Goalkeepers Are Now Among the MLS Youngest Players

The trend of youth players making their marks in Major League Soccer continues.

A Homegrown Player by the name of Hunter Sulte who is on the Timbers first team roster for the first time in 2021, Sulte became the second most youngest “Game Starting” goalkeeper in Major League Soccer history, 19 years and 6 days , second only to David Monsalve, who played his first MLS game at 18 years and for Toronto FC back in 2007.

Exactly half of the youngest goalkeepers to start a game in Major League Soccer history have all come from the last two MLS seasons. John Pulskamp, aged 19 years Sporting KC this past April, and is the sixth-youngest in league annals, then there’s David Ochoa , 2 months older is the fifth youngest making his MLS debut for Real Salt Lake City on Mat 1st of 2020.

California born American-Mexican Emmanuel Ochoa is a 15-year-old that signed for San Jose Earthquakes at 14, making him the second youngest player ever to sign a full contract “in the history of FIFA” Ochoa represents both United States and Mexican youth national teams (he can till the age of 21), Ochoa already 6’2″ tall with a very mature skill-set ready to go.

In 2020 four of the ten youngest players ever to play in a MLS game all made their league debuts. but hear this: 4 of the 20 youngest to ever score a goal did so last season. The youngest Goalkeeper in an MLS match is Eddie Gaven, who was just 16 years old when he came on as a substitute for the MetroStars (now NY Redbulls) on July 5, 2003.

At this time 8 starting goalkeepers in the MLS are homegrown and an additional 31 homegrown goalkeepers are first-team rostered among the 27 MLS clubs. This time three years ago these numbers were slashed into a third.

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