The San Jose Earthquakes have been patient in bringing Cade Cowell through the ranks of the club and now have an exciting player on their hands heading into a full 2021 season.
Cowell made his second start of the new campaign for Matias Almeyda’s side on Saturday, and delivered an impressive showing in a bounce-back performance for the club.
Cowell scored his fourth overall goal for the Earthquakes while also chipping in his second career assist in a 3-1 home victory over FC Dallas. After earning his minutes off the bench in 2020, the 17-year-old Cowell made his second straight start of the season, and did not disappoint.
With the Quakes already holding a 1-0 advantage through Oswaldo Alanis’ penalty kick, Cowell played distributor early in the second half. His perfectly-placed pass upfield allowed Cristian Espinoza the breakaway opportunity to double San Jose’s advantage.
“I think he is one of the best players on our team,” Earthquakes midfielder Carlos Fierro said about Cowell. “He is very young. There is still much for him to learn, but as you’ve seen, he can compete with bigger players. He is going step by step in getting experience. With his speed and his desire, he has helped the team by scoring and assisting. I can see him joining a big club in Europe.”
Cowell called his own number not long after setting up the Earthquakes second goal, showing off some fancy footwork inside of the FC Dallas box. The midfielder picked up a pass on the right side of the 18-yard box, before cutting between a pair of Dallas defenders and sliding a left-footed strike into the bottom-left corner.
A GOAL AND ASSIST.
CADE COWELL IS ON FIRE. pic.twitter.com/JifDDrEw6N
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) April 24, 2021
It was a confident finish from Cowell, who created the most chances in the match (3) and also did well to get himself into dangerous positions in the final third. Cowell had waited for his chance to get into the starting lineup on a regular basis and is showing some positive moments in the early going in 2021.
Most importantly, the Earthquakes rebounded from an opening weekend loss and will hope to see Cowell continue to develop into an elite attacking threat.
“Definitely not surprised [about his performance],” Earthquakes goalkeeper JT Marcinowski said of Cowell. “I think it’s been some time coming. I think his improvements over the last two years have been leaps and bounds, and I think you saw it today. There is so much there and there is so much potential still.
“He’s nowhere close to how good he can be, which is great for us because he is going to keep getting better,” Marcinkowski said. “Even these past two months, and especially this offseason, his improvements have been huge. He’s a really great kid, we’re all so happy for him, and really just looking forward to more.”