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MX News Update 2024

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What the Cavan Sullivan deal means for the 14-year-old Philly Union – NBC10 Philadelphia

What to know

  • The Philadelphia Union have formally announced that they have signed 14-year-old youth player Cavan Sullivan to a Homegrown contract that will ultimately see him join Manchester City.
  • The long-rumored deal – reportedly Homegrown’s richest signing in Major League Soccer history, although no details have been released – will allow the Union to further develop Sullivan and capitalize on his abilities in the short term , before taking advantage when he is likely to go abroad. to the Eredivisie.
  • “I tend not to even listen to what they call me or what they say about me. It’s really just what I think of myself,” Sullivan said.

Cavan Sullivan ignores words like child prodigy, phenomenon or even prodigy, all things he mentioned at the age of fourteen.

But there’s no doubt that Sullivan is talented. On Thursday, the Philadelphia Union formally announced that they have signed their academy prospect to a contract from Homegrown that will eventually see him join Manchester City.

“I tend not to even listen to what they call me or what they say about me. It’s really just what I think of myself,” Sullivan said. “I don’t really listen to anyone, whether it’s good or bad. So it doesn’t affect me at all.”

Watch live: Sullivan, Union Head Coach Jim Curtin, Union II Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc and team director of Academy and Professional Development Jon Scheer speak at an afternoon news conference.

The long-rumored deal – reportedly Homegrown’s richest signing in Major League Soccer history, although no details have been released – will allow the Union to further develop Sullivan and capitalize on his abilities in the short term , before taking advantage when he is likely to go abroad. to the Eredivisie. It also gives him the opportunity to stay home for a few more years.

Sullivan is considered one of the best young American players. In a match last April between the U.S. under-15 team and England in Spain, he scored both goals in a 2-2 draw that the Americans won on penalties.

He was named the best player at the CONCACAF under-15 championships. He had a pair of assists in the 4-2 win over Mexico in the final.

Union coach Jim Curtin recently called Sullivan “a special talent, top talent, not only in this country but in the world.”

Sullivan has already made his professional debut. He came off the bench for Union’s MLS NEXT team last month and had an assist on the winning goal. He has played twice for the team, a step down from the Union’s senior team.

The teenager hopes to make his senior debut in the Union this year. If he does, he will join his brother Quinn, another youth product who has played for the team since 2021.

Sullivan (14 years, 224 days) is the fifth-youngest player to sign a first-team contract in MLS history. If he plays for the Union before July 29, he will become the youngest player to ever play in a match. Freddy Adu was 14 years and 306 days old when he made his debut for DC United in 2004.

“I think Jim Curtin was really instrumental in getting Cavan here, if I’m completely honest,” said his father, Brendan Sullivan. “He called us, he contacted us and said, ‘Look, I think he can do it.’ With a little bit of coaching, we think he’s ready and we’re willing to take that on.”

Born in Philadelphia, Sullivan is the youngest of four brothers. Quinn, 20, is the oldest. Brendan Sullivan played professionally in the A-League, which eventually became the USL First Division, a level below MLS. His mother, Heike, played at Penn. Grandfather Larry coached at Villanova from 1991 to 2007.

Sullivan said he first started getting attention from clubs when he was just 10.

“I think that’s when I really thought, ‘This is happening.’ It didn’t feel real, but it did trigger something in my mind where I thought, ‘I can do this,’” Sullivan said.

Sullivan can’t play for Manchester City until he’s 18. But he has a German passport that would allow him to move to Europe at 16 and play for City-affiliated teams such as Girona in Spain or Palermo in Italy.

Due to the joint transfer agreement with Manchester City, Sullivan’s deal is unusual. It shows that the Premier League club is confident that the Union can develop an elite player.

Sullivan isn’t looking far ahead. In many ways he is a typical teenager, albeit very gifted. He jokes: “I’m a pretty boring kid to be honest.”

“I mean, you can see him. He’s a pretty well-balanced kid,” his mother said. ‘He really does that alone. I’m sure we’ll help keep him grounded, but I think he’s already grounded, and I think he should get a lot of credit. therefore.”