D.C. United made their third homegrown signing of 2019 today, inking winger Griffin Yow to a deal. The 16-year-old native of Clifton, VA spent most of the preseason with D.C., and has featured for Loudoun United in the USL Championship. Yow has scored 3 goals in 5 appearances with the U.S. under-17 national team, including a goal against Portugal late last year during the Nike Friendlies series.
In a statement from the team, General Manager Dave Kasper said “[Yow] has been a top performer for our U-17 Academy team, and has represented the U.S. Youth National Teams at various levels and we’re looking forward to utilizing our new USL Championship club, Loudoun United FC, to begin his development as a professional soccer player.”
“He’s obviously talented but his mentality and drive make him unique,” Ryan Martin, United’s academy director, added. “This signing paints the picture of how clubs can successfully work together to provide a professional pathway for young players in the DMV. Matt Lacey, Mike Cullina and the entire Virginia Development Academy (VDA) staff did a tremendous job with Griffin’s development but also with their support in him joining the D.C. United Academy to push him towards his ultimate goal of being a professional.”
Yow has already made some history at the professional level, scoring Loudoun’s first-ever competitive goal in this past weekend’s 1-1 draw with Memphis 901 FC:
First ever goal in Loudoun United history scored by #15 Griffon Yow!!! #SaddleUp #WeAreLoudoun pic.twitter.com/wPJCyCnV47— Loudoun United FC (@LoudounUnitedFC) March 17, 2019
That’s where Yow figures to get the large majority of his professional minutes, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ben Olsen call him up to D.C. for appearances in friendlies and Open Cup games. With Paul Arriola, Ulises Segura, and Zoltan Stieber all receiving international call-ups within the past 6 months, it would not be entirely surprising to see Yow get into the 18 should the Black-and-Red find themselves short during games that take place in international windows.
Yow is the 12th homegrown signing in United’s history, half of whom (Bill Hamid, Jalen Robinson, Chris Durkin, Antonio Bustamante, and Donovan Pines) are currently on the roster. Between Loudoun giving the club the option to get youngsters minutes in a serious competition and United’s Pathway to Pro initiative, that number figures to grow at a faster pace in the coming years.