When Dylan Teves signed as the Seattle Sounders’ 19th Homegrown Player ahead of this season, he joined the team fresh off a prolific college career at the University of Washington. The former Academy product was yet another blossoming talent in the ever-expanding Sounders ranks.
That all came to fruition on Saturday night when he made his full First Team debut and scored the eventual match-winner inside 39 minutes to stun Toronto FC in a 2-0 Sounders win.
“It means the world to me,” said Teves. “Growing up through the Academy, they’ve given me so much. I just want to pay it back and that’s one way of doing it. All the other Homegrowns stepped up as well, with Danny [Leyva], Ethan \[Dobbelaere\], Josh \[Atencio\] and Reed \[Baker-Whiting\]. It’s great to see it continuing and the culture thrive.”
Teves had the opportunity to start because of Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s heavily rotated squad at the tail end of a three-match week. Normal starters Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan, Albert Rusnák and Stefan Frei stayed home in Seattle to rest, while Raúl Ruidíaz (hamstring), Xavier Arreaga (hamstring) and Will Bruin (Health and Safety Procotols) were also unavailable. The Homegrown amassing the most minutes so far this season, 16-year-old Obed Vargas, is also out with a lower back stress fracture.
The chance may have been a rare one, but it was the perfect moment for Teves to step up and prove why the Sounders’ staff has been so high on him.
“The first thing that came to my mind was to go celebrate in the corner with the team,” said Teves. “It was ‘next-man-up’ mentality for all of us because we had been given the opportunity, and we just had to take it. That’s the thing that Brian really enforces in all of us, and every single one of the players were just grateful to be out there.”
Teves is no stranger to scoring either. The attacking midfielder was a finalist last season for the MAC Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s best player, finishing with 12 goals and eight assists in his senior season. He ended his standout career with 25 goals 23 assists in 69 matches.
“Before the game, we were joking about Dylan a little bit, about how he’s the only player in NCAA history to score back-to-back hat tricks in the NCAA tournament,” said Schmetzer. “We know that the kid has goals in him.”
The Sounders hope Teves is a player both now and for the future, and he and the club have another massive opportunity when they welcome the rival Portland Timbers to Lumen Field next Saturday (1:30 p.m. PT; FOX, FOX Deportes, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS). Seattle will unveil its 2022 Concacaf Champions League banner after becoming the first MLS side to win the tournament in the modern era earlier this season.
CHAMPIONS OF CHAMPIONS CELEBRATION
Join us as we drop another banner from the rafters in celebration of winning Concacaf Champions League! Don’t miss limited quantity giveaways, exclusive merchandise, and a special musical performance.