A pair of teenage Canadian soccer players had days to remember Sunday.
Canadian-born forward Daniel Jebbison became the youngest player to score in his first Premier League start in Sheffield United’s 1-0 win over Everton. Jebbison, aged 17 years 309 days, scored seven minutes into the game.
And Canadian international winger Theo Corbeanu, who turns 19 on Monday, made his Premier League debut off the bench in Wolverhampton’s 2-0 loss Sunday at Tottenham.
Corbeanu has won two caps at the senior level for Canada. Jebbison is currently affiliated with England, having played for its under-18 team in March.
Because of that, Canada Soccer considers Corbeanu as the youngest Canadian to feature in the Premier League.
Jebbison was born in Oakville, Ont., and started at the ANB Futbol when he was six. He moved to England in 2017 before ending up in the Sheffield United academy. He worked his way up the Blades’ under-18 and under-23 side and then the first team.
He made his first senior appearance as a substitute against Crystal Palace last week.
Corbeanu, from Hamilton, replaced Wolves forward Fabio Silva in the 82nd minute Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Junior Hoilett, at 19 years two months, had been the youngest Canadian in the Premier League, according to Canada Soccer. Terry Dunfield and David Edgar were also 19 when they made their debut in the English top tier.
In March, Corbeanu scored off the bench in his debut for Canada in a 5-1 win over Bermuda in World Cup qualifying play. Corbeanu replaced Hoilett in the 77th minute and opened his Canadian account four minutes later, finishing off a feed from Liam Millar.
He earned a second cap in Canada’s subsequent 11-0 romp over the Cayman Islands.
Corbeanu had been playing primarily for Wolves’ under-23 side. While manager Nuno Espirito Santo has had him dress for the Premier League squad’s first team in both league and cup action, he wasn’t called upon until Sunday.
Both his parents were born in Romania, coming to Canada in 1999 with his older brother.
Corbeanu has represented Romania at the youth level, scoring in his debut for its under-16 side against Ireland. He subsequently switched his international allegiance to Canada.
Growing up, Corbeanu played for the Mount Hamilton Youth Soccer Club, Hamilton Sparta and Saltfleet Soccer Club.
Corbeanu spent two years with the Toronto FC academy, joining in late 2016 when he was 14 after spending time earlier in its pre-academy camps.
In the summer of 2018, his agent set up a trial at Leicester City, which went well and drew the attention of Wolves. He visited the club and liked what he saw.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2021.
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press