Major League Soccer

Axel Kei becomes the youngest MLS player to sign a homegrown contract

He already debuted with Real Salt Lake reserves team in USL Championship.

He already debuted with Real Salt Lake reserves team in USL Championship.

Real Salt Lake announced today that they signed 14-year-old striker Axel Kei to a homegrown contract, making him the youngest player to be signed by an MLS team and breaking a 18-year old record held by Freddy Adu, when he joined DC United in 2004.

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Born in Ivory Coast, Kei developed in Brazil, where his father played soccer before relocating to the US. For three years he played in LA Galaxy’s Academy, before moving to Utah and enrolling in Real Salt Lake Academy. He already debuted with the Royals’ reserves team in USL Championship.

Elliot Fall, Real Salt Lake General Manager said that “over the last year Axel has proven to be one of the top attacking prospects in the country. His propensity in front of goal is well beyond his years, and coupled with his elite athleticism, he projects to become a goal-scoring force in our league in the years to come”.

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What’s a homegrown contract?

A homegrown contract is a contract that MLS teams can give to a player that has spent at least a year playing in the club’s Academy. Installed in 2008, the Homegrown Player Rule also demands that said player lives in the club territory.

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