SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has signed academy product Cade Cowell as a Homegrown Player, presented by Sutter Health. He becomes the sixth product of the Quakes Academy to sign with the first team, and the fifth since Dec. 2016.
At 15 years and 102 days, Cowell becomes the youngest player in Earthquakes and Bay Area team sports history, while being the fourth youngest signing ever in Major League Soccer. Along with Gilbert Fuentes (15 years, 339 days) and Jacob Akanyirige (15 years, 350 days), both of which were signed ahead of the 2018 season, the Quakes have now made three of the 14 youngest signings in MLS history.
“Cade has a bright future ahead of him and it is up to him how far he will go,” said Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda. “He adds to what I believe is a very talented group of young players here in San Jose and we’re anxious to see him develop with us.”
Cowell joined the Quakes Academy after leading the nation with 34 goals in 32 appearances for the Ballistic United U-15s during the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. He spent that season training with the Earthquakes on a part-time basis, despite commuting 90 miles each way.
So far this season, the Ceres, Calif. native has scored three goals in eight appearances for the Quakes Academy U-17s. He has also played for the U-19s, competing against players up to three years his senior.
Last September, Cowell earned a call-up to the U.S. U-16s, scoring in his national team debut. He was then called to the U.S. U-17s for the Nike International Friendlies later in the month, where he appeared in all three matches and scored against Chile.
“Today is a special day for our club and our youth development program,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “The fact that Cade can join the first team today would not have been possible if it had not been for his family, the Earthquakes’ and Ballistic United’s youth coaches, and Matias’ immediate buy-in to welcome him to the squad at just 15 years of age.
“Cade is a gifted striker that is well ahead of his age in terms of athletic ability, talent and work ethic. Within six months of arriving at our club, he joined the U.S. Youth National Team program and was soon after promoted an age group higher. Together with his family, we came to an agreement on a five-year contract with the understanding that we are at the beginning of a long-term partnership in an effort to support Cade’s success in life one step and one training at a time. He’ll be joining the first team immediately and will continue to follow an individualized development program with gradual targets to help him reach his goals on and off the field.”
Cowell is rated as a five-star prospect by TopDrawerSoccer and is ranked as the No. 2 player in the nation for the Class of 2022. He is the third Homegrown Player signing to join the Quakes Academy from Ballistic United, following Akanyirige (2018) and Fuentes (2018).
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes sign 15-year-old academy product F Cade Cowell as a Homegrown Player.
Weight: 154 lbs.
Born: Oct. 14, 2003 in Ceres, Calif.
Preferred Foot: Right
Hometown: Ceres, Calif.
Last Club: Quakes Academy U-19 (USSDA)
Roster Designation: Domestic