Real Salt Lake have signed 14-year-old forward Axel Kei from RSL Academy on a two-year deal, the team announced on Friday. Kei is the youngest person ever to sign for a Major League Soccer team at 14 years and 15 days, beating Freddy Adu’s 18-year record by 153 days.
“Over the past year, Axel has proven to be one of the best attackers in the country,” said Elliot Fall, Real Salt Lake general manager. His propensity in front of goal goes well beyond his years and coupled with his elite athleticism he has plans to become a scoring force in our league in the years to come.”
Last October, he shocked the sports world when he came on as a substitute at a Real Monarchs game to make history as the youngest professional athlete in the history of American team sports at the age of 13 years, 8 months and 9 days.
Kei is the 32nd native player in club history. He helped lead RSL Academy’s under-15 team to the first-ever MLS Next Cup championship, scoring five goals in five games, including a hat-trick against Southern California’s Total Futbol Academy. At the end of the tournament, Kei was awarded the Golden Boot for the most goals scored at U15 level during the tournament.
(Photo: Bill Barrett / ISI Photos/Getty Images)