Quakes ink youngest player in club history

17-year-old Gambian midfielder could make debut in Open Cup

Omar Jasseh 040610_JohnTodd

Photo Credit: 
John Todd

Now that Omar Jasseh has become the youngest player ever to sign with the Earthquakes, it might not take him long to set a new record: the youngest player ever to take the pitch for San Jose.

Jasseh, a 17-year-old midfielder from Gambia, was officially signed by the team on Wednesday, and could get used within a matter of hours. Quakes coach Frank Yallop said Tuesday that he was planning on using Jasseh as a substitute in San Jose’s U.S. Open Cup qualifier against visiting Real Salt Lake.

With Jasseh under contract, that’s now a viable possibility.

“I’m excited for him,” Yallop said. “He’s maturing. We’ll see how the game goes and figure it out, but I would love to get him on the field at some point.”

The Earthquakes have a crowded midfield already, but Jasseh’s raw speed and strong right foot are assets that are in short supply on San Jose’s roster, although his defensive awareness could use improvement.

Jasseh has been with the team for several weeks, but his deal was delayed by some inconsistent spellings on his official documents which needed squaring away.

Jasseh—who was 17 years, five months and 13 days old when he signed—beat the record of Arturo Alvarez, who was one month and four days older when San Jose selected him in the 2003 draft. Now Jasseh has a little more than four months to top another of Alvarez’s accomplishments—being the youngest Earthquake to play in a regular-season MLS game.