Transfer Tracker

San Jose Earthquakes sign 14-year-old goalkeeper Emmanuel Ochoa

Emmanuel Ochoa - Quakes Homegrown - File pic


The San Jose Earthquakes announced Monday they have signed 14-year-old goalkeeper Emmanuel Ochoa to a Homegrown Player contract, making him the second-youngest player ever to sign for an MLS club and the youngest through the league's Homegrown Player rule since it was enacted in 2008.

On the date of his signing, Ochoa is only 23 days older than was Freddy Adu, who remains the youngest to sign a contract in league history at 14 years and 168 days prior to the 2004 season for D.C. United.

“The work we have done to prepare ourselves for the future at the goalkeeping position gave us an opportunity to offer a contract to Emi, even at his young age,” said Earthquakes GM Jesse Fioranelli said in a statement. “We have established players we are going to lean on for 2020 and the years to come, which will allow Emi to develop at his own pace with achievable goals year over year, including ones from an academic and life perspective."

Ochoa is the eighth product of the Quakes Academy to sign with the first team, and seventh since December of 2016. He is one of five Homegrown players on the Earthquakes roster currently under 18 years of age, joining Jacob Akanyirige (17), Gilbert Fuentes (17), Casey Walls (16) and Cade Cowell (16).

No other team in MLS has more than two players currently under 18.

Ochoa began his youth career at his hometown club El Camino FC before joining the Santa Cruz Breakers Academy and later the Quakes Academy. He currently competes for San Jose’s U-15 squad and has previously represented the US national team at the U-14 and U-15 levels.