After a season in which he became the third-youngest player to ever start an MLS match, Obed Vargas is now one of the Seattle Sounders’ youngest-ever signings to an MLS contract. At the same time, the Sounders officially announced Sam Adeniran’s signing. Both will have contracts that start in the 2022 season and won’t be subject to today’s MLS Expansion Draft.
“We are pleased to sign Sam and Obed to the First Team,” Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a team release. “Sam has earned an opportunity after a record-breaking year with Tacoma Defiance in 2021. Obed’s signing continues the player development pathway we have in place through our Academy and Tacoma Defiance. We are excited to see how these two young players contribute in 2022 and beyond.”
The 16-year-old Alaskan spent 2021 with Tacoma Defiance, starting 20 matches, almost all at defensive midfield. Vargas led the team in tackles won with 28 and tied for fourth in matches played. On a team full of young talent, Obed was the only player to receive a vote for the USL Championship Young Player of the Year, an award won by recent USMNT call-up Jonathon Gomez.
Vargas is a hard tackler and exceptional worker, the proverbial gym rat. He projects as a passing network destroyer with a personal passing tree that integrates almost every angle equally — think late-era Osvaldo Alonso without the big switches.
Vargas is the 18th player the Sounders have signed to a Homegrown Player contract and the seventh on the current 21-player roster.
Seattle Sounders 2022 roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Stefan Frei, Andrew Thomas
DEFENDERS (6): Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Jimmy Medranda, Nouhou, Brad Smith
MIDFIELDERS (9): Josh Atencio, Reed Baker-Whiting, Léo Chú, Ethan Dobbelaere, João Paulo, Danny Leyva, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Obed Vargas
FORWARDS (4): Sam Adeniran, Jordan Morris, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Raúl Ruidíaz
Currently out-of-contract players
Free agents: Will Bruin, Stefan Cleveland, Shane O’Neill
Options declined: Nicolas Benezet, Jordy Delem, Shandon Hopeau, Fredy Montero, Trey Muse, Spencer Richey and Kelyn Rowe
Bonafide offer extended: Alex Roldan