Handwalla Bwana

Handwalla Bwana (born June 25, 1997) is an Kenyan footballer who currently plays for Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer.[2]

Handwalla Bwana
Personal information
Date of birth (1997-06-25) June 25, 1997
Place of birth Mombasa, Kenya
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Seattle Sounders FC
Number 70
Youth career
2015–2016 Seattle Sounders FC
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016–2017 Washington Huskies 39 (12)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2016 Seattle Sounders FC 2 6 (0)
2018– Seattle Sounders FC 27 (3)
2018–Tacoma Defiance[1] (loan) 10 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 20, 2019

Early life

Bwana was born in Mombasa, Kenya but spent 6 years of his childhood at a refugee camp in Kakuma, northwestern Kenya. His family was resettled in the United States in 2010, initially in Atlanta, but later in Seattle, where he attended Ballard High School.[3] Describing how his childhood shaped him as a player, Bwana has stated that "playing with a garbage ball...made me better with my feet".[4]


Bwana joined the Seattle Sounders FC Academy in 2015.[5] On September 11, 2015, Bwana made his professional debut for USL club Seattle Sounders FC 2 in a 1–0 defeat to the Orange County Blues.[6] After two seasons at the University of Washington, Bwana was signed as a Homegrown Player on January 11, 2018.[7] Bwana made his debut for the club against expansion side Los Angeles FC as a substitute on March 4, an appearance which included a shot from outside the box that hit the crossbar.[8] He started Seattle's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal tie against Mexican club Chivas three days later,[9] but did not appear in the second leg in Guadalajara, as Seattle lost 3–1 on aggregate. Bwana started his first MLS game against FC Dallas on March 18, a 3–0 defeat.[10] His first goal was on May 9, 2018, the game winner against Toronto FC,[11] and scored again a week later against Orlando City SC.[12]


Seattle Sounders FC


  1. Formerly known as Seattle Sounders FC 2 until the 2019 season.
  2. "Sounders FC signs Handwalla Bwana as Homegrown Player". SoundersFC.com. Seattle Sounders FC. January 11, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  3. Pentz, Matt (October 28, 2016). "Handwalla Bwana could be the next Seattle soccer star. But first he must conquer his American Dream". Seattle Times. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  4. "New Homegrown Player Handwalla Bwana sits down for first interview". SoundersFC.com. Seattle Sounders FC. January 12, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  5. Molinari, Alessandro; Tanaka, Ella (March 28, 2015). "Junior Handwalla Bwana plays soccer for Seattle Sounders Academy". BallardTalisman.com. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  6. "S2 falls 1-0 at home to OC Blues FC, needs win in season finale to advance to USL Playoffs". SoundersFC.com. Sounders FC Communications. September 11, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  7. Mondello, Joseph (January 11, 2018). "Analysis: Where will Handwalla Bwana fit with the Sounders?". Seattle Sounders.
  8. Ciaccio, Danny (March 4, 2018). "Seattle Sounders rookie Handwalla Bwana impresses, flashes creative flair in his MLS debut". Seattle Sounders.
  9. Krasnoo, Ryan (March 8, 2018). "Seattle Sounders midfielder Handwalla Bwana plays beyond his years, earns high marks in first Senior Team start vs. Chivas". Seattle Sounders.
  10. "Seattle Sounders versus FC Dallas starting lineup: Handwalla Bwana makes first MLS start, Kelvin Leerdam first start of season". Seattle Sounders. March 18, 2018.
  11. Boehm, Charles (May 9, 2018). "Toronto FC 1, Seattle Sounders 2 | 2018 MLS Match Recap". MLS. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  12. Evans, Jayda (May 28, 2019). "During Ramadan, Sounders' Nouhou, Handwalla Bwana make it clear: 'Religion comes first'". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 12, 2019.

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