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07/17/24 09:03:00

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07/17 20:59 CDT Philadelphia Union midfielder Cavan Sullivan is the youngest ever in MLS. He's just 14 years old Philadelphia Union midfielder Cavan Sullivan is the youngest ever in MLS. He's just 14 years old CHESTER, Pa. (AP) --- Fourteen-year-old Philadelphia Union midfielder Cavan Sullivan became the youngest player in Major League Soccer history on Wednesday night --- and probably the youngest to play in any of the biggest professional sports leagues in the world. Sullivan was 14 years, 293 days old when he entered Philadelphia's home game as a substitute in the 85th minute against the New England Revolution. That makes him about two weeks younger than Freddy Adu when he made his MLS debut in 2004 for DC United. Sullivan made his debut moments after his brother, 20-year-old Quinn, scored a goal to put Philadelphia up 5-1. Cavan Sullivan, who replaced forward Tai Baribo, got a handful of touches in the final minutes of the Union's blowout win. He even recorded his first shot on goal, blasting it at New England's net from outside the penalty area in the final minute of injury time, but it was comfortably saved by Aljaz Ivacic. "Big congrats to Cavan Sullivan for his record breaking debut today," Adu wrote on social media. "That's a hard record to break and the kid did it. Well done and good luck my man." Sullivan is younger than any player who has appeared in the NBA, NHL, NFL, NWSL, WNBA or Major League Baseball since at least 1970, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Andrew Bynum, who debuted for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005 at the age of 18 years, 6 days, holds that mark. The youngest debut in the five biggest soccer leagues around the world since at least 1988, according to FBRef.com, was Ethan Nwaneri, who came on for Arsenal in 2022 at 15 years, 181 days. The younger Sullivan was born in Philadelphia to two soccer-playing parents, and he joined the Union's youth academy four years ago. He made his professional debut in March for the Philadelphia Union II in MLS' developmental league. ___ AP MLS: https://apnews.com/hub/major-league-soccer
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