MLS Makes History as 14-Year-Old Axel Kei Joins RSL, Setting an Unprecedented Milestone

Real Salt Lake’s Youngest Signing in MLS History: Axel Kei

Real Salt Lake has recently made history by signing Axel Kei from the RSL Academy on a two-year deal. What makes this signing even more extraordinary is that Kei is just 14 years and 15 days old, becoming the youngest player ever to sign with a team in MLS history. This achievement surpasses the previous record held by Freddy Adu, who signed his first professional contract at 18 years and 153 days old.

A Rising Star in the Making

Real Salt Lake General Manager, Elliot Fall, expressed his excitement about the signing, stating, “Over the last year, Axel has proven to be one of the top attacking prospects in the country.” Fall highlighted Kei’s exceptional goal-scoring abilities and elite athleticism, projecting a bright future for the young prodigy in the league.

In October 2021, Kei made history once again by coming off the bench during a Real Monarchs seniors’ match, making him the youngest professional athlete in American team sports history to compete at a competitive level. At just 13 years, 8 months, and 9 days old, Kei demonstrated his immense talent and potential, leaving spectators in awe.

A Promising Career Ahead

Despite being the 32nd homegrown player in Real Salt Lake’s history, Kei is not expected to play a significant role in the MLS next season. However, fans and experts alike are keeping a close eye on this rising star as he continues to develop his skills and make a formidable impact on the field.

Drawing comparisons to Freddy Adu, who joined DC United in 2004, Kei hopes to have a different trajectory in his career. Adu, once hailed as a prodigy, faced challenges reaching the level of success initially expected of him. Now at the age of 32, Adu has not played at the professional level since 2020 when he departed from Swedish amateur league side Osterlen FF.

The MLS Cup Contenders

Real Salt Lake’s surprising playoff run last season may have caught many off guard, but bookies currently do not consider them among the favorites to win the MLS Cup this year. With odds set at +5000, they are ranked 18th on the favorites list. However, it’s important to note that the future is unpredictable, and underestimating a team can lead to surprising outcomes.

At the moment, LAFC, New England, and Seattle are all considered strong contenders with odds set at +700, while defending champions NYCFC sit at +1000. Real Salt Lake, already a 2009 MLS Cup winner and 2013 runners-up, should not be underestimated despite their current odds.


Real Salt Lake has made history by signing Axel Kei, the youngest player ever to join an MLS team. With exceptional talent, Kei has already showcased his abilities at a competitive level, making him a player to watch in the coming seasons. While Salt Lake might not be considered top contenders in the MLS Cup, it’s important to remember that the world of soccer often surprises us, and anything can happen on the field.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How old is Axel Kei?

Axel Kei is just 14 years old, making him the youngest player to ever sign a professional contract in MLS history.

2. Who previously held the record for the youngest signing in MLS?

The previous record was held by Freddy Adu, who signed his first professional contract at the age of 18 years and 153 days.

3. What position does Axel Kei play?

Axel Kei is a forward known for his exceptional goal-scoring abilities.

4. Has Axel Kei made any professional appearances?

Yes, Kei made history by coming off the bench during a Real Monarchs seniors’ match at the age of 13 years, 8 months, and 9 days old.

5. How does Real Salt Lake’s odds compare to other MLS teams in the MLS Cup?

Real Salt Lake is currently ranked 18th on the favorites’ list with odds set at +5000, while other teams such as LAFC, New England, and Seattle are considered stronger contenders. However, odds don’t always dictate the outcome, and surprises can happen in soccer.

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