SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The San Jose Earthquakes have signed promising Pleasanton 15-year-old Jacob Akanyirige to a professional soccer contract — the youngest player ever inked to a contract by the franchise.
Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said Akanyirige has shown great potential as a member of the team’s under-19 academy.
By agreeing to the contract, Akanyirige becomes the third-youngest player currently in Major League Soccer.
“Jacob has shown an incredible amount of potential at such a young age,” Fioranelli said. “We challenged him to play above his age this year and were impressed by his maturity and technical abilities.
Akanyirige 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.