It’s easy to miss the adolescence of Jeff Dewsnup after watching him make back-to-back mind-bending saves in a USL Championship match. The skill with which he deflects a shot while playing goal for Real Monarchs is reminiscent of a well-travelled veteran, not that of someone who has yet to graduate high school.
In his first season as a professional, the 6’1” goalkeeper has become a consistent figure in the league’s Save of the Week nominations and a prime fixture in game highlights for the Real Monarchs, recording 33 saves in his 11 appearances.
All of which outline an impressive resume in the league, one he is continuing to build but when reckoned with his age it becomes obvious just how good he already is and the potential for what he might become.
This past weekend Dewsnup quietly set a record, one lost in the narrative of defeating a Western Conference rival. At just 17 years, two months and 18 days, Dewsnup inked his name into the history books as the youngest goalkeeper in USL Championship to record a clean sheet, surpassing a record set and held by Aaron Cervantes with Orange County SC more than two years ago.
The goalkeeper made two saves against the Pacific Division playoff-contending San Diego Loyal SC to earn his first professional shutout. Moreover, he helped the team win its first road-victory of the season and secure all three points to bring back to Utah.
“It was so awesome, genuinely so happy after the game,” Dewsnup said with a huge smile on his face. “I immediately ran up and hugged Jazi [Orozco], just so happy. My family had driven down for the game, so I was able to celebrate with them afterwards, we got dinner together, it was a special moment.”
But for Dewsnup, making history seems to be just another day at the office.
Since beginning his professional career earlier this year he’s already marked his name as the eighth youngest in league history to appear in a match, having made his debut for the Monarchs while still 16 years old. He is also the first Real Salt Lake Academy product to hail from Herriman, Utah and rise through the ranks to the professional level. And if that wasn’t enough, when he put pen to paper on his Real Salt Lake Homegrown Player contract, he became the youngest signing in club history.
“At first I felt like I was younger, but as the games go by, I’ve started to feel more comfortable, it's becoming natural to me,” Dewsnup said. “Now I just want to keep doing my best for the team and try to keep them in as many games as possible and set us up for a potential run to the playoffs.”
Fans will have to wait until Saturday, September 11 to see Dewsnup and the Monarchs take the pitch again at Zions Bank Stadium. In the meantime, fans can watch the team’s next four matches on ESPN+ during its road swing where again, Dewsnup will look to continue impressing as one of the top young goalkeepers in American soccer.