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Pedro de la Vega shows flashes of brilliance in return from injury

De la Vega makes first appearance after missing 11 weeks.

Last Updated
2 min read
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

SEATTLE — The undeniable centerpiece acquisition of the Seattle Sounders’ offseason was Pedro de la Vega. The 23-year-old midfielder came to the Sounders from Argentina’s Lanús on a reported transfer fee of about $7 million, one of the largest expenditures the club has ever made.

Even while trying to somewhat tamp down expectations, de la Vega was clearly signed to help guide the Sounders into their post-Nicolás Lodeiro future.

After a promising debut and some exciting moments a week later in his first match at Lumen Field, though, de la Vega’s Sounders tenure has mostly been filled with frustration. He had to leave that home game early after suffering a hamstring injury and then suffered a setback just as he was preparing to make his return.

When he finally took the field again on Saturday, he had been out 11 weeks. It was hardly a surprise that when he entered in the 76th minute, it was the loudest the stadium got outside of Jordan Morris’ goal.

Although he didn’t look his sharpest, de la Vega certainly brought some excitement. With one of his first touches, he flicked header off a corner kick that hit the crossbar. In the game’s dying moments, he somehow managed to beat goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka at the near post from a seemingly impossible angle, only for that shot to deflect off the woodwork as well.

“He’s going to be a little rusty,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said when reviewing de la Vega’s performance. “He has to figure out the game, but you can tell he has soft feet, can get around people, we’ll get him there.”

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