Seattle Sounders FC 2 has traded forward Qudus Lawal to USL side Wilmington Hammerheads FC in exchange for defender Ashani Fairclough, the club announced today. "Qudus has been a great player for us, and we wish him all the best going forward," said S2 General Manager Andrew Opatkiewicz. "We'll certainly be watching him, and expect him to do well. He is a young, strong, raw talent who's got a knack for scoring goals. This was a strategic move considering the needs of the entire organization."
Lawal, 19, scored two goals and assisted another in 11 appearances for S2 across all competitions. He netted a brace in his first professional start, a 4-3 loss on the road against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on April 16. Fairclough, a 22-year-old Jamaican defender, was named to the USL PRO First Team of the Year in 2014, making 27 appearances and scoring two goals for the Hammerheads. Fairclough was signed by Seattle Sounders FC ahead of the 2013 season, where he logged 214 minutes in four appearances in the MLS Reserve League. "Ashani is a player that we know well, and if we had S2 a couple of years ago, he would probably still be with the club," said S2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson. "Everyone knows his quality, and although a few small injuries cost him playing time in Wilmington, he is a young player with great physical ability and a lot of upside. We're excited to have him." Fairclough was a member of the 2009 Jamaican U-20 National Team, and served as captain of the 2007-2008 Jamaican U-17 National Team. S2 travels to face Real Salt Lake in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round on Tuesday, June 16. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. PT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Fairclough is ineligible to play for S2 in the tournament due to being cup-tied with Wilmington, having played 120 minutes in the club's First Round penalty-shootout loss to Chattanooga FC. Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC 2 acquires defender Ashani Fairclough in exchange for forward Qudus Lawal from Wilmington Hammerheads FC. Name: Ashani FaircloughPronunciation: uh-SHAWN-ee fair-CLUFFPosition: DefenderHeight: 6-2Weight: 165Birthdate: August 7, 1992Birthplace: Portmore, JamaicaCitizenship: JamaicaPrevious Clubs: Wilmington Hammerheads FC (2014-2015), Seattle Sounders FC (2013), VSI Tampa Flames (2012) ABOUT SOUNDERS FC 2Announced on October 14, 2014, Sounders FC 2 is the Sounders FC USL side. Known as S2, the team represents a link between the Sounders FC Academy and Sounders FC First Team. Playing its home matches at Starfire Stadium, S2 emphasizes development and community involvement, and provides a consistent and competitive professional environment for promising Academy players and certain First Team players to progress. The team operates under the management of Sounders FC and the Sounders Community Trust, an unprecedented, fan-owned organization that holds a 20-percent interest in the team.