Ceres native Cade Cowell resumed his professional soccer career this past week.
The 16-year-old winger/forward and the San Jose Earthquakes traveled to Florida to compete in the Major League Soccer is Back Tournament.
Cowell made his second MLS regular-season game appearance when he entered the contest as a substitute in the 85th minute during the Earthquakes’ 0-0 tie against 2019 MLS champion Seattle Sounders FC on July 10 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.
“He’s still so young,” said Debin Cowell, Cade’s father. “It’s crazy he’s playing at that level already. Nobody predicted he’d be playing MLS minutes this year. The plan was to play with Reno 1868 FC (San Jose’s United Soccer League pro affiliate) all season.”
Cowell was on the field for 12 minutes versus the Sounders.
Referees added five minutes of stoppage time to the second half.
Cowell replaced Vako.
The San Jose-Seattle contest was televised on ESPN.
Debin received a phone call from Cade after the game.
“He talked about what he could have done better,” Debin said. “He’s never satisfied. He always wants to do more. He’s going to continue to push. The ultimate goal is to play on the world stage in Europe.”
The MLS is Back Tournament marks the restart of the MLS season, which was postponed for four months due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“Everybody had to deal with the same situation,” Debin Cowell said. “Cade worked out a lot at home and found whatever field was open. There were days he set up cones in front of our house. He was focused.”
The Earthquakes will face Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Group B play today at 6 p.m.
San Jose will battle Chicago Fire FC on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Cowell made his MLS debut on March 8.
At 16 years and 150 days old, the Ceres native became the youngest player in club history—fifth youngest in league history—to make an appearance in a league game.
Cowell contributed at forward during the second half of the Earthquakes’ 5-2 home loss to Minnesota United FC.
Cowell inked a five-year contract with San Jose at the age of 15 in January of 2019.
He became the youngest player signing in Earthquakes and Bay Area team sports history.
“It’s a unique situation,” Debin Cowell said. “He’s climbed the ladder. Sixteen-year-olds playing in the MLS doesn’t happen too often. It’s a testament to his work ethic. He’s worked so hard to put himself in a position to be successful. He’s still very young. He’s got a lot of soccer ahead of him.”
Editor’s note: The San Jose Earthquakes have a rule in place that restricts Cade Cowell and other young players from talking to the media.