14-year-old becomes youngest athlete to sign pro contract in US


Axel Kei, a just 14-year-old American striker born in Ivory Coast, has become the youngest athlete to sign a contract with a professional club in the United States, signing with Real Salt Lake, announced Friday. the franchise playing in MLS. Kei, trained at the Real Salt Lake academy, signed a two-year contract, a fortnight after celebrating his 14th birthday. The previous record was held by Freddy Adu, the Ghanaian-born striker who was 153 days older when he joined another MLS club, DC United, in 2004.

Kei was raised in Brazil, where his father was a soccer player, and moved with his family to San Diego at the age of nine in 2017. He started last October with the Real Monarchs, the team of development of Real Salt Lake (in the second division), at the age of 13, already becoming the youngest player in the history of an American professional club, all sports combined. Real Salt Lake qualified for the MLS Western Conference Finals in the last play-offs. He will open his 2022 season in Houston on February 27.


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