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Reed Baker-Whiting will be available vs. Galaxy

Baker-Whiting has been dealing with hamstring injuries for about six months.

Last Updated
2 min read
John Wilkinson III / Sounders FC Communications

SEATTLE — Coming off a strong finish in 2023, Reed Baker-Whiting was expected to challenge for a starting spot this season. But a series of hamstring injuries have conspired to keep him from getting on the field so far. That could finally change when the Seattle Sounders host the LA Galaxy on Sunday.

After getting through a full week of training, Baker-Whiting will at least be available off the bench, Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer confirmed following Saturday’s session.

“That’s a good thing,” Schmetzer said.

Since becoming one of the youngest-ever players to make his MLS debut in 2021, Baker-Whiting’s professional career has been a somewhat slow burn. After making four MLS appearances in his rookie campaign, he had just two in 2022 before establishing himself as a regular contributor toward the end of 2023. The 18-year-old logged about 850 first-team minutes last year, including four starts and appearances in all of the Sounders’ last eight regular-season games.

The expectation was that he’d be a significant factor in the Sounders’ playoff run. Unfortunately, Baker-Whiting suffered a hamstring injury in the regular-season finale. He returned in time to play in the final playoff game against LAFC, but re-injured himself almost immediately after taking the field. It looked like he’d be ready to compete for a spot in training camp, but suffered another setback and he’s been working his way back ever since. It has now been about six months since his initial injury.

If Baker-Whiting can rediscover the form he showcased last year, there’s no reason to think he can’t push for a starting spot again. He’s an extremely two-footed player who was effective at both fullback positions, has improved dramatically on the defensive side and even has shown a nose for goal. Even during his rehabilitation process, he’s gotten more interest from foreign scouts than any other Sounders prospects.

Other injury updates

  • Pedro de la Vega won’t be available for the Galaxy game, but Schmetzer said he’s progressing quickly enough that he should be listed as questionable and could potentially be available off the bench for the Portland Timbers match next Sunday.
  • Braudilio Rodrigues, who has been dealing with a “significant” tendon injury since preseason, might now be just a couple more weeks away from returning. The former Tacoma Defiance player has not yet resumed full training, though.