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U.S. soccer team sign 14-year old on professional contract

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(Reuters) – Orange County Soccer Club have signed 14-year old Francis Jacobs, making him the youngest professional male signing in United States soccer history, the California club said on Tuesday.

Jacobs, who is 14 years, four months and 29 days old, signed a deal with the second tier United Soccer League club and could make his debut on Saturday against Las Vegas Lights FC.

“I am very excited for Francis, who is a young and gifted local talent, to join our team,” said head coach Braeden Cloutier. “I’ve been really impressed with his poise and ability on the ball that he’s shown us these past few months.”

Jacobs had also trained with Bayer Leverkusen and FC Koln.

His signing eclipses that of Freddy Adu, who was 14 years, five months and 16 days when he joined DC United in 2003.

Adu won a major contract from Nike but bounced around a slew of clubs and never quite made an impact that his early promise indicated.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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