Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gaven became the youngest player to sign with MLS, doing so at the age of 16 years and two months (since passed by Freddy Adu), joining the league after having spent two years training with other promising young Americans at the USSF's Bradenton Academy. Eddie was drafted by the MetroStars with the twelfth overall pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. He became the youngest player in team history on his debut on June 14, 2003 against Chicago and became the youngest player in team history to score a goal, which he did in just his second game, against DC United on July 5th. With the game tied at two, Metro coach Bob Bradley used a loophole in the substitution rule, moving Metro goalie Tim Howard out of the net and putting on Gaven as a fourth "goalkeeper only" sub. After less than a minute in goal, Gaven and Howard switched places and Eddie went on to score a dramatic game winner with just seconds left in overtime. In the process, he became the youngest goalkeeper in MLS history (the loophole was eliminated after the season, largely due to outcry following Gaven's goal).
Gaven played every minute for the US in the 2003 Under-17 World Championship in Finland and then became the youngest player in CONCACAF history to appear in an Olympic qualifier when he played for the US Under-23 team. His meteoric rise did not end there. After becoming an automatic starter and coming into his own with the MetroStars in 2004, Gaven became the youngest player ever voted in to start the MLS All-Star Game, and the fourth youngest player in US history to get his first cap, doing so against Poland on July 11. He finished the MLS season with seven goals and seven assists and became the youngest player in league history to be named to the MLS Best XI.
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