Ceres native Cade Cowell brought some much-needed energy to the field during the San Jose Earthquakes’ 5-2 win over Real Salt Lake in the Round of 16 Knockout Stage of the Major League Soccer is Back Tournament on Monday in Orlando.
San Jose was clinging to a 3-2 lead when the 16-year-old winger/forward entered the match with less than 10 minutes to play.
Cowell’s pressure from the left side of the pitch led to the Earthquakes’ fourth goal, which was scored by Chris Wondolowski in the 86th minute.
San Jose head coach Matias Almeyda used Cowell as a substitute for the second time in four games.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing for Matias,” Cowell said during a July 27 video interview with SJEarthquakes.com. “He gives us a lot of freedom, especially being a forward. I have the freedom to make mistakes. I can do a move I want to do, and mess up, and he’s going to cheer me on for doing it.”
Cowell and the Earthquakes will face the winner of the Columbus Crew SC/Minnesota United FC contest in the quarterfinals this Saturday.
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.
The Earthquakes collected two wins, no losses and one tie en route to finishing in first place in Group B.
San Jose topped Chicago Fire FC 2-0 on July 19 and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4-3 on July 15.
The Earthquakes and 2019 MLS champion Seattle Sounders battled to a 0-0 tie on July 10. Cowell entered the game as a substitute late in the second half.
Cade made his MLS debut with San Jose on March 8.
At 16 years and 150 days old, Cowell became the youngest player in club history—fifth youngest in league history—to make an appearance in a league game.
He contributed at forward during the second half of the Earthquakes’ 5-2 home loss to Minnesota United FC.
He inked a five-year contract with San Jose at the age of 15 in January of 2019.
Cowell became the youngest player signing in Earthquakes and Bay Area team sports history.