obed & sam

SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC today announced that it has signed forward Sam Adeniran and midfielder Obed Vargas. Both players join the First Team after being mainstays for USL side Tacoma Defiance during its 2021 campaign. Adeniran signs a one-year deal with club options for 2023 and 2024, while Varags signs a four-year deal with a club option for 2026.

“We are pleased to sign Sam and Obed to the First Team,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Sam has earned an opportunity after a record-breaking year with Tacoma Defiance in 2021. Obed’s signing continues the player development pathway we have in place through our Academy and Tacoma Defiance. We are excited to see how these two young players contribute in 2022 and beyond.”

Adeniran, 23, a Houston native, came to Tacoma Defiance on March 15, 2021 via German side Atlas Delmenhorst after spending time with Kickers Emden in the German fifth division and playing for Spanish side Guadalajara. Adeniran led all Defiance players in scoring in 2021, tallying 13 goals in 30 appearances, breaking the previous club record of 12 goals held by Justin Dhillon set in 2019. He most notably scored a hat trick against Orange County SC on October 10, winning USL Championship Player of the Week for his effort. Adeniran also made two appearances for Sounders FC in 2021 via Extreme Hardship, including a start against FC Austin FC on July 23 that saw Seattle start five teenagers en route to a 1-0 victory.

“Sam and Obed stepped up for us last year and have earned this opportunity at the MLS level,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “A new season brings fresh opportunities for young players to make an impact. I look forward to bringing them into camp.”

Vargas, 16, joined the Academy at the age of 14 from Cook Inlet Soccer Club in his home state of Alaska and has also represented the United States Youth National Team at the U-15 level. After signing a USL contract with Tacoma on May 7, 2021, Vargas tallied one assist and 31 tackles won in 28 appearances for Defiance this season. The Alaskan also started and played 77 minutes in Seattle’s victory over Austin FC last summer via Extreme Hardship, becoming the third-youngest player in league history to play in a MLS match (15 years and 351 days).

“It’s always great when we identify players that make an impact within our developmental systems, and evolve into contributing members of our first team,” said Sounders FC Senior VP of Soccer & Sporting Director Craig Waibel. “Our development staff continues to churn out talent, as shown with Obed signing as our 18th Homegrown Player and Sam breaking out as a prolific scorer last year with Defiance.”

Vargas becomes the 18th Homegrown Player in team history. U.S. Men’s National Team defender DeAndre Yedlin was the club's first Homegrown Player in 2012, making two MLS All-Star appearances before being sold to Tottenham Hotspur in England's Premier League. The club then signed midfielder Aaron Kovar and forward Sean Okoli in 2013, before adding forwards Victor Mansaray and Darwin Jones in 2014. In 2016, the Rave Green signed University of Denver midfielder Jordan Schweitzer and 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris to Homegrown deals, then added forward Seyi Adekoya from UCLA and Henry Wingo from Washington to the roster in 2017. Midfielder Handwalla Bwana became the 10th Academy product to sign with the First Team prior the 2018 season, while goalkeeper Trey Muse, midfielder Danny Leyva and forward Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez all signed in 2019. Midfielders Josh Atencio, Ethan Dobbelaere and Shandon Hopeau were signed with the First Team in June of 2020, while midfielder Reed Baker-Whiting signed on May 12, 2021.

Sounders FC’s roster currently sits at 21 players as the club continues its offseason preparations for the 2022 campaign.

TRANSACTION: Sounders FC signs forward Sam Adeniran to a one-year contract with club options for 2023 and 2024 on December 14, 2021.

Full Name: Samuel Adeniran

Pronunciation: AH-DIN-er-in

Position: Forward

Height: 6-4

Weight: 201

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Date of Birth: September 30, 1998 in Houston, Texas

Nationality: United States

Acquired: Signed to the First Team on December 14, 2021

Previous Clubs: Tacoma Defiance (2021), Atlas Delmenhorst (2020-2021), Kickers Emden (2019-2020), Castellón (2019), Guadalajara (2018), Leganés B (2018-2019)

TRANSACTION: Sounders FC signs midfielder Obed Vargas to a four-year contract with a club option for 2026 on December 14, 2021.

Full Name: Obed Vargas

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5-9

Weight: 150

Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska

Date of Birth: August 5, 2005 in Anchorage, Alaska

Nationality: United States

Acquired: Signed to the First Team on December 14, 2021

Previous Clubs: Tacoma Defiance (2021)

CURRENT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS (2): Stefan Frei, Andrew Thomas

DEFENDERS (6): Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Jimmy Medranda, Nouhou, Brad Smith

MIDFIELDERS (9): Josh Atencio, Reed Baker-Whiting, Léo Chú, Ethan Dobbelaere, João Paulo, Danny Leyva, Nicolás Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Obed Vargas

FORWARDS (4): Samuel Adeniran, Jordan Morris, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Raúl Ruidíaz

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