Nashville SC in exchange for midfielder Handwalla Bwana. The latter requested the transaction due, in part, to a lack of playing time.
Medranda, who is from Colombia, made three appearances for the Sounders as a substitute last season, including one during their run to the MLS Cup final. He originally joined MLS in 2013 with Sporting Kanas City, when the club won the league title. Medranda didn’t play in those postseason matches.
“We are pleased to add two more pieces to our roster ahead of the 2021 season,” said Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey in a statement. “Stefan did well as a member of our goalkeeping group last year, and we were impressed with Jimmy after he joined us late last season. Both will provide our squad with quality depth as we head into a new campaign.”
Cleveland was the 26th overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. He’s made five MLS career appearances and also played in the USL League One while on loan with Lansing Ignite FC in 2019.
Medranda has 102 MLS appearances across all league competitions, scoring five goals. He played for Colombia’s Deportivo Pereira before joining MLS.
Richey began playing soccer at Crossfire Premier in Redmond, growing to play for UW. He broke his leg four games into his senior season, returning for a fifth year where Richey had the key save on a penalty kick to advance the Huskies to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16. He finished the season with 69 saves and four shutouts.
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC selected Richey in the third round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
The Sounders expect to open training camp Feb. 22. MLS announced Monday plans to begin its 2021 season April 3. The league will feature 27 clubs, each playing a 34-game schedule.
MLS and the Players Association are in talks regarding the collective-bargaining agreement signed in June 2020. The league invoked the force majeure clause in December due to what it said were ongoing financial strains from the coronavirus pandemic.
The sides have each presented proposals for a new CBA and met twice, the league stating Thursday is the “hard deadline” to come to an agreement.