At 17 years old, Santiago Suarez career is just getting started but the New England Revolutio clearly saw something when watching Suarez play.
The center back signed a multi-year contract with New England which will have him begin his career with Revolution II competing in MLS NEXT Pro in 2023. Suarez will then officially be added to New England’s MLS roster as a Homegrown Player ahead of the 2024 MLS season.
So if all goes to plan Suarez will be 18 years old and playing in MLS. That is basically a dream come true for the youngster.
“Yeah, this has been an emotional roller coaster here because growing up I was always watching the MLS and that was always my goal,” he said in his introductory press conference. “I always wanted to play, I always wanted to be a player or involved in a club. And now that I have the amazing opportunity to represent such an amazing club like New England Revolution, yeah there’s been a lot of emotions. Obviously, it being pretty far away from home. I’ve been at Sacramento Republic FC pretty much my whole career. So, I’m really excited for this move and to get to represent the New England Revolution.
“I’m super intrigued to start with the second team and hopefully be able to earn Bruce [Arena’s] trust and be a big player with the first team that second year,” Suarez added. “But to answer your question, yeah, it’s everything to be given this opportunity. I don’t know many kids in this country that are given an opportunity like this and I’m super excited that New England was able to give me this opportunity and I hope to make the most of it.”
Suarez has been with Sacramento Republic FC since 2016, starting off in their academy. The 6-foot-5 center back made six appearances, with four starts, for Sacramento during the 2022 USL Championship campaign.
While with Sacramento, Suarez got to witness the U.S. Open Cup run that saw the club all the way to the finals. While Suarez's side ended up falling to Orlando City SC in the finals, the youngster described the experience as one he will never forget.
“Yeah, so it was an amazing experience that I feel that most players in their whole career can’t say that they’ve had,” Suarez said. “For a second division team to go so far in a U.S. Open Cup type format is really rare. We just fell short in the finals, as most of you know, to Orlando, but to be with the players to be on the bench to be in the locker room, it was an amazing experience, and I’ll remember it and cherish it for the rest of my life.”
Besides the cup run, Suarez also received his first call up to the U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team for a training camp in July of 2022. While there, Suarez met Esmir Bajraktarevic, Noel Buck, and Jack Panayotou. That camp ended up playing a major role in bringing Suarez to New England.
“Yeah, actually at the beginning of the camp, I didn’t realize that [Esmir Bajraktarevic, Noel Buck, and Jack Panayotou] were all New England Revolution players,” the 17-year-old said. “I was kind of just trying to make some friends on the team, obviously with it being my first call up, and then towards the end they told me that they’re all New England Revolution players and it kind of caught me by surprise, like I really got along with these guys, so it was almost like a huge plus for New England because I had already made such good relationships with some of their top players without even knowing they were New England Revolution players.”
So while the 2023 season is month’s away, Revolution fans should be excited to see Suarez hit the field and show what he is capable of.