The San Jose Earthquakes announced a historic Homegrown Player signing Thursday. 15-year-old Jacob Akanyirige is the youngest player to sign with the Quakes, and the third-youngest active player in the MLS.
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) December 16, 2017
San Jose Earthquakes Sign 15-Year-Old Defender Jacob Akanyirige to Homegrown Contract
“Jacob has shown an incredible amount of potential at such a young age,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli stated in a team release. “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.”
Akanyirige joined the Earthquakes U-15 development academy team in 2015 from Ballistic United SC. After the 2016 season, the Quakes promoted him to the U-19 squad. After impressing while playing above his age level, general manager Jesse Fioranelli decided it was time to have him train with the first team.
Akanyirige is the fourth player the Quakes have ever signed to a Homegrown Player Contract, behind Tommy Thompson, Nick Lima, and JT Marcinkowski, who signed earlier this month.
Yesterday, the Earthquakes announced the signing of three players from the team’s USL affiliate, Reno 1868 FC. Defender Jimmy Ockford, and midfielders Luis Felipe and Chris Wehan were part of Reno’s record setting inaugural season. Reno set league records in scoring (75 goals) and goal differential (+36).
These moves will bolster the team’s depth just days after the Earthquakes lost striker Marco Ureña to LAFC in the MLS Expansion Draft, and defender Kip Colvey, who was claimed in the Waiver Draft by the Colorado Rapids.