January 27, 2022

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14-year-old Real Salt Lake's Axel Key beats Freddy Addo's mark as the youngest player to sign in the NBA

14-year-old Real Salt Lake’s Axel Key beats Freddy Addo’s mark as the youngest player to sign in the NBA

Real Salt Lake have signed 14-year-old Axel Key on a local contract, making him the youngest signing in Major League Soccer history.

At 14 years and 15 days old, Kei was 153 days younger than Freddy Adu when he signed with DC United after being selected for MLS SuperDraft in 2004. The contract is for two years.

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“Over the past year, Axel has proven to be one of the best potential strikers in the country,” Real Salt Lake General Manager Eliot Fall said in a statement.

“His penchant in front of goal goes well beyond his years, and along with his elite sporting activity, he expects to become a goal-scoring force in our league in the coming years.”

Key was born in Ivory Coast before moving to Brazil, where his father played football professionally. The family moved to San Diego in 2017, where Key played in a youth club associated with the LA Galaxy.

In October, Kei came off the Real Monarchs bench in a USL Championship match to become the youngest athlete ever to appear in American team sports history.

It’s unclear how quickly Kei will work on the first team’s plans. Kei is the fifth RSL Academy producer to sign with the club this week.

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