Ceres native/San Jose Earthquakes forward Cade Cowell has achieved another major milestone during his professional soccer career.
Cowell, 17, became the youngest player to be named to the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star Team.
“Beyond blessed to represent San Jose at the All Star game,” Cowell wrote in a post on Instagram last week. “All glory to God.”
Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda made the surprise announcement at practice on Aug. 4 at PayPal Park.
Cowell’s teammates erupted in cheers after Almeyda pulled his all-star jersey from a bag.
“You guys push me every day to be better,” Cowell said. “Always great competition.”
“Always have someone to look up to in scoring goals,” he added while pointing to San Jose forward /MLS all-time leading goalscorer Chris Wondolowski.
A total of 28 players were named to the MLS All-Star Team.
Cowell was one of two players chosen by Commissioner Don Garber.
The roster selection process also consisted of using a combination of fan, player and media voting, and designations by All-Star Head Coach Bob Bradley.
Cowell will team up with Gustavo Bou (New England Revolution), Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution), Chicharito (LA Galaxy), Nani (Orlando City SC), Ricardo Pepi (Dallas), Diego Rossi (Los Angeles Football Club), Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders FC), Daniel Salloi (Sporting Kansas City), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club), Eduard Atuesta (LA Football Club), Carles Gil (New England Revolution), Damir Kreilach (Real Salt Lake), Jao Paulo (Seattle Sounders FC), Emanuel Reynoso (Minnesota United FC), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Lucas Zelarayan (Columbus Crew), Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), Jesus David Murillo (Los Angeles Football Club), Nohou (Seattle Sounders), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Alex Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), James Sands (New York City FC), Kai Wagner (Philadelphia Union), Yeimar (Seattle Sounders FC), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC), Pedro Gallese (Orlando City SC) and Matt Turner (New England Revolution).
A third-year player with the Earthquakes, Cowell is enjoying his best season to date.
Cowell, a 5-foot-11 166-pound forward, became the first player in MLS this year to tally at least four goals and four assists.
He leads San Jose in assists (4) and ranks second in goals (4).
Cowell has the highest goals plus assists total in league play.
He became the third-youngest player to be named MLS Player of the Week following his Week 3 performance. He scored the winning goal and dished out two assists in a 4-1 victory over D.C. United on May 1.
Cowell joined the record books on April 24 when he became 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 against visiting FC Dallas.
He 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 Earthquakes’ midfielder Cristian Espinoza.
He scored in the 59th minute as he 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 for the first time. He also earned MLSsoccer.com Pass of the Week honors.
“It is nice to be named to things, but I’m really just focused on what I can control, and that is playing well,” he said.
Cowell totaled just one goal and one assist in 18 games a season ago.
He started four times.
He attempted 16 shots.
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 lost 3-1 in a penalty-kick shootout to top-seeded Sporting Kansas City in Round One of the MLS Cup Playoffs on Nov. 22 at Children’s Mercy Park.
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 was the youngest player signing in Earthquakes and Bay Area team sports history at that time.
Cowell attended San Jose games as a fan during his childhood.
Wondolowski was his favorite player.
“I’m literally in awe each day at just the specimen he is and just pure jealously of the attributes he has,” Wondolowski stated during an interview with MLSsoccer.com leading up to the 2021 season. “But his work ethic is what’s going to take him to that next level.”
“Wondo is a great friend and teammate,” Cowell said. “I learn from him daily.”
Cowell earned his first-ever call-up to the United States Men’s National senior team in July. He spent several days in Dallas training with the USMNT leading up to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal game versus Jamaica before returning to San Jose.
“Cade keeps growing and yet is still very young,” Almeyda said. “When he improves on the things that I am looking for, he will become a very important player for his club and country. That requires time for him to play, make mistakes, play well or decently. That is the only way for young players to progress and grow.”
“Every single day, you have to prove something,” Cowell stated. “You have to take every practice and game serious. If you have a bad week of training, there’s a chance you might not get rostered. It’s super competitive. I just try to work as hard as possible.”
The MLS All-Star Team will face the best of Mexico’s LIGA MX for the first time ever on Aug. 25 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angles.
The match will be broadcast live on FS1, Univision, TSN and TVA Sports.
Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster or by visiting LAFC.com.