Growing up in a family full of accomplished athletes has had a positive impact on Chance Cowell.
The youngest of three siblings, Cowell signed with the Sacramento Republic FC Academy in April.
He’s a member of the youth development program’s 15-and-under team.
Cowell, a seventh-grade student at Cesar Chavez Jr. High in Ceres, turned 13 in July.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” said Cowell, a 5-foot-6 120-pound forward. “I’m happy. They really wanted me on their team. They’re going to help my development.”
Brother Cade Cowell signed a pro contract with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS) at the age of 15 in January of 2019. He’s currently enjoying his best season to date with the Earthquakes. He leads the team in assists (4) and ranks second in goals (4). Cowell was awarded a spot on the 2021 MLS All-Star Team.
Sister Cylee played varsity soccer at Ceres High School as a freshman this past school year.
Chance’s parents were both standout athletes at Ceres High School.
Debin earned seven varsity letters, including four in baseball and three in football.
He played receiver at San Jose State for one season.
Amber earned six varsity letters, including four in softball and two in basketball.
“They always push me to do my best,” Chance stated. “They always support me when I have a bad game and say I’ll be better next time. Ever since I was little, I wanted to be just as good as him (Cade). He tells me to work my hardest, chase my dreams and I’ll eventually make it.”
“They’re brothers,” Debin added. “They want the best for each other.”
Cowell was offered full tuition to two academies: Sacramento Republic and San Jose Earthquakes.
Sacramento was a better fit for Cowell as he chose not to follow in his brother’s footsteps.
“They scouted him at a tournament in Turlock and he lit it up,” Debin said. “He had eight or nine goals. They invited him to train. They think he can be special down the road.”
“Chance has never taken soccer serious until now,” he added. “He’s going to take off mentally and physically being in that environment. He’ll be pushed. It’s a big test.”
Cowell is the youngest player on the team.
He trains four times a week in Sacramento.
The 2021 fall season got underway this past weekend as Sacramento Republic FC cruised to a 4-0 win against De Anza. Cowell collected one goal and one assist.
“It’s a big step up from where I was at,” said Cowell, who’s playing up an age group. “The most challenging part is having to do well every practice. The expectations are a lot higher. It’s definitely going to help me a lot in the long run. It’s going to sharpen my skills.”
Cowell wants to play professional soccer with Sacramento Republic FC’s senior team or an MLS club in the future.
“It’s a long developmental path,” Debin said. “To get to that level, it takes talent, drive, work ethic and luck. Chance is pretty much a carbon copy of Cade. He has all the tools to be just as good.”
“Soccer has always been my favorite sport,” Chance said. “It’s been one of my dreams to go pro. I don’t feel any pressure. They (my family) will be there for me no matter what if I make it or not.”
Cowell started playing soccer at the age of four.
He was a member of the Ceres Youth Soccer Organization’s recreational league for one season.
He played club soccer for the Modesto Ajax and Ceres Earthquakes.
Cowell suited up for the Earthquakes’ under-14 team for the final time in May.
Cowell leads a busy life as he has to balance school and soccer.
He also trains on his own.
“It’s definitely a challenge,” he said. “There’s not much time to hang out with friends. I’m getting used to it.”