Chance Cowell made his debut with Mexico’s Under-15 Men’s Youth National Soccer Team this past month.
Cowell, who just completed the seventh grade at Cesar Chavez Jr. High in Ceres, started at winger during two friendly matches versus Morocco.
“It was an awesome experience for me and I was very happy with how I performed,” said Cowell, 13.
“He got some good feedback,” said Debin Cowell, Cade’s father. “He earned his stripes.”
Cowell scored twice in a 4-2 win over Morocco on May 24.
“Going to the camp before helped me get comfortable before playing in a match,” he said.
Cowell earned a roster spot for Morocco after training with Mexico, April 30 to May 5, in Mexico City.
He bonded with his teammates despite the language barrier.
“I feel comfortable with the group and try to practice some Spanish everyday so I can communicate better,” he said. “Most of the coaches speak English so that helped me a lot.”
Cowell was called up to Mexico’s National Team after filling the stat sheet with the Sacramento Republic FC Academy.
He was the youngest player on the youth development program’s 15-and-under team.
Cowell also suited up for Sacramento Republic’s 17-and-under squad.
He totaled 12 goals in a combined 15 appearances with the two teams.
Cowell and the 15-and-under squad competed in the MLS Flex Tournament, staged May 13-17, in Maryland. He collected two goals while contributing at center striker as Sacramento Republic compiled a perfect 3-0 record.
“Chance has never taken soccer serious until now,” Debin stated when Chance signed with Sacramento Republic in April of 2021. “He’s going to take off mentally and physically being in that environment. He’ll be pushed. It’s a big test.”
“Playing for Sac has been great for me and I wouldn’t be the player I am without them,” Chance Cowell stated. “Hopefully, playing up full-time with the 17s this year will keep pushing me to get better.”
“Chance has worked hard this season and performed well in every situation,” Academy Director of Talent Identification Eder Quintanilla added. “He is a very talented player who is well aware of what it takes to compete at the highest level, and is more than deserving of such an opportunity.”
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 older brother Cade’s footsteps.
Cade signed a pro contract with the Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS) at the age of 15 in January of 2019. The 2018 Cesar Chavez Jr. High grad enjoyed a career-year at forward with San Jose in 2021. He collected five goals and six assists.
Cade earned the club’s Young Player of the Year award and a selection to the MLS All-Star Team. He 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).
Cade made his debut with the United States Men’s National Soccer Team during an international friendly match on Dec. 18. He’s also made appearances for the United States at the U-16, U-17, and U-20 levels.
“Ever since I was little, I wanted to be just as good as him (Cade),” Chance said. “He tells me to work my hardest, chase my dreams and I’ll eventually make it.”
“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.”
“Having my brother play for USA is awesome and hopefully I can experience that someday,” Chance said.
Chance 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 last May.
Less than two weeks removed from debuting with Mexico on the international stage, Cowell earned an invitation to this month’s Under-14 USA Men’s National Youth Soccer Team Training Camp in Davis.
“Hopefully, I can work hard enough to get opportunities in both countries and want to experience both as much as possible,” he said.