Cade Cowell is still five months away from turning 18, but his soccer proficiency says his time has arrived.
Cowell aims to continue his stellar start when the San Jose Earthquakes square off against Real Salt Lake on Friday night in Sandy, Utah.
Cowell has two goals and three assists in three matches for San Jose (2-1-0, six points) and is coming off MLS Player of the Week honors for his performance against D.C. United last Saturday.
He recorded one goal with two assists in the 4-1 triumph and his eye-opening start has impressed Earthquakes coach Matias Almeyda.
"He listens. He is humble," Almeyda said. "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.
"We will have a calm approach to him as we have been doing so far. He is defending his position, which he has earned."
Cowell was signed as a homegrown player at age 15 in January, 2019. He appeared in 17 games (four starts) last season and had one goal and one assist.
A season later, his skills have developed further and the pace of the game has slowed down for the 17-year-old.
"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," Cowell said. "That definitely helps, but up top is pretty fast. I try and play as quick as possible."
Real Salt Lake (2-0-0, six points) is coming off a 3-1 home win over Sporting Kansas City last Saturday. Newcomer Rubio Rubin scored the final two goals.
The 25-year-old is on an MLS roster for the first time after scoring seven goals in five games for the San Diego Loyal of the United Soccer League last season.
"At the end of the day, some people won't be able to understand my style, but for me that's OK," Rubin said. "I'm so happy to be part of this team and to be given this opportunity from the front office and the coaches that believed in me. I'm just very happy at the moment."
--Field Level Media