Scouting Pedro de la Vega: An in-depth look of the Argentine winger's recruiting process 

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The scouting that goes into finding players for the Seattle Sounders is a tedious process. But it’s necessary to locate a potential signing that will fulfill the wants and needs of the organization. 

They found that in Club Atlético Lanús winger and Argentina youth national team player Pedro de la Vega.

Sounders Scouting Director Sean Henderson has been tracking the Argentinian attacker for almost six years. Beginning as just a name on a long list of potential recruits, de la Vega eventually became a top player the Sounders sought out to bolster their roster. 

“It is a process that has taken years,” said Henderson. “Like most of the scouting, the timing has to work out just right on a lot of different factors to come together at the right time.”

After watching countless hours of video of his matches and analyzing his underlying metrics to determine how he aligns with the team’s positional profile for an attacking player, the recruitment team deemed de la Vega an ideal fit in the Sounders’ system. The scouting team advanced to their next step in the process of flying out to Argentina to see him play in-person. From there, his talent on the pitch spoke for itself.

“He was super exciting, one of the top young South American players as a teenager,” said Henderson. “He is a really good dribbler and carries a slightly different profile than what we have in some of our attacking guys.”

de la Vega’s versatility played a large role in their desire to bring him to the Sounders.

“We needed a player to come in and fit into how we play,” added Henderson. “We think his versatility will allow us to get the most out of our current roster and have him come in and be able to help.”


But it wasn’t until this past year, that the scouting staff began to ramp up their recruitment efforts in hopes of finally having de la Vega join the Rave Green.

With more access to players' physical data in addition to their underlying soccer metrics, the scouting team was able to better understand how he compared to some of the Sounders’ fastest players. It was a big selling point for de la Vega, as he charted high on explosiveness, speed and agility, with the additional traits of being an elite dribbler and a goal threat.

“Everything lined up now, which is really exciting, so it’s nice when you have a body of work you can point to,” said Director of Analytics Tyler Cox.

What stood above all else, however, was who he was as a person. The beginning and middle stages of the scouting process is dictated around how a player presents themselves on the field. The last component of the Sounders’ scouting determines if they would mesh well with the culture of the team through interviews and relying on a network of contacts in the region for assessments of the player.

de la Vega passed the final phase with flying colors.



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“It’s not just the objective, it’s not just the subjective, it’s the actual interaction as well, the interpersonal that comes into play,” said General Manager & Chief Soccer Officer Craig Waibel. “When we narrow down our list and people stand out the way that Pedro has, it becomes pretty obvious what the right decision is.”

de la Vega will serve as an additional attacking threat to an already talented offense. Molding well with the team’s tactics and dynamic was a driving factor in the scouting team’s decision to recruit him, but it’s the way he “brings a different skill set than what they currently have,” according to Waibel, that will push the Sounders to new heights in the coming years.

“What Pedro addresses is a desire to present the coaching staff with players that are not homogenous,” he said. “He’s a little bit different in the way he plays the game and sees the game than the other players on the roster so I think it will give our coaches one more avenue to explore tactics and how they employ them week-to-week.”

As is the case with all young players, he will need to work with the coaching staff to evolve his overall game., But offensively, Waibel knows one thing for certain:

“Pedro is going to come in and attack with absolute vigor and venom.”



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