Tomorrow is today for an MLS Academy as the future might already be here. A 15-year-old U.S. Youth National Team midfielder played meaningful minutes in a USL game last night.
Reed Baker-Whiting, born in March of 2005, made his debut for Tacoma Defiance in the second half of a come-from-behind draw against Sacramento Republic. Baker-Whiting entered in the 72nd minute with Tacoma Defiance, the Seattle Sounders reserve team, trailing 2-3. Ray Serrano scored the late equalizer on an assist from Daniel Robles. Baker-Whiting held his own against a veteran lineup from Sacramento, as Tacoma secured their first point of the season.
The midfielder is the second youngest player to play for Tacoma Defiance. Forward Austin Brummett, born in 2004, made his debut for the club last season in April. Baker-Whiting is the first U.S. born 2005 to play in the professional league.
Despite the debut, Baker-Whiting (and Brummett) are still amateur players. USL allows players to play on academy contracts. San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Emmanuel Ochoa is the only player born in 2005 signed to a professional contract in the MLS or USL.
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