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Union Ink 14-Year-Old Phenom Cavan Sullivan To Massive Deal

The Philadelphia Union made big headlines around the soccer world today. They inked a 14-year-old phenom, Cavan Sullivan, to a deal that will see him play for his hometown team until he turns 18 and heads overseas to play for Man City. The deal was first reported by ESPN. You read that age right, 14 years old. Per ESPN, if he makes his debut before July 29th, which he is expected to do, he will be the youngest player in MLS history. Freddy Adu currently holds that crown, having also inked his deal at 14. Adu was younger when he signed the deal, but Sullivan is currently younger than Adu was when he made his debut. Important To Keep Expectations For Cavan Sullivan Low For Now The Adu tale is a cautionary one though. Like Cavan Sullivan, Adu was a phenom, with his eyes set overseas. But he flamed out before his career reached anywhere near the lofty expectations laid onto him The hope is playing in his hometown, on a team with his older brother, will help keep Cavan more comfortable at his young age. It will be important to keep expectations in check. He might be an immensely talented player, but he is also a 14-year-old kid playing with grown men. Expecting him to instantly look like a star would be incredibly unfair. When he does debut, he likely won't be starting. In an interview with ESPN, Cavan Sullivan himself said he hopes to be a regular player by the age of 16, and then earn his way to starting. He is not going to come in, and instantly see big playing time. The Ceiling For Cavan Sullivan That said, there is reason to think he is going to one day be a special player. That may not fully materialize until he is 18 and playing for Man City. But the kid has a special skill set. Coach Jim Curtin described him as an attacker, and Sullivan himself called himself a playmaker. "I would say the big word is 'playmaker. That's what I try and be every game, every training. I think I'm good on the dribble. My decision-making is pretty good, and my vision on the field is one of my qualities." -Cavan Sullivan to ESPN When Will We See Him? We don't yet know when he will make his debut. But he is expected to play here for the next 4 years in some type of role. To start, it might not be a big role. While that may kill some of the initial hype, easing him in will likely be the best choice for him long-term. The Union's next game is this Saturday. That could be his debut if they think he is ready. Curtin told ESPN that he will play when he is healthy. If not Saturday, it is expected to be soon though. Listen To Or Watch 'The Best Show Ever?' Live On The 97.5 The Fanatic And On NBC Sports Philly From 2 To 6 p.m. every Weekday

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