The Revolution gave Isaac Angking a chance to train with the first team when he was 15 years old. Now, Angking, 17, is joining the Revolution full time after signing a Homegrown contract.
Angking, a senior at Mount Pleasant High School in Providence, is considered the Revolution’s most promising prospect since Diego Fagundez, who signed with the team at age 15 and led the team in scoring two years later.
“We’re not putting any expectations or timetable on him,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said Tuesday. “The first thing is for him to compete in a professional environment, day in and out.
“There will be ups and downs, as with any player. We’ll bring him along. I don’t think any of the coaching staff is afraid to play young players, but he has to earn his playing time.”
The Revolution planned to kick off Brad Friedel’s coaching tenure with a statement signing, and it took a month to negotiate a five-year deal for the MLS minimum salary ($67,500 annually) with Angking.
“Sometimes a signing happens fairly quickly, sometimes it takes a little longer,” Burns said. “I don’t look at it as a negative or positive. The important thing is it happened before preseason started, so he’ll be with us for the first day of preseason and that will give him the best possible chance, to be there Day 1 with the rest of team.”
Angking, who has been competing with the Revolution’s Developmental Academy Under-19 team and played for the US U-17 national team, will join the Revolution for their first official workout under Friedel’s direction Jan. 22.
“We’re not saying he’ll be a starter for us on March 3 when we play Philadelphia,” Burns said. “We’re looking at this long term. It’s a cliché, but it’s day to day, year to year — at least initially — to see where he fits in, on and off the field.
“Physically, he’s a little ahead of the curve. In terms of body type, he brings a little physicality, and he’s also very technical. He’s versatile. He’s most comfortable central [midfield] but he can play a variety of positions.”
Angking has been a dominant performer for the Revolution Academy, leading the U-19 competition in scoring for most of the season, despite playing in a midfield role.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment, it’s always been a dream,” Angking said. “Guys on the team have been helping me and, finally, they’re my teammates.”
Angking participated in the US Soccer Residency program in Bradenton, Fla., and had been a starter with the US U-17 team, but was cut before the team competed in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India last year.
“It was a good experience, training with the best kids in the country,” Angking said. “Everyone wants a spot, training is intense. The chemistry is still there and I consider those guys brothers.”
The Revolution roster includes three other Homegrown players: Fagundez and midfielders Scott Caldwell and Zach Herivaux.
Angking, who turns 18 Jan. 24, plans to graduate with his class in the spring.