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Major League Soccer recognizes Cowell
Cade Cowell totaled four goals
Cade Cowell has totaled four goals and four assists while appearing in 30 matches for the San Jose Earthquakes this season.

Ceres native Cade Cowell celebrated his 18th birthday on Oct. 14.

A third-year forward with the San Jose Earthquakes, Cowell was recognized on Oct. 13 as one of the top young talents in Major League Soccer.

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 members.

Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas), Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC), James Sands (New York City FC), Brian Rodriguez (Los Angeles Football Club), Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy) and George Bello (Atlanta United) ranked first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Pepi, Dike, Sands and Bello have all represented the United States men’s national team.

Rodriguez (Uruguay) and Araujo (Mexico) are national team members for other countries.

“Every single day, you have to prove something,” Cowell stated in a past interview with the Courier. “You have to take every practice and game serious. If you have a bad week of training, there’s a chance you might not get rostered. It’s super competitive. I just try to work as hard as possible.”

Cowell has collected five goals and five assists in 44 career games with the Earthquakes.

He’s currently enjoying his best season to date with San Jose with four goals and four assists in 30 matches. He ranks second on the team in both categories.

“To watch him grow and impact games, it’s fun,” San Jose teammate Tommy Thompson said during an interview with MLS contributor Tom Bogert earlier this 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.”

“He’s nowhere close to how good he can be, which is great for us because he’s going to keep getting better,” Earthquakes’ goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski said.

“I can definitely see him becoming a player that can make that jump to Europe soon,” San Jose midfielder Carlos Fierro said.

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 earlier this year (17 years, 207 days), and was the youngest member of the 2021 MLS All-Star Team.

“It is nice to be named to things, but I’m really just focused on what I can control, and that is playing well,” Cowell said.

“That’s what excites me a lot about him,” Earthquakes’ head coach Matias Almeyda said through a translator while being interviewed by Bogert. “I talk to him often. He’s a humble player. Humble from his heart. He listens, he wants to learn, he asks questions. That makes me think he’s going to be a great player. But you have to understand this takes 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.

He 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 San Jose games as a fan during his childhood.

Current Earthquakes’ teammate/MLS all-time goalscorer Chris Wondolowski was his favorite player.

“I’m literally in awe each day at just the specimen he (Cowell) is and just pure jealously of the attributes he has,” Wondolowski stated during an interview with leading up to the 2021 season. “But his work ethic is what’s going to take him to that next level.” 

“Wondo is a great friend and teammate,” Cowell said. “I learn from him daily.”

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

If Cowell stays healthy and continues to improve, his goal of representing the Red, White and Blue could become a reality. 

“Being a part of that someday when I am ready will be a dream come true,” he said.