Heads were turned on Monday, as USL Championship side Orange County SC unveiled their newest signing, 14-year-old Francis Jacobs, the youngest male player to turn pro in U.S. soccer history.
Angels on Parade asked Jacobs about the decision to turn pro during an interview on Monday.
“I think this is the right time for me because a lot of other kids my age around the world are already training five days a week and you can’t really get that playing academy soccer in the US, and when I’m playing academy I’m one of the best and tallest kids in the game so this gives me a new perspective and set of challenges, now being one of the smallest kids out there,” Jacobs explained.
A member of Irvine Strikers academy program, Jacobs has been training with Orange County SC all summer and said he wants to enjoy the ride while fully developing into a professional as he grows up.
“First and foremost, I’m looking to improve in every part of my game, and playing every day with experienced professionals will provide me with that environment,” he explained. “I don’t think a youth player my age can experience that in any other sport, but most of all I’m also looking to have fun will developing as a pro player.”
Jacobs is billed as a midfielder at this point, but considering his age, that may not be set in stone. For his part the player said he was probably best right now as a defensive midfielder or a box-to-box style midfielder.
And whether he sees action right away or is brought along slowly on the first team by Orange County SC, the newly minted professional has big dreams for his career.
“Right now my goal is to get into the starting lineup and get minutes playing with OCSC,” Jacobs said. “Beyond that, I would like to play in Europe and work to become one of the best players in the world. It would obviously also be really cool to play for the U.S. in the World Cup someday.”
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