MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Seattle homegrown Reed Baker-Whiting generating interest from Champions League clubs

Reed Baker-Whiting Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders homegrown midfielder Reed Baker-Whiting has been scouted by the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund, has learned.

Any process regarding a potential move would be far, far away, it should be stressed. Baker-Whiting is only 16 years old and doesn’t have a European passport, so he couldn't be registered for official competitions at a European club until he’s 18.

The midfielder is regarded as a big talent and has made four appearances (two starts) in his MLS career, all this year after signing his first-team contract in May 2021. He made his professional debut as a 15-year-old for Tacoma Defiance last year, the Sounders' USL Championship affiliate. He has made 12 appearances for the Defiance this season as well.

Baker-Whiting represented the United States U-15 youth national team in 2019. The program hasn't held an in-person camp since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but when they resume soon, he's expected to be called in.

Liverpool, City and Dortmund are among the biggest clubs in Europe with vast scouting networks, including in the United States, and are UEFA Champions League regulars. Liverpool have acquired rising MLSers for their youth teams in the past, most notably Atlanta United right back Brooks Lennon. Dortmund signed Gio Reyna from NYCFC's academy and Christian Pulisic from MLS NEXT academy PA Classics. Both Reyna and Pulisic have European passports, so they could register for official competitions following their 16th birthday rather than having to wait until age 18.

“Reed is a promising player with positional versatility, and the fact that he’s been training with the first team for the better part of a year is a sign that at just 16 years of age, he’s able to compete at the highest levels of our organization,” Sounders VP of soccer operations Craig Waibel said in May when Baker-Whiting signed his first-team contract. “We look forward to watching him develop further from here."

The Sounders currently sit atop the Western Conference standings with seven matches left in the 2021 regular season. They can clinch an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot if they win or tie against Vancouver Whitecaps FC this Saturday (9 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).