The Sounders FC are in the process of trading midfielder Handwalla Bwana to Nashville SC, coach Brian Schmetzer confirmed during a videoconference call with media Sunday. Schmetzer said the club is receiving a left-footed player in return but wouldn’t release more details until an official announcement is made this week.
Bwana, 23, was due for a breakout season in 2020. He appeared in 15 games, starting six, during the Sounders’ 2019 championship season. But he appeared in none as the Sounders began to make their playoff push and eventual run to the MLS Cup title. Bwana totaled 567 minutes and recorded 10 shots, including four on goal, with one assist.
According to Schmetzer, the lack of playing time was an issue for Bwana.
“If a player doesn’t want to be here, then sometimes we just have to make decisions that are best for both the club and the player,” Schmetzer said. “He felt there was a logjam with Jordan (Morris) playing in his position. That’s a decision that we made.”
Bwana was signed as a Homegrown Player by the Sounders in 2018. The winger is originally from Kenya and moved to the U.S. with his family, graduating from Ballard High and starring at the University of Washington.
Nashville is in need of players due to multiple injuries. The expansion club has also dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks. Major League Soccer withdrew it from the summer tournament in Florida because of the positive cases.
Bwana made five appearance this season with two starts that totaled 176 minutes. The highlight was recording a goal and assist during the MLS is Back tournament.
Bwana hasn’t been part of the Sounders’ game-day roster for three of the club’s past eight matches, excluding Sunday’s road game against the San Jose Earthquakes.