A California teen just became the youngest male soccer player ever to sign a professional contract in the United States, the Orange County Soccer Club announced in a press release.
Francis Jacobs, 14, joined the Orange County Soccer Club this week after playing with the Strikers FC. According to the Orange County Soccer Club, Jacobs played with the United States U-14 National Team and participated in the U.S. Junior National camp in 2018.
Orange County Soccer Club Head Coach Braeden Cloutier said in a statement, “I am very excited for Francis, who is a young and gifted local talent, to join our team.”
“I’ve been really impressed with his poise and ability on the ball that he’s shown us these past few months. This is a great opportunity for Francis, and also an exciting challenge for the entire Orange County SC technical staff to do everything possible to help him reach his fullest potential.”
In his own statement, Jacobs called his signing “really exciting” and a “special opportunity.”
“I want to make everybody who has helped me get here proud and I am looking forward to the future,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs, of Laguna Beach, will be eligible to play his first game with the team this upcoming Saturday, August 17, against Las Vegas Lights FC.
The Orange County Soccer Club is part of the United Soccer League, which is a Division II professional soccer league made up of 24 teams.