Ceres native Cade Cowell appeared in an episode of Underrated this past month.
Hosted by Adam Lefkoe, the Bleacher Report/Mandalay Sports Media series debuted last year.
It allows professional athletes to improve their video game ratings.
“The video game world doesn’t understand how good he is,” Lefkoe said. “We’re going to fix that today.”
Cowell, a third-year forward with the San Jose Earthquakes of the Major League Soccer League (MLS), did just that.
“Do we believe the ratings should go up after what we showed today?” Lefkoe asked Cowell.
“Yes,” Cowell replied.
Cowell completed live drills to challenge his ratings in EA Sports’ FIFA video game series.
He made 5 of 8 attempts—up from three when a professional game used his player—during the long-shot drill.
Cowell hit 2 of 7 targets, doubling the gamer’s total makes, during the penalty-kick drill.
Cowell had an overall rating of 64 in FIFA 2022 on Oct. 1.
His potential is 80.
Cowell’s highest individual ratings are sprint speed (85), acceleration (83) and strength (82).
“I looked at your ratings,” Lefkoe said. “They do this with young players all the time. They make you so low and they’re going to say because we haven’t seen enough.”
“The best part is we’re setting the tone right now,” he added. “Your career is just getting going.”
“Pretty soon, hopefully I’m like a player like (Paris Saint-German forward) Mbappé in the game,” Cowell stated.
Cowell’s overall rating for FIFA 2021 was 55.
“My little brother called me and was like you got to come play as yourself,” Cowell said when Lefkoe asked him about the first moment he found out he was in the video game. “We were playing and I scored a hat trick with myself. It was fun.”
Cowell is currently enjoying his best season to date with the Earthquakes.
He made history by becoming the youngest player to be named to the MLS All-Star Team.
He was the first player to tally at least four goals and four assists in league play this year.
He became the third-youngest player to be named MLS Player of the Week following his Week 3 performance. He scored the winning goal and dished out two assists in a 4-1 victory over D.C. United on May 1.
Cowell joined the record books on April 24 when he became the sixth youngest player in MLS history to tally a goal and an assist in a single match during San Jose’s 3-1 win against visiting FC Dallas.
He accounted for what proved to be the game-winning assist in the 49th minute.
Cowell’s outstanding play earned him a spot on the MLS Team of the Week for the first time. He also earned MLSsoccer.com Pass of the Week honors.
“It is nice to be named to things, but I’m really just focused on what I can control, and that is playing well,” he said.
Cowell totaled just one goal and one assist in 18 games a season ago.
He started four times.
He attempted 16 shots.
Cowell accomplished several firsts with San Jose in 2020.
He became the youngest player in Earthquakes’ history to make a postseason appearance. Cowell and eighth-seeded San Jose fell lost 3-1 in a penalty-kick shootout to top-seeded Sporting Kansas City in Round One of the MLS Cup Playoffs at Children’s Mercy Park.
Cowell became the youngest player to start and score in team history in San Jose’s narrow 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
He also became the eighth-youngest goalscorer in league history.
He was just 16 at the time.
Cowell made his MLS debut against Minnesota United FC in March of 2020.
He didn’t make any appearances in MLS play as a rookie.
Cowell inked a five-year contract with San Jose at the age of 15 in January of 2019.
He was the youngest player signing in Earthquakes and Bay Area team sports history at that time.
Cowell attended San Jose games as a fan during his childhood.
“The advice that I keep telling him is to continue to do the little things right,” said Chris Wondolowski, Cowell’s teammate and the MLS’s all-time leading goal scorer, during a recent postgame interview with MLS Multiplex writer/Tectonic Takes host Ivan Ornelas. “If he continues to practice the way he does, work on his finishing and be a student of the game, the bounces will come his way.”
“We have amazing confidence in him,” he added. “Whatever role it is, I know he’ll take it head on.”