SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes have signed 15-year-old defender Jacob Akanyirige to a Homegrown Player contract. He becomes the youngest-ever signing by the Earthquakes, the third-youngest player currently in MLS (Gianluca Busio – SKC, George Bello – ATL) and the eighth-youngest to ever sign a pro contract in league history.
“Jacob has shown an incredible amount of potential at such a young age,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “We challenged him to play above his age this year and were impressed by his maturity and technical abilities. We are confident he will continue to develop with regular First Team training exposure.”
Akanyirige, 15, joined the Quakes’ U-15 squad ahead of the 2016-17 academy season from Ballistic United SC. He has been competing for the U-19s in 2017-18, despite being age-eligible for the U-17s.
The Pleasanton native becomes the fourth Homegrown Player signing in San Jose’s history, and first directly from the team's academy, after midfielder Tommy Thompson ahead of the 2014 season, defender Nick Lima ahead of the 2017 season and goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski earlier this month.
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes sign D Jacob Akanyirige to Homegrown Player contract.
Weight: 157 lbs.
Born: Dec. 30, 2001
Hometown: Pleasanton, Calif.
Last Club: Quakes Academy U-19
Roster Designation: Domestic