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“Every kid’s dream team” – Major League Soccer record-breaker to join Manchester City in four years



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Manchester City are set to welcome the Philadelphia Union’s record-breaker Cavan Sullivan to the Etihad Stadium in four years time, it has now been confirmed.

Sullivan is considered one of the best youth prospects in world football at present, born in 2009 of Bangladeshi and German descent through his mother, and first joined the youth academy of the Philadelphia Union in 2020.

After helping the club win the 2023 Generation Adidas Cup, Sullivan went on to make his professional debut in March 2024, appearing as a substitute in an MLS Next Pro match for Philadelphia Union II and providing an assist in the 86th minute as part of a 2-1 win.

Both Philadelphia Union and Manchester City have been attentive to the teenager’s incredible talents, and have now finalised an agreement that paves the way for his immediate first steps into senior club football across the next four years and beyond.

As confirmed by the Philadelphia Union this week, the Major League Soccer club have signed 14-year-old Cavan Sullivan to the largest homegrown contract in the league’s history, with an agreement to transfer him to Manchester City after he turns 18.

It is detailed that while Philadelphia were not authorised to discuss details about the built-in transfer to the Etihad Stadium, Sullivan himself confirmed to ESPN that the Premier League champions’ involvement contributed to his decision to sign with his hometown club.

Speaking to ESPN, Cavan Sullivan explained, “I think the collaboration between the Union and the City Group was… I think that did it for me. I always watch Man City. They’re like every kid’s dream team.

“For (The Philadelphia Union and Manchester City) to come together and agree on something… I sat with my family and my agents and we decided that it was the best plan.”

ESPN highlights that should Sullivan progress rapidly, there is the possibility he could move to Europe as early as 16, but would not be permitted to play in England.

Through his family connections, Cavan Sullivan remains eligible to represent Bangladesh, Germany, the United States and England, having already represented the USA internationally at youth level.

Sullivan also helped the United States boys’ national under-15 soccer team win the 2023 CONCACAF Boys’ Under-15 Championship.