Born in 2007, the very young American player born in the Ivory Coast makes the history of sport: on the pitch with the Real Monarchs.
It is easy to define it as phenomena, promises, ‘new’ Messi, new Maradona, heirs with a bright future. The sports news is often the daughter of a destiny already marked for young performers capable of shattering all records. More and more Under, with an identity card increasingly distant from the age of majority. What happened in the US with Axel Kei, however, he had never really seen each other. Comparisons abound, the road seems already marked towards infinity. Let’s go slow.
What is certain is what Kei did in terms of numbers. Taking the field in the match between the Real Monarchs and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, not only did the 2007 class become the youngest footballer in the history of stars and stripes soccer to take the field as a professional, but he also became the sportsman in general to reach such a milestone. American football, baseball, hockey, basketball? No one had ever played at 13 with kids from another generation.
But who is Kei? Striker born in the Ivory Coast, Kei has been hired by Real Salt Lake, an MLS team with which he could make his debut, at this point, sooner than expected. Currently impossible, given and considered the 13 years, but it is not certain that in the next two years he will not already be able to play against twenty-year-olds and thirty-year-olds at high levels, to compete for the greatest trophies, individual, and not.
Chosen by Goal
After all, Kei has already won the top scorer of the MLS NEXT Cup U15, together with the same championship in the Real Salt Lake youth jersey and now he has already found his debut with the Monarchs, the reserve team that plays in the USL Championship, the Serie B north. -american, behind the MLS. This is why Axel’s debut was so publicized, not only because we are talking about a 13-year-old. There is talk of a 13-year-old who took to the field in the second level of a rapidly expanding tournament like that of the United States and Canada.
13 years and 9 months for Kei, quick and physical central striker, who remembers Youssoufa Moukoko not only for his young age, Borussia Dortmund striker capable of demolishing young players in Europe, between Germany and the Champions League. The same structure, the same position, the same level, too high compared to the peers that pushed him to quickly challenge professional players for fifteen seasons. If not more.
Compared to Moukoko, however, he is taller (185 cm compared to the 179 of the German) and also more explosive. In addition, he can count on the left-handed as a weapon to undermine defenses and break down doors. Beyond the sensationalisms, however, it is necessary to make things clear by looking at the past, considering the example Freddy Adu.
In 2003 Adu secesa on the field at the age of 14, becoming the youngest player in the history of American football and sport, pushing away the record of Fred Chapman, who at the end of the 19th century played at the age of 14 in the MLB, the greatest Basebell tournament in the United States. Chapman played at high levels only in 1887, like Adu, who lost himself among the lower leagues during his career, often being free and with few appearances in the curriculum, between Sweden, Serbia and Finland.
Is Kei different from Adu and Chapman? Impossible to say now, considering that it will have to withstand pressure, comparisons and expectations. The boy’s family, Real Salt Lake and Axel himself will have to work to keep the spotlight away, or at least convince us. Only when he begins to score with great continuity, and in the long term, at 15, 18 or 20 years, will he be able to really tear up every other day as well, the front pages of newspapers, paper or web, of the whole planet.