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Another teen pushing through Sounders' midfield pipeline

Snyder Brunell is already piling up playing time before signing a professional contract.

Last Updated
1 min read
Photo courtesy of Seattle Sounders communications

Say what you will about the Seattle Sounders' track record in turning promising academy players into productive professionals, but it's hard to deny that central midfield is the position where they've enjoyed the most success.

It might be time to add another player to that list.

Snyder Brunell is a 16-year-old who is just getting ready to enter his junior year in high school. Although he has not yet signed a professional contract, that appears to be more of a formality. About 80% of the way through the MLS Next Pro season, Brunell has already made 10 starts and logged nearly 650 minutes for Wade Webber's side.

On Saturday, he scored his first MLS Next Pro goal in Defiance's shootout win on the road against North Texas, a 69th-minute equalizer scored from about 16 yards out.

It's not quite a perfect comparison since many of the Sounders' previous academy players who played up with Defiance were in the USL Championship, but Brunell is on pace to log more than twice as many starts and play nearly twice as many minutes as any previous Defiance player prior to signing a professional contract. Brunell plays a similar game as Obed Vargas – although he's not quite as physically mature at a similar age – and has played mostly as an 8 or in a double pivot. He gets plaudits for his professional attitude, leadership qualities and positive personality. Brunell's strength at this point seems to be most in his ability to interrupt opposing attackers, and he ranks in the Top 20 in that category according to G+.