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Goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland to Seattle Sounders in trade with Chicago Fire

Cleveland will serve as a backup to Stefan Frei after Bryan Meredith was picked by Inter Miami in the expansion draft

Aug 23, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Fire goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland (30) passes the ball against the Columbus Crew during a match at Toyota Park. (Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Seattle Sounders have acquired goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland from the Chicago Fire, with the teams exchanging 2020 MLS SuperDraft picks, it was announced Tuesday.

Bryan Meredith’s selection in the MLS Expansion Draft by Inter Miami CF resulted in the need for a backup to starting goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

“Following Bryan Meredith’s departure in the Expansion Draft last week, goalkeeper depth became a priority for us this offseason,” Sounders FC general manager and president of soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a statement. “Stefan is a young goalkeeper that we look forward to bringing into our current group and working with [goalkeeper coach] Tom Dutra once preseason begins.”

Cleveland made five MLS appearances for the Fire — all in 2018 — in his three years in Chicago. The 25-year-old spent the 2019 season on loan with USL League One side Lansing Ignite FC. Cleveland’s contract option was declined by the Fire last week and he was available for selection in Tuesday’s MLS Re-Entry Draft.

The Sounders send their first overall selection in January’s draft (No. 26) overall to the Fire in exchange for Chicago’s second round pick (No. 35 overall) in the deal.

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