The Sounders Thursday signed 26-year-old midfielder Michael Azira, who started three of six appearances for the club during the preseason. Azira spent the previous two years with the Charleston Battery of USL-1, scoring seven goals in 46 appearances. Azira helped the Battery win the 2012 USL-1 Championship, scoring the game-winner in the final.
“Michael is a versatile midfielder who can play outside back as well,” said Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “He’s a consistent passer and positions himself well defensively. He is very calm on the ball and adds depth to both the midfield and the back four.”
Azira played college soccer at Lindsay Wilson College and the University of Mobile, where he was an honorable mention NAIA All-America selection. A native of Kampala, Uganda, Azira was called into the Uganda National Team for a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier.
Also Thursday, the Sounders signed 22-year-old midfielder Fabio Pereira, selected by the club with the 77th overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Pereira played collegiately at the University of Michigan. He is a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who moved to the United States while he was in high school.
“Fabio is a young player who is skillful and has a nose for goal coming out of the midfield,” said Coach Sigi Schmid. “He has good vision and desire. We are excited to add Fabio to our mix.”
The Sounders commence their sixth season Saturday when they host defending MLS Cup Champion Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field. The match starts at 12 p.m.