Teenager Reed Baker-Whiting plays key role as Sounders tie FC Dallas

Jayda Evans

Things may have seemed lost, but not to Reed Baker-Whiting.

The teenager received the start at left back against FC Dallas on Saturday, getting spun around in the Sounders conceding a goal in the 14th minute. But Baker-Whiting just needed to settle into his first nod since Aug. 30.

By the second half, Baker-Whiting, 18, was handling pressure and making moves to help the Sounders recover a 1-1 draw at Toyota Stadium.  

Baker-Whiting chipped a cross to right back Alex Roldan for the equalizer in the 57th minute. Roldan volleyed a right-footed touch into the back of the net for his first Sounders goal of the season. The play is Baker-Whiting’s first MLS career assist.

Dallas was solid in transition for majority of the first half. The goal was a nicely placed through ball from Paul Arriola to Jader Obrian. The midfielder played the angles against Baker-Whiting to send a right-footed shot past keeper Stefan Frei in the 14th minute.

Baker-Whiting almost leveled the match when he timed a solid run to attempt a shot just outside the box in the 39th minute. Dallas keeper Maarten Paes made the save in the bottom left corner

Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan entered the match in the 63rd minute. It was his first appearance since suffering his second concussion of the season in the opening half of a loss to Real Salt Lake in July.

But minutes later, Cristian was backside on the field after inadvertently getting hit in the face by Dallas midfielder Marco Farfan’s right arm. Cristian was visibly upset as he was tended to and re-entered the match.

Once adjusted, Cristian provided what the team has been lacking for months — options on the right side. He almost had the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute but couldn’t get the close-range shot in off a free kick sequence.

The starting lineup had the look of a midweek rotation due to injuries, suspensions and international break. The left side was a new look with Baker-Whiting replacing Nouhou and Albert Rusnak on the wing in place of Leo Chu.

Nouhou played the full 90 on Tuesday to help his Cameroon national team qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations and had a long travel schedule to rejoin the Sounders. Chu served a one-game suspension for being sent off in a draw against Portland earlier this month.

Injuries forced five changes to Dallas’ starting lineup.

Up next for the Sounders is a road trip to Colorado on Wednesday.