Cade Cowell’s attitude, work ethic and confidence remained the same even after his role was diminished with the San Jose Earthquakes despite being one of the team’s most productive players.
The Ceres native returned to the starting lineup this past weekend and didn’t disappoint.
The third-year forward collected one goal and one assist as the Earthquakes upset Real Salt Lake 4-3 in Major League Soccer (MLS) Western Conference play on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“It’s definitely important to finish off strong,” said Cowell, who snapped a 20-game scoreless streak. “I try to play every game like this, so it was good to finally get back into it with a goal and assist today. That’s always a positive.”
The Earthquakes increased their lead to 3-1 in the 69th minute thanks in large part to Cowell’s spectacular individual effort. A long throw by San Jose goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski found Cowell with space and the 18-year-old dribbled between two defenders before slotting a shot with the outside of his right foot inside the far post.
Cowell helped San Jose equalize the contest at 1-1 in the 37th minute. He dribbled past a Real Salt Lake defender and sent a low pass across the front of goal which Carlos Fierro finished from point-blank range.
Eliminated from the postseason race, the 10th-place Earthquakes improved to 10-13-10 in MLS regular season play.
Eighth-place Real Salt Lake (13-13-6) is now in danger of missing the playoffs.
Cowell and San Jose enjoyed playing spoiler last week.
“We talked before the game,” Cowell said. “It was all about pride, all for the love of the game.”
Cowell has tallied five goals and five assists, both career highs, while appearing in 32 matches for San Jose this year.
He was a starter before his role changed, which was surprising for a number of reasons.
Cowell was the first player to tally four goals and four assists in league play this season.
He was the youngest player to be named to the MLS All-Star Team.
He was the third-youngest player in league history to be voted MLS Player of the Week.
Cowell earned his first-ever call-up to the US men’s national team in July.