Freddy Adu - DC United - Celebrate
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Who are the 10 youngest players ever signed to an MLS contract?

If you're good enough, you're old enough. And MLS has plenty of talent for which that aphorism rings true. 

Following the New York Red Bulls' signing of midfielder Bento Estrela to a Homegrown contract on the day before his 15th birthday, there's a new entrant in the league's 10 youngest signings. 

Estrela becomes the fourth youngest player to sign for an MLS team, and the youngest player signed since 2019. Teenage talent continues to burgeon in MLS, though still atop the list is former wunderkind Freddy Adu, who signed his first contract when he was just 14 years and 168 days old in 2004. 

Below is the list of how old each player was on the day they signed their MLS contract. 

Freddy Adu

Signed by: D.C. United

Age when signed: 14 years, 168 days

Year signed: 2004

Where he is now: A 17-time United States international, Adu struggled to fulfill the huge early expectations but has enjoyed a globe-trotting career and the 31-year-old is currently with Swedish lower-division side Osterlen FF.

Emmanuel Ochoa

Signed by: San Jose Earthquakes

Age when signed: 14 years, 191 days

Year signed: 2019

Where he is now: The 15-year-old goalkeeper is still developing his skills, and so far has not made his professional debut.

Gabriel Slonina

Signed by: Chicago Fire

Age when signed: 14 years, 297 days

Year signed: 2019

Where he is now: The 16-year-old spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons as part of the Fire's roster, but the goalkeeper still awaits his first professional match.

Bento Estrela

Signed by: New York Red Bulls

Age when signed: 14 years, 364 days

Year signed: 2021

Where he is now: Estela is the latest to join this group after signing for the Red Bulls in February.

Joe Scally

Signed by: New York City FC

Age when signed: 15 years, 83 days

Year signed: 2018

Where he is now: Scally made his first team debut in 2020, and played four times for NYCFC that season. But even before then, he signed a deal with Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach for a seven-figure fee. He officially joined them in January. 

Gianluca Busio

Signed by: Sporting Kansas City

Age when signed: 15 years, 89 days

Year signed: 2017

Where he is now: After making his debut in 2018, Busio has grown into becoming a regular in the SKC midfield. In 2020, he played 21 games, scoring two goals.

Cade Cowell

Signed by: San Jose Earthquakes

Age when signed: 15 years, 102 days

Year signed: 2019

Where he is now: Cowell made his Earthquakes debut in 2020, playing four games and scoring once in his first professional season.

Fuad Ibrahim

Signed by: Toronto FC

Age when signed: 15 years, 130 days

Year signed: 2007

Where he is now: Ibrahim spent two years in Toronto, and played in the United States, Finland, and his native Ethiopia before retiring in 2017. The forward also earned six caps with Ethiopia during his playing career.

George Bello

Signed by: Atlanta United

Age when signed: 15 years, 146 days

Year signed: 2017

Where he is now: Bello is a regular in Atlanta after making his debut in 2018, playing 20 games in 2020. He also recently made his USMNT debut, playing in the team's January friendly against Trinidad and Tobago.

Bryan Reynolds

Signed by: FC Dallas

Age when signed: 15 years, 157 days

Year signed: 2016

Where he is now: Reynolds made his Dallas debut in 2019 and made 27 appearances for the club before joining Italy's AS Roma this winter for a record transfer fee received by Dallas.