Turlock’s Hayden Sargis is the first ever 17-year-old to receive a professional soccer contract. He was offered a contract on Jan. 14 with Sacramento Republic FC, a team he is familiar with as he was part of its Academy.
“The whole part of being a professional soccer player is awesome, and it is every player’s dream to be a professional soccer player and to be able to achieve it at 17, unbelievable moment for my family,” said Sargis.
Since the launch of the Academy back in 2015, Sacramento Republic FC has offered eight USL Academy contracts. Sargis was the second academy member to sign a professional contract, with Mario Penagos, another 17-year-old being the third.
The terms of the contract were not disclosed and are pending league and federations approval.
Sargis told Sacramento Republic FC that this was a day he had been waiting for since he first put on the Republic FC academy kit.
Sacramento received its official MLS award in October of last year, with its first MLS season set to begin in 2022.
Sargis said that being on the first team has always been the goal.
“When I went to Barca in Arizona, and then back to Sac and signing with them has been great,” said Sargis. “First of all, I am close to my family and the support I have been given by my family is great, and just being in Sacramento... the staff was great and welcoming each and every time.”
During his time as an amateur, he progressed at a rapid rate.
He went on to train at the Barcelona training camp in Arizona before he decided to return to his home state.
While at the Republic FC Academy, as a defender, Sargis had 109 appearances to go with 92 starts and three goals.
“I just continued to work hard and the opportunity presented itself,” said Sargis. “I started training with these guys a year and a half ago, and I slowly proved myself little by little in games and now it is official that I am a professional soccer player.”
Sargis made his first team debut as a starter during the July friendly victory over Club America’s U-20 squad. He logged his second match during the October friendly against Liga MX’s FC Juarez.
It was in that game that Sargis said he felt he stood out and made his name known after Sacramento won, 2-0.
“I played really well and stood out, and I think it showed why I got this contract and why it was coming,” said Sargis.
In 2019-2020 U.S. Soccer Development Academy action, Sargis has started and appeared in 13 matches while contributing one goal on the offensive side.
Sargis notched his first opportunity as a defender with the U-19 team during the 2016-2017 campaign after he appeared and started in nine matches. Over his entire U-19 career, Sargis has 41 appearances and 40 starts.
He said that none of this would have been possible without the support from his family, more importantly his father, who drove Sargis four times a week to Sacramento, including games on the weekends.
“Driving to training for five years, one hour and a half each way… my dad took me four times a week and a game on the weekend,” said Sargis. “Definitely would not have been possible without that and I am very grateful.”
Sargis is scheduled to join the Republic FC first team for their opening match of the season at home against FC Tulsa on March 7.
“My mindset is on March 7, the season opener. A goal of mine personally is to have a good rookie season, basically my rookie season, and as a team win a championship,” said Sargis. “That is definitely my goal to start, but I have to work hard for that. I think anything is possible, so long as I work hard and prove myself, I believe I will get the chance.”