Cade Cowell made his Major League Soccer debut with the San Jose Earthquakes today.
At 16 years and 150 days old, the Ceres native became the youngest player in club history—fifth youngest in league history—to make an appearance in an MLS game.
Cowell contributed at forward during the second half of the Earthquakes’ 5-2 home loss to Minnesota United FC.
Head coach Matias Almeyda and teammate/MLS all-time leading scorer Chris Wondolowski heaped praise on Cowell after his historical debut.
Almeyda and Wondolowski both believe Cowell has the potential to succeed at the international level.
“I think that, not only for San Jose, but also for the U.S. Men’s National Team, there’s a promising player called Cade that has a great future,” Almeyda said. “We’ll be helping (him grow) little by little.”
“I told him, ‘You better remember my name when I’m asking for tickets for when he’s over in Europe,’ Wondolowski said according to NBC Sports Soccer/MLS contributor Joel Soria. “He’s going to be doing big things.”
A week earlier on opening day, Cowell accomplished another milestone when he was named to San Jose’s 18-man roster for an MLS regular-season match for the first time.
He watched from the bench as the Earthquakes salvaged a 2-2 tie against visiting Toronto FC on Feb. 29.
“I didn’t expect to be rostered at all,” he said. “I wanted it to happen, but I wasn’t expecting it. The biggest thing that went through my mind was that I needed to stay ready. Whether or not Matias was going to bring me on the field, my mind was focused on making an impact for the team.”
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.
“I think the most challenging thing I’ve had to face is that playing soccer is my life now, it’s my job,” he said. “It’s pretty cool though. All my friends and family are so supportive of me. They always know that I can’t do things with them because I’m playing soccer. Everybody respects that about me when I go back home, and I think that’s awesome that they’ve been so supportive.”