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15-year-old goalkeeper Fernando Delgado makes history for Real Salt Lake's USL team

Chris Smith
Real Salt Lake's youngsters have made history for the second time in a week.
Real Salt Lake's youngsters have made history for the second time in a week. / Chris Gardner/GettyImages
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Real Salt Lake's USL affiliate, Real Monarchs, have made history for a second time in quick succession, breaking the record for the youngest goalkeeper to appear in professional soccer.

Just a week ago, Monarchs forward Axel Kei made history from the substitutes bench against Colorado Springs Switchbacks, becoming the youngest-ever player to make a professional appearance for an American sports team at 13 years, nine months and nine days old.

This time, Fernando Delgado lined up in net in the Monarchs' 4-3 win over Austin Bold. At 15 years, 2 months, and 22 days old, the teenager is now the youngest goalkeeper in professional soccer history.

Remarkable though Delgado's achievement is, it wasn't an ideal debut. The youngster conceded three goals from six shots on target, while he was sent off in the 86th minute alongside Austin forward Jorge Troncoso following an altercation.

The Monarchs went down to nine men as a result, with Bode Davis seeing red just minutes earlier, but they were still able to find an 89th-minute goal to seal their fifth win of the season.

Delgado has been with the RSL academy since June 2020 after being recruited from the Barcelona academy in Casa Grande, Arizona. Both the goalkeeper's parents are Mexican and he was invited to join up with El Tri's U-17 team earlier this year. Delgado is also eligible to play for the United States and is yet to make a decision on his international future.

The 15-year-old now has just under two years to impress at the USL level and earn minutes with the RSL senior team if he's to become MLS' youngest-ever goalkeeper.

That record was recently set by Gabriel Slonina, who made his Chicago Fire debut in August aged 17 years and 81 days old. Slonina also became the youngest MLS goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet, making four saves to help the Fire to a 0-0 draw against NYCFC.

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