Ceres native Cade Cowell has climbed to No. 1 in Top Drawer Soccer’s national player rankings for the class of 2022.
Cowell has also been named one of Major League Soccer’s top 50 prospects for the 2019 season.
“It’s nothing to brag about,” said Cade, who turned 15 in October. “But it’s a good start.”
Cowell, a 5-foot-9 154-pound forward, inked a five-year contract with the San Jose Earthquakes in January.
He became the youngest player signing in Earthquakes and Bay Area team sports history.
“I’m really proud of myself. I put in a lot of work. I have to continue to work even harder.”Cade Cowell
“I’m really proud of myself,” he said. “I put in a lot of work. I have to continue to work even harder.”
Cowell logged playing time with the Earthquakes’ first team in two MLS preseason matches.
“Strength, speed and knowledge,” Cowell said while talking about the transition from youth to pro soccer. “It’s a huge difference from boys to grown men. I’m doing well. But I can always do a lot better.”
Cowell has yet to make his pro debut with San Jose during the 2019 regular season, which got underway on March 2.
“The one goal I have is to make my debut (with the first team) this year,” he said. “I’ve always loved to compete against older people and face challenges I’ve never faced before.”
Just 18 of the Earthquakes’ 29 players suit up for matches.
The remaining footballers hone their skills with San Jose’s under-19 squad and United Soccer League affiliate Reno 1868 FC.
“I just have to earn my respect on the first team,” said Cowell, whose schedule includes practicing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and taking online classes for high school. “I’m really focused on learning the game as much as possible. I’m out here competing every day. I’m trying to be the best player I can be.”
Cowell experienced a surreal moment the first time he was greeted by fans at the Earthquakes’ preseason match against Reno 1868 FC.
“I signed autographs and took pictures,” he said. “It was great to be that guy. I was one of those kids four or five years ago.”
Cowell joined the Earthquakes Academy this past year after leading the nation in scoring with 34 goals in 32 appearances for the Ballistic United under-15 team during the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season.
He started training with San Jose’s first team in August.
“Three years ago, I was watching from the stands,” he said. “Now, I’m playing with them. I’m grateful. It’s everything I wished for. I have no doubts right now.”