Currently enjoying the southern California sun, the Quakes have the next month to prepare for the next season. As they have for years now, there is plenty of work to be done. For Cade Cowell, this has to be the year where he takes MLS by storm.
Since his debut over two years ago, Cade Cowell has been more of an idea than a reality. The talent is obviously there, but he has never found a way to be a consistent starter.
Luchi is the best coach that Cade could have asked. Under Luchi, he will be given a longer leash to be himself. The Quakes’ rebuild hinges on him and he will have the opportunity to show why he is the team’s future.
To reach that next level, Cade must develop a better sense of the game. As the team’s starting right winger, he will need to bring in his teammates more. It may seem like it’s a lot to ask for, but if he is to reach his desired heights, it starts now.
While Ebobisse is the team’s best player, the Quakes’ season will likely fall on Cowell’s shoulders. It will be up to him to show why he has been hallmarked as MLS’ next great talent.
Entering this season, it’s been made abundantly clear that this is Cade’s chance. A new development driven coach has reinforced the club’s belief in Cade.
Luchi made his name developing some of the best talents MLS has produced. From Ricardo Pepi to Jesus Ferreira, Luchi’s time with FC Dallas has left a massive imprint in the USMNT pool. While his credentials in MLS are debatable, it’s hard to take anything away from his developmental record.
For Cowell to have such an interesting coach like this is massive. Under Luchi, Cade can learn to tap into that potential and translate it to the top flight. Luchi may not be able to take the Quakes far, but he will be there to nurture Cade’s development.
The roster that the front office has built makes Cade incredibly important. Outside Kikanovic, there is no other proven MLS winger on the right besides Cade.
Fans have correctly bemoaned the lack of transfers, but the lack of moves for attackers makes sense. The front office, and coaching staff, want to give Cade the reins of this offense. In addition, with Benji fielding transfer offers, it’s Cade’s starting spot to lose.
Bouda isn’t ready for the starting role, but is being prepped as the long term replacement for Cade. This leaves Cowell as the only real right winger on this team. Now it’s up to him to cook MLS defenses and put his name up there with the league’s best.
This season’s buildup has been focused almost solely on Cade. It makes sense given the club’s direction and plan that they’ve developed this offseason.
To truly make that next jump, there are a few things that Cade must improve upon. If he can show significant development, it’s not hard to see him move to Europe soon.
Since his debut, Cade has struggled with his decision making. For a young player, this is expected. Not every player will be Iniesta or Messi, players need reps to understand how to flow within an offense.
Being yo-yoed in and out of the lineup for two seasons now has impacted his reps. However, Cade still has moments where he clearly struggles to make the right pass. This results in good chances becoming useless, as he tries to dribble past everyone.
At times, he’s been too reliant on his physical tools to just overpower opponents. This works against weaker opponents, but not those at MLS level. Being able to properly read the game is the only way to beat those smarter defenders and exploit them.
However, there is just so much to like about Cade as a prospect. His physicality is beyond his years and makes him a threat whenever he has the ball.
If the recent spell of USMNT games made even clearer, Cade’s physical gifts are what differentiates himself from other prospects. The mixture of physicality and speed makes fans see what would have happened if Randy Moss had played soccer. He also has great control which makes his speed even more terrifying.
There is a multitime MLS all star within Cade, but he must continue developing. It’s time for Cade to outgrow the Quakes.
For years, the Quakes have needed someone to carry the franchise to the future. Cade can be that player by putting the club and its academy on the map. It may be a lot to put on the shoulders of a 19 year old, but he is the club’s chosen one.
Featured image: San Jose Earthquakes