By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Cowell earns Earthquakes’ ‘Young Player of the Year’
Cowell crap
Cade Cowell enjoyed his best season to date with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2021. The 18-year-old Ceres native tallied a career-high five goals and six assists.

Cade Cowell enjoyed a breakout season during his third year with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.

The Ceres teenager tallied a career-high five goals and six assists while contributing at forward.

Cowell, 18, was named his club’s 2021 Young Player of the Year.

“It was definitely a nice surprise,” he said. 

“My goal is always the same,” Cowell added. “I want to improve from season to season and increase my goal contributions year to year. I feel like I’m just starting to get the hang of professional soccer and I’m becoming more confident as time passes.”

Cowell also recorded career highs in appearances (33), starts (14), minutes (1,664) and shots (42) with the Earthquakes this past year, earning a selection to the 2021 MLS All-Star Team. 

He ranked No. 7 on MLS’s 22 players under the age of 22 list as voted on by an expert panel consisting of analysts, MLS Player Department staff and external media on Oct. 13.

Cowell holds numerous age-specific club records, including youngest player to make an MLS appearance (16 years, 150 days), youngest player to make an MLS start (16 years, 325 days), and youngest player to score an MLS goal (16 years, 325 days).

He became the third-youngest player in MLS history to be voted MLS Player of the Week (17 years, 207 days).

The Earthquakes posted a 10-13-11 record en route to a 10th-place finish in the MLS Western Conference standings.

“My third season with the Quakes was overall a positive,” Cowell stated. “I started off the year really well but then faded a bit in the middle of the season. Thank God I was able to play well at the end. The MLS season is very long and it is hard to keep consistency all year long. That is something I’m focused on this next year.”

“I want to be a bigger contributor on the team and help us make a playoff run,” he added.

Cowell’s outstanding play caught the attention of United States Men’s National Soccer Team coach Gregg Berhalter.

Cade was among 26 players selected to participate in the USMNT December camp and compete in an international friendly match this past month.

Cowell made his debut in USA’s 1-0 win against Bosnia & Herzegovina on Dec. 18 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.

“To a day that I’ll always remember! What a way to end the year,” he wrote on Instagram. 

Cowell entered the game in the 78th minute.

Family and friends watched Cowell reach another major milestone in his soccer career.

“I texted him after the game,” said Jason Martin, Cowell’s eighth-grade history teacher and track and field coach at Cesar Chavez Jr. High. “He got back to me. It was pretty awesome seeing him make his first appearance with USMNT. It looked like he belonged out there. He wasn’t overwhelmed. I’m happy for him and his family. He’s worked hard for everything he’s got. His parents have done a lot for him, too.”

Cowell earned his first-ever call-up to the USMNT in July. He spent several days in Dallas training with U.S. leading up to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal game versus Jamaica before returning to San Jose.

Cowell made eight prior appearances for the United States at the U-16, U-17, and U-20 levels.

He collected one assist while representing U.S. at the U-20 Revelations Cup in Mexico in November. United States accumulated two losses and one tie.

“It was the first time all of the guys have been together in over two years,” Cowell said. “We didn’t do too well but it was good to be out there and build some chemistry. As for myself, I didn’t have my best tournament. I had a nagging injury late in the year that was bothering me still. I will definitely try and have a better showing next time.”

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 didn’t make any appearances in MLS play as a rookie.

He totaled one goal and one assist in 18 games during his second season.

Cowell attended Earthquakes games as a fan during his childhood.

He graduated from Cesar Chavez Jr. High in 2018.

“To watch him grow and impact games, it’s fun,” San Jose teammate Tommy Thompson said during an interview with MLS contributor Tom Bogert during the 2021 season. “He’s a special talent. I don’t want to put expectations or any type of limits—it’s important to let young players grow—but I’m excited to see what he can do.”

“I can definitely see him becoming a player that can make that jump to Europe soon,” Earthquakes’ midfielder Carlos Fierro stated.