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Who is Cavan Sullivan?  14 year old signs with MLS, Philadelphia Union

Who is Cavan Sullivan? 14 year old signs with MLS, Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union signed 14-year-old phenom Cavan Sullivan to a four-year contract on Thursday, making him the youngest player in team history and the fifth-youngest player to sign a contract in Major League Soccer.

Sullivan is a midfielder who shone as he helped the United States win the first Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship in 2023, scoring four goals to earn the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. Since 2020, he has risen as a Union Academy product to the Under-15 MLS NEXT team, the U17 MLS Next team and the club’s second team earlier this year.

Sullivan was born on September 28, 2009, in Philadelphia and was listed as 6-foot-4 and 150 pounds prior to his signing. He joins his 20-year-old brother Quinn, also a midfielder, in the Union MLS squad.

At 14, he could become the youngest athlete to play an American professional sport – and the youngest player to debut in a major football league – if he debuts with the Union on or before July 29.

“I have been watching my home team, the Union, for as long as I can remember, hoping that one day I would have the opportunity to play for my city in front of my family, friends and fans,” Sullivan said. in a statement before his formal introduction Thursday.

“It’s a dream come true to not only be able to play for the Union, but also to be able to play with my brother. I will give everything I have to this club and hope to help bring home some hardware. I am grateful for this opportunity and hope to make Philadelphia proud.”

Sullivan also helped the Union U-15 team reach the final of the 2023 Generation Adidas Cup after victories over academy powerhouses Valencia, Arsenal and Real Madrid. Sullivan scored a minute into the match against Arsenal. Due to his play, he was named in the Best XI of the tournament.

Earlier this year, Sullivan helped the Union U-17 squad win their second consecutive GA Cup championship. He also made two appearances for the Union II, assisting on a winning goal against New England Revolution II.

“Cavan is undeniably a rare and extraordinary talent. At just 14 years old, his natural skills and vision are far beyond his years,” Philadelphia Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a statement. “His advanced football IQ, combined with his ability to read game situations, advance the ball and score, shows how high his ceiling will be.

“We are incredibly pleased to have reached an agreement for Cavan to join the Union on his first professional contract and we have no doubt about the impact he will make at the club.”

Who are the youngest players to debut in MLS history?

Sullivan will be first on this list if he debuts on or before July 29.

1. Freddy Adu (DC United on 3-4-2004) – 14 years, 306 days

2. Julian Hall (New York Red Bulls on 9/30/2023) – 15 years, 190 days

3. Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC on 16-07-2016) – 15 years, 257 days

4. Axel Kei (Real Salt Lake on 14-10-2023) – 15 years, 288 days

5. Matai Akinmboni (DC United on 10-09-2022) – 15 years, 328 days

Who are the youngest players playing American professional sports?

According to Elias Sports Bureau, these are the youngest players to debut in American sports leagues since 1970.

NWSL: Melanie Barcenas (San Diego Wave on 29-04-2023) – 15 years and 181 days

NBA: Andrew Bynum (Los Angeles Lakers on 2-11-2005) – 18 years, 6 days

NHL: Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks on 1/10/1997) – 18 years, 16 days

MLB: David Clyde (Texas Rangers on 6/27/1973) – 18 years, 66 days

WNBA: Maria Stepanova (Phoenix Mercury on 6/11/1998) – 19 years, 108 days)

N.F.L.: Amobi Okoye (Houston Texans on 09/09/2007) – 20 years, 91 days

Who are the youngest players to debut in European football competitions?

According to Football Reference, these are the youngest players to make their debut in the five European football competitions since 1988.

English Premier League (England): Ethan Nwaneri (Arsenal on 18-09-2022) – 15 years, 181 days

La Liga (Spain): Luka Romero (Mallorca on 24-06-2020) – 15 years and 219 days

Serie A (Italy): Francesco Camarda (AC Milan on 25-11-2023) – 15 years and 260 days

Bundesliga (Germany): Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund on 21/11/2020) – 16 years and 1 day

Ligue 1 (France): Ayyoub Bouaddi (Lille on 22/10/2023) – 16 years and 20 days

Who are the youngest players to sign MLS contracts?

1. Maximo Carrizo (New York City FC, 2022) – 14 years, 0 days

2. Axel Kei (Real Salt Lake, 2022) – 14 years, 15 days

3. Freddy Adu (DC United, 2004) – 14 years, 168 days

4. Emmanuel Ochoa (San Jose earthquakes, 2019) – 14 years, 191 days

5. Cavan Sullivan (Philadelphia Union, 2024) – 14 years and 224 days