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Ceres' Cade Cowell garners national attention
• Honing his soccer skills with the San Jose Earthquakes Academy
cade cowell
Cade Cowell will attend the U.S. Soccer Under-16 Boys’ National Team Training Camp later this month in Florida. - photo by Dale Butler

Cerean Cade Cowell reached another lofty goal by earning an invitation to the United States Soccer Under-16 Boys’ National Team Training Camp.

Cowell received the news on Aug. 23.

"I want to be in the World Cup in 2026 when we play here. Hopefully by then, we won’t have a problem qualifying and we’ll advance.”
Cade Cowell

“It means a lot,” Cade said. “This is what I worked for. But it’s just the beginning. It’s a stepping stone. I want to be in the World Cup in 2026 when we play here. Hopefully by then, we won’t have a problem qualifying and we’ll advance.”

“I’m just really excited for him because I know how hard he worked to get to the position he’s in,” said Debin Cowell, Cade’s father. “He’s pursuing his dream. This is what he wants to do for a living. He has a really good chance to do some great things.”

Cowell, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 160 pounds, is just 14 years old.

Cade originally planned to attend Central Catholic High School prior to signing with the San Jose Earthquakes Boys Development Academy.

He was recruited by a dozen Major League Soccer academies, including Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.

“That did a lot for his confidence,” Debin said. “He could have gone anywhere he wanted. We feel God put him in the right place.”

“It all happened so fast,” Cade said. “It was crazy. I’ve always dreamed of playing for the Quakes. It’s an honor.”

Cowell just completed his fourth week of training with the Earthquakes.

Cade practices 20 hours a week.

He attends morning sessions with the Earthquakes men’s professional club.

Cowell teamed up with Chris Wondolowski, who ranks second all-time in MLS regular-season goals and is a U.S. National Team player, during an intra-squad scrimmage on Aug. 16.

More than 300 fans watched.

“It was cool,” Cade said.  “The first couple of minutes, I was nervous. After that, I was good.”

Cowell attends evening sessions with the under-16/17 squad, which will play 20 U.S. Soccer Development Academy League games and in the Generation Adidas Cup.

The team features 30 players.

All 11 starting positions are up for grabs.

“Everybody is fighting for the same thing,” Cade said. “Each week, you have to do something good.”

Cade lives with a host family in San Jose.

A ninth-grade student, Cowell does his schooling online.

Laurel Springs is an accredited, private school.

“His day is full from the time he wakes up and goes to sleep,” Debin said. “He really doesn’t have any down time. I shoot him a text here and there to see how he’s doing.”

Debin, his wife Amber, and their children Chance and Cylee, visit Cade during the weekends.

Chance, 10, is a member of the Ceres Earthquakes’ under-12 boys soccer team.

Cylee, 12, plans to play multiple sports at Mae Hensley Jr. High.

“Right now, we’re living in the moment and enjoying the ride,” Debin said. “We’re not thinking too far ahead.” 

“Without my parents, I wouldn’t be here,” Cade said. “They’ve done a lot for me.”

Cade enjoyed his best season to date while starring on the Pleasanton-based Ballistic United Academy under-15 club in 2017-18.

He led the nation in scoring with 34 goals in 32 games.

“The last year, everything fell into place,” Debin said. “He had a huge year. That put him on the map.”

Added Cade: “I started really believing in myself.”

Cowell’s dominant play on the pitch earned him a four-star prospect rating from

Cade’s currently the No. 4 rated forward in the nation and No. 1 ranked player in the state for the class of 2022.

“Two years ago, I was an average player,” Cowell said.

Cowell has dedicated a large portion of his life to the sport of soccer.

“He hasn’t had a typical childhood,” Debin said. “He’s sacrificing a lot to achieve his dreams. That makes us even prouder.”

“It’s definitely hard,” Cade said. “I want to do what my friends are doing. But I have a different mindset and goals from them.”

The USA National Team Training Camp will be staged, Sept. 12-19, at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.

Cowell was overlooked for several other camps prior to being invited to Florida.

“I’m really excited,” Cade said. “All last year that was my goal and I didn’t get in. It was a disappointment. It was motivation. I have to go out there and do better than all of the other kids. I have to work five times harder.”

“As parents, we’ve sacrificed as a family for all of our kids,” Debin stated. “Now, it’s on him (Cade) to seize the moment and continue to show what he’s capable of. He has a chance to do something special. He realizes the opportunity he has in front of him. He’s got to keep developing.”

“My ultimate goal is to be a pro soccer player in Europe and be on the U.S. National Team,” Cade added.