Philadelphia, Man City join forces to sign 14-year-old to record deal

Philadelphia, Man City join forces to sign 14-year-old to record deal

May 10, 2024

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Fourteen-year-old midfielder Cavan Sullivan signed the largest homegrown contract in Major League Soccer history with the Philadelphia Union on Thursday.

An agreement is in place for Sullivan to leave his hometown club for Manchester City when he turns 18 in 2028. The reigning Premier League champions will pay up to $5 million in the deal, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald.

“I’m humble enough to realize that it is going to be a challenge, it is going to be hard – I mean, the greatest club in the world, arguably,” Sullivan said about making the grade at Manchester City.

The United States youth international interested several other clubs and was close to choosing Borussia Dortmund as his destination after meeting representatives from the German giants in September 2020. However, Sullivan’s parents were particularly impressed with the amount of scouting City did on their son and the development plan they mapped out for him.

“Just the name Man City pops out to almost every kid, and they’re the most fun team to watch in the world right now,” Sullivan said. “Especially for myself, I look up to and use players like Bernardo Silva and (Phil) Foden to try and play like them.

“It’s just always been a dream of mine to also play in the Premier League, and with the plan the Union and the City (Football) Group created to get there at 18 – which is a young age – that just seemed ideal for me.”

Sullivan provided the game-winning assist in his MLS Next Pro debut for Philadelphia Union II – the MLS franchise’s second-string side – in March 2024. He was named the best player at the 2023 CONCACAF Under-15 Championship after he scored four goals during the United States’ victorious run.

At 14 years and 224 days, Sullivan is the fifth-youngest signing in MLS history after Maximo Carrizo (New York City FC), Axel Kei (Real Salt Lake), Freddy Adu (D.C. United), and Emmanuel Ochoa (San Jose Earthquakes).


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