TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
"Signing Gilbert to a Homegrown contract was a priority for us and I would like to thank the Fuentes family, agent Rob Moore, MLS and our entire staff in the youth development area for their commitment to get this done," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli in a team statement. "At just 15 years old, he has quickly separated himself from his peers thanks to a strong technical ability and high soccer IQ, which has garnered the attention of the U.S. Soccer Federation."
Fuentes, a native of Tracy, California, joined the Earthquakes academy in 2016. This season, he has been playing for the U-19 academy team, playing well above his U-17 eligibility. He also featured for the US national team U-15 squad at the 2017 CONCACAF U-15 Championship, and was called up to the US U-17s for November's Nike International Friendlies as well as January's Youth National Team Summit Camp.
The addition of the midfielder marks the third Earthquakes Homegrown signing for the 2018 season, joining goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski and defender Jacob Akanyirige, who signed as a 15-year-old before recently turning 16. Fuentes and Akanyirige are the youngest pair of current teammates in MLS and second-youngest pair all-time.