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How Francis Jacobs, 14, his family and his new club are working to ensure he's not the 'next Freddy Adu'

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno explains why Freddy Adu was unable to turn his promise into an illustrious professional career.
Jacobs made the decision with close support and input from his family, who will manage his schooling with his increasing focus on soccer.

The comparisons are inevitable.

In November 2003, 14-year-old Freddy Adu signed his first professional contract with MLS and D.C. United. In the years since, Adu's career has been held up as a cautionary tale of too much too soon, showing how being the face of a league set the stage for a career that never lived up to the hype. Now another 14-year-old is slated to turn pro and is doing so a few months younger than Adu was when he became a professional.

Late last month, Francis Jacobs signed...

Adieu, Adu! Jacobs youngest to sign U.S. deal

USL Championship side Orange County SC has signed 14-year-old Francis Jacobs to a multiyear professional contract, the club and the player have told ESPN FC, making him the youngest male player to sign a professional soccer contract in the U.S.

Jacobs, who projects as a central midfielder, signed with OCSC on July 26 at 14 years, four months and 29 days old. Freddy Adu was 14 years, five months and 16 days old when he signed with MLS and D.C. United in November 2003.

Earlier this year, 13-year-old...

ESPN FC  By ESPN

Keisuke Honda training with Orange County amid links to MLS move

Keisuke Honda
Keisuke Honda spent four seasons with AC Milan.

Japan international Keisuke Honda has been training with Orange County SC during preseason.

A free agent since leaving AC Milan at the end of last season, Honda is reportedly a player of interest to several MLS sides.

The 31-year-old's presence at Orange County SC was confirmed in an Instagram post by the club, alongside the message: "Orange County SC is happy to welcome world renowned soccer superstar, Keisuke Honda to train with the squad this past week!!"

Contacted for comment by the website...