Tacoma Defiance forward Justin Dhillon has scored six goals in 14 appearances this season in the Championship prior to signing an MLS deal with Seattle Sounders FC. | Photo courtesy Steven Christy / OKC Energy FC
SEATTLE, Wash. – Seattle Sounders FC announced on Friday it had signed Tacoma Defiance leading scorer Justin Dhillon. The leading scorer for Tacoma Defiance in the USL Championship this season, Dhillon has six goals in 14 appearances as he joins the Sounders ahead of Saturday's match against Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC at CenturyLink Field.
“Justin adds to our growing list of players who have been signed directly to our USL club and made the jump to MLS, joining Jordy Delem and Nouhou,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Justin is a player who has proven himself at the USL level, and we're looking forward to seeing what he can do with the First Team.”
After signing with the Defiance on March 15, Dhillon has started 10 of his 14 appearances for the side this season. He recorded a five-match scoring streak from May 12-June 8, one shy of the league record, and made history on May 18 by scoring just nine seconds into a 1-1 draw with Reno 1868 FC, marking the fastest goal in USL Championship history.
Dhillon started seven of 18 appearances for LA Galaxy II in 2018 and scored three goals. He played in 21 games (13 starts) as a rookie for Los Dos in 2017, recording six goals and two assists. Prior to joining the Galaxy II, Dhillon appeared in 73 games in four seasons at Cal Poly University and recorded 15 goals and 12 assists. As a senior in 2016, he started all 17 games for the Mustangs and posted seven goals and two assists.
Dhillon marks the third member of the Defiance signed to the Sounders this season, following Homegrown Players Danny Leyva and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, and is the 11th player overall to have joined the Sounders from its USL Championship squad since its launch prior to the 2015 season.