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MLS-record five teens earn starts for Sounders vs. Austin FC

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15-year-old Obed Vargas will be the third-youngest player to ever appear in an MLS game.

Obed Vargas Charis Wilson / Courtesy of Sounders FC

Missing 10 players due to injury, suspension or international absence, Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer opted to go with one of the youngest lineups in MLS history. The starting XI features an MLS-record five teenagers, including 15-year-old Obed Vargas who will become the third-youngest player to ever appear in a league match.

The average age of the Sounders starting outfield players is 21.4, by far the youngest lineup they’ve ever fielded.

Joining Vargas are fellow teens Reed Baker-Whiting (16), Ethan Dobbelaere (18), Danny Leyva (18) and Josh Atencio (19). As if that weren’t enough inexperience, Samuel Adeniran will get his first MLS start and Seattle-native Spencer Richey will get his first Sounders start. Also notable is that Atencio has not played centerback since 2019 and Dobbelaere has just one previous start for the Defiance as a right wingback.

Adeniran and Vargas aren’t even on full first-team contracts, as they signed short-term contracts with the team on Thursday along with Alex Villanueva and Juan Alvarez.