14-year-old U.S. prodigy Cavan Sullivan signs record homegrown deal with Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union signed 14-year-old midfielder Cavan Sullivan in a record contract for a Major League Soccer homegrown deal.

The club touted the landmark agreement without complete financial details, but reports frame the unique agreement as separate contract with Manchester City of the English Premier League, which Sullivan will join once he turns 18. Once the transfer is complete, the Union will receive up to $5 million from Sullivan's new club.

Sullivan becomes the youngest player in Union history to join the club's first-team roster, which includes his 20-year-old brother, Quinn.

Cavan Sullivan signing

"I've been watching my home team, the Union, for as long as I remember and hoped that one day I'd get the chance to play for my city in front of my family, friends, and fans," Cavan Sullivan said in a statement released by the team. "Being able to not only play for the Union but to be able to play with my brother is a dream come true. I will give everything I have to this club and hope to help bring home some hardware. I'm thankful for the opportunity and hope to make Philadelphia proud."

Should Cavan Sullivan appear in a game with the first team on or before July 29, he will be the youngest player in MLS history or among the top five European soccer leagues, according to the Union. He's likely to debut this season.

"Cavan is undeniably a rare and extraordinary talent. At just 14-years-old his natural skill and vision are far beyond his years," said Ernst Tanner, Union's sporting director, in the release. "His advanced soccer IQ, paired with his ability to read plays, advance the ball, and score, show just how high his ceiling will be. We are incredibly pleased to have come to an agreement to have Cavan join the Union on his first professional contract and have no doubt on the impact he will make with the club."

Sullivan has been with the Union Academy since 2020 and played on Union Academy's U15 MLS NEXT team, U17 MLS NEXT team and Philadelphia Union II MLS NEXT Pro team.

Last year, Sullivan was part of the United States' Concacaf Boy's Under-15 Championship team -- the first U.S. squad to win the tournament. He won the Golden Ball as the best player in tournament.

Although Sullivan's pro future is in Europe, he told The Inquirer he is happy to keep playing in his hometown.

"It means everything," Sullivan said. "This is the best city in my eyes, in terms of just the fans, the culture, the energy that the fans bring and the city brings. I wouldn't want to start anywhere else."

--Field Level Media

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