The San Jose Earthquakes signed their first player ever directly from their academy when they inked 15-year-old defender Jacob Akanyirige
to a pro contract.
Akanyirige is the third
youngest player in MLS after Gianluca Busio
(Sporting Kansas City) and George Bello
(Atlanta United) and the eighth youngest to ever sign an MLS contract. He was born Dec. 31, 2001,
making him one day too old to be eligible for the U.S. U-17 national team on which Busio and Bello play.
Akanyirige joined the Quakes' academy last season from Pleasanton’s
Ballistic United SC. He has been playing this season with the U-19s.
“Jacob has shown an incredible amount of potential at such a young age,” said Earthquakes general manager
. “We challenged him to play above his age this year and were impressed by his maturity and technical abilities. We are confident he will continue to develop with regular
first-team training exposure.”
The other San Jose HG players are Tommy Thompson
(Indiana), Nick Lima
(California) and recently signed JT Marcinkowski
(Georgetown) all played at least one season of college ball.
Akanyirige older sister, Precious
, played for 2017 NCAA Division I women's quarterfinalist Baylor.