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Two teens join Sounders on short-term contracts

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Obed Vargas and Alex Villanueva can each appear once more before their extreme hardship eligibility is exhausted.

Obed Vargas Charis Wilson / Courtesy of Sounders FC

Obed Vargas and Alex Villanueva will join the Seattle Sounders for Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes after the teens signed short-term contracts. The Sounders were once again eligible to make extreme hardship signings as injuries, loans and international absences left them with just 14 available outfield players. This is the fifth straight game in which the Sounders have made short-term signings and they’ve yet to field a full 20-player roster in any match this year.

Vargas and Villanueva have each made one previous appearance, meaning they can play in one more game before their eligibility is exhausted. They both played in the 1-0 win over Austin FC, with Vargas playing 77 minutes in his first career start and Villanueva coming on as a stoppage-time substitute. Sam Adeniran had previously maxed out his appearances and would need to be signed to a full first-team contract in order to play again. Juan Alvarez, 16, is the other Tacoma Defiance player who has signed a short-term contract this year, but has yet to make an appearance.

Vargas, 16, became the third-youngest player to ever appear in an MLS match.