Reed Baker-Whiting on Wednesday was named to The Guardian's Next Generation list highlighting the top soccer prospects around the world born in 2005.
Baker-Whiting, 17, is an exciting prospect for both club and country. The Seattle native made broke into the Seattle Sounders FC First Team when he was just 16 years old, making a cameo appearance in the club's 2-0 win over LAFC on May 16, 2021. Since then, the versatile midfielder has made three starts and six appearances in MLS play, tallying five key passes and five shots on target. Baker-Whiting has registered an additional 13 starts and 15 appearances with the Tacoma Defiance in MLS NEXT Pro this year, picking up one goal, one assist and eight key passes.
"The midfielder has been widely touted in the Seattle area for years, and was part of the Sounders Under-12 team that beat Manchester and Liverpool youth sides in 2017," The Guardian's Tom Lutz wrote. "He made his MLS debut last season as a 16-year-old and switches between the Sounders and Tacoma Defiance, Seattle’s reserve team. Baker-Whiting is known for his versatility and is understood to have been scouted by the likes of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund. He has also represented the US at Under-19 level."
A highly-vaunted accolade, players on previous editions of The Guardian's Next Generation list include Manchester City's Erling Haaland, Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr., Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies and Chelsea FC's Kai Havertz. Baker-Whiting is just one of two MLS players to make this year's list.
Baker-Whiting, a Seattle United product, joined the club at the age of 12 as a member of Sounders Discovery Program. He spent three years in the Academy before signing a USL Championship contract with the Tacoma Defiance in July 2020.
Baker-Whiting recently completed a stint with the U.S. U-19's as the team won the Slovenia Nations Cup, defeating the likes of Malta, Croatia and Scotland. Deployed as an outside back, he posted one goal and one assist from two starts with the Stars & Stripes.
You can view the full Next Generation list HERE.