Ceres native Cade Cowell enjoyed his most productive Major League Soccer game to date with the San Jose Earthquakes this past weekend.
Cowell, 17, entered the record books on Saturday by becoming the sixth youngest player in MLS history to tally a goal and an assist in a single match during San Jose’s 3-1 win over visiting FC Dallas at PayPal Park.
“Definitely not surprised,” Earthquakes’ goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski said. “His improvements over the past three years have been leaps and bounds, and I think as you saw today, there’s so much there and there’s so much potential still. He’s nowhere close to how good he can be, which is great for us because he’s going to keep getting better.”
“He’s one of the best players, in my opinion, on the team,” San Jose midfielder Carlos Fierro said through a translator. “He’s very young, he has lots to learn, but I think we’re here to help him out. You can tell that the more he plays, the more confidence and growth becomes part of him.
“I can definitely see him becoming a player that can make that jump to Europe soon.”San Jose midfielder Carlos Fierro
“I can definitely see him becoming a player that can make that jump to Europe soon.”
Cowell, who stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 166 pounds, started at center forward for the second straight game.
He logged 84 minutes of playing time against FC Dallas.
He attempted four shots and created three scoring chances.
Cowell accounted for what proved to be the game-winning assist in the 49th minute. Using the outside of his right foot, Cowell slotted a through pass to San Jose midfielder Cristian Espinoza.
Cowell’s goal, which was scored in the 59th minute, was just as impressive.
He collected a pass from Fierro inside the box, juked a pair of defenders and fired a left-footed shot past FC Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer.
Cowell’s outstanding play earned him a spot on the MLS Team of the Week.
He earned MLSsoccer.com Pass of the Week honors.
He’s a candidate for Goal of the Week.
He was nominated for Player of the Week.
“It is nice to be named to things, but I’m really just focused on what I can control, and that is playing well,” said Cowell, who tallied three goals during the preseason and attended the United States U-23 national team’s training camp in January.
“My goal is to obviously stay in the lineup and prove that I am worthy of being a starter. I want to help the team in any way that I can.”
A third-year member of the Earthquakes, Cowell totaled one goal and one assist in 17 games a season ago.
He started four times.
Cowell accomplished several firsts with San Jose in 2020.
He became the youngest player in Earthquakes’ history to make a postseason appearance. Cowell and eighth-seeded San Jose fell short in their bid to upset top-seeded Sporting Kansas City in Round One of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
San Jose lost 3-0 in a penalty-kick shootout to Sporting KC after the two teams battled to a 3-3 tie through regulation and extra time on Nov. 22 at Children’s Mercy Park.
Cowell entered the contest as a substitute late in the second half.
He had two scoring chances against Sporting KC, including one during extra time.
He threatened from close-range in the 113th minute.
Cowell became the youngest player to start and score in team history in San Jose’s narrow 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Aug. 29.
He also became the eighth-youngest goalscorer in league history.
He was just 16 at the time.
Cowell made his MLS debut against Minnesota United FC in March of 2020.
He didn’t make any appearances in MLS play as a rookie.
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.
Cowell attended San Jose games as a fan during his childhood.
Current Earthquakes teammate/MLS all-time goalscorer Chris Wondolowski was his favorite player.
“I think the world of this kid (Cowell),” Wondolowski stated during an interview with MLSsoccer.com leading up to the 2021 season. “I still get to call him a kid, that’s something kind of mind-boggling as well, but you just see the work that he’s putting in. I’ve gotten to train [with him] just a couple times, that’s because I could barely keep up with him. I definitely pride myself on my work ethic, but the amount of work that he put in this offseason, I’m extremely proud of him.
“He’s well-spoken, thought out, caring and that’s how he handles himself off the field as well,” Wondolowski added. “I think he carries himself in the locker room like that, so I want him to succeed. It’s fun to see people like that thrive and I think he will.
“I’m literally in awe each day at just the specimen he is and just pure jealously of the attributes he has. But his work ethic is what’s going to take him to that next level and getting him to that next level.”
“Wondo is a great friend and teammate,” Cowell said. “I learn from him daily.”