After 16-year-old Griffin Yow received his first call-up to D.C. United following some recent impressive displays for the club’s USL Championship affiliate Loudoun United FC, the Homegrown forward earned his MLS debut in DCU’s loss to NYCFC Sunday. He entered the match for Paul Arriola in the 92nd minute and was able to get a couple touches on the ball before closing out the night. Even though the Black-and-Red didn’t get the win, Head Coach Ben Olsen still commended Yow for his efforts in his first MLS appearance.
“He’s a lovely kid and has a bright future. It’s a game where we threw him a bone and got him in there to give Paul a rest for a couple minutes,” Olsen said.
Yow is the youngest player to sign with D.C. United since Freddy Adu in 2004 at just 15 years of age, and the club’s youngest Homegrown signing in franchise history. He is also currently the youngest active player in MLS. Being able to start at such a young age makes Yow feel confident about getting ahead of the game.
“It’s just great to get on the field and get all the nerves away because I know the next game, I’ll be able to play a little more confidently, maybe a few more minutes. And to get this debut in, even though it was just three or five minutes, that was huge for me,” Yow said.
Unlike his fellow Homegrown teammates, getting a quicker start with the first team was one of Yow’s goals with D.C. United from the very beginning.
“I knew from the start, as soon as I signed, that I didn’t want to be like the other homegrown. I didn’t want to wait a year, I didn’t want to wait two years, I wanted to get out on the field as fast as possible. And I think I made that very clear to Ben and the other coaches. And I think it’s really paid off for me,” Yow said.
After a strong start, and some recent injuries to D.C.’s attack, Yow is likely to see more on-the-pitch action off the bench in the near future.