Already considered one of the most exciting teenagers in Major League Soccer, San Jose Earthquakes sensation Cade Cowell is starting to state his case for being one of the most exciting players in MLS, regardless of age.
The 17-year-old followed up last week’s goal-and-assist effort in a win against FC Dallas with a goal and two assists to help the Earthquakes to a 4-1 romp over D.C. United at PayPal Park. He became the youngest MLS player to register a goal and assist in consecutive matches, continuing to shine as the lead striker in Matias Almeyda’s lineup.
“Firstly, I am happy for him,” Almeyda said of Cowell. “If he is playing, it’s because he deserves it. I repeat what I said last week: he listens. He is humble. He knows he has to keep growing and this is the way. He is capitalizing on his performances with goals and assists.
“The most difficult thing in soccer is to maintain that level of performance,” Almeyda said. “We will have a calm approach to him as we have been doing so far. He is defending his position, which he has earned.”
It was a fast start for Cowell, who needed only one minute to help the Earthquakes take an early lead over the Eastern Conference visitors. Cowell set up Javier Lopez, whose left-footed strike from outside the box helped set the tone for a busy evening for San Jose.
Cowell called his own number in the 25th minute, slotting home a pass from Cristian Espinoza on a fast break, showing his clinical abilities once again in the final third. After breaking away from D.C. United defender Frederic Brillant, Cowell took a few touches in the box before beating Chris Seitz to the bottom corner.
THE BALL FROM CRISTIAN.
THE FINISH FROM CADE.
WHAT A START. pic.twitter.com/Y32Lvufyt3
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) May 2, 2021
He also assisted on Jackson Yueill’s second goal of the match in the 84th minute, crossing into the box for the midfielder to head home. The 17-year-old has shown excellent vision in leading the Quakes offensive front through three matches this season, and is continuing to impress his older teammates along the way.
“Cade is a great player,” Lopez. “We should go step by step with him. He has the best possible coach he can have at this moment. I think Matias [Almeyda] will be able to help him immensely. He knows how he will guide Cade.”
“He is honestly a great player and I have no doubts that he will have a great career. We just need to go step by step with him because some players have excellent starts but will slow down. He has great potential.”
Cowell was a thorn in D.C. United’s side for the entire 90 minutes, registering four shots on goal, registering three key passes, and completing two dribbles out of three attempts. Even if sometimes he is held in check by opposing center backs, Cowell isn’t afraid to continue working hard and taking chances for the good of the club.
Now after tying in form L.A. Galaxy striker Chicharito for the league lead in goals and assists combined (5), Cowell is looking to continue improving as an all-around forward and help the Earthquakes stay near the top of the Western Conference.
“My main focus is always to beat my defender one-on-one,” Cowell said. “Then next is to look up and see where the keeper is, and I saw that he was off his first post, so I kicked it as soon as I saw he was off. It ended very well so I was very happy with that. I just try to beat the defenders and see where the keeper is at.”
“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable on the ball and I feel more freedom to make mistakes and not try to be so perfect. That definitely helps, but up top is pretty fast. I try and play as quick as possible. I’m still learning how to do one-touch passes, checking in, and all that. But I definitely am more comfortable the more I play so that helps a lot.”
With back-to-back victories under their belt, the Earthquakes will try to make it three-consecutive wins on May 7th against an unbeaten Real Salt Lake.