Eddie Gaven (born October 25, 1986 in Hamilton Township, New Jersey) is a retired American soccer player who played 11 seasons in Major League Soccer, primarily with the Columbus Crew. In July 2012, Gaven became the youngest player to play in 250 MLS matches at 25 years and 257 days old.
|Full name||Eddie Gaven|
|Date of birth||October 25, 1986|
|Place of birth||Hamilton Township, New Jersey, United States|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2001–2003||IMG Soccer Academy|
|2003||United States U17||4||(0)|
|2005||United States U20||1||(0)|
|2003–2008||United States U23||5||(1)|
|2016–||Ave Maria Gyrenes|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 31, 2013|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of October 31, 2013
Gaven attended Steinert High School in New Jersey but did not play college soccer. Instead, Gaven became (at the time, since passed by Freddy Adu) the youngest player to sign with MLS when, at the age of 16 years and two months, he joined the league after having spent two years training with other young Americans at the USSF's Bradenton Academy.
Gaven 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 D.C. United on July 5. With the game tied at two, Metro coach Bob Bradley used a loophole in MLS's substitution rules, which allowed a fourth substitution in a game but only for a goalkeeper. Bradley first exchanged the playing positions of Metro goalie Tim Howard and midfielder Mark Lisi, then substituted Gaven into goal for Lisi as the fourth "goalkeeper only" sub. After only 10 seconds of play, the ball went out of play and Gaven and Howard switched places, with Gaven moving to midfield and Howard back into goal. Gaven then went on to score the game-winner in overtime. In the process, Gaven became the youngest goalkeeper in MLS history. The goalkeeper fourth-substitution rule was eliminated after the season, largely due to the outcry following Gaven's goal.
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, 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.
Gaven ended the 2005 MLS season with eight goals and four assists. Just before the 2006 season, Gaven was traded to Columbus Crew along with the rights to defender Chris Leitch for striker Edson Buddle. With the Crew, Gaven played nearly every game in 2006, scoring four goals. In 2007, he appeared in 27 games for Columbus scoring five goals and tallying seven assists. Gaven's 2008 season resulted in lower output, three goals and two assists, due in part to starting the season injured. In the Eastern Conference Championship game, Gaven propelled the Crew into their first MLS Cup Final with a game-winning goal; the Crew went on to win the Final.
During the 2010 MLS season in a game against the Philadelphia Union, Gaven was forced to play in goal for the second time in his MLS career after goalkeeper William Hesmer went out of the game with a shoulder injury. The Crew had used all three substitutions prior to Hesmer's injury. Gaven was scored on by Sebastian LeToux during the final minutes of the game, but made two saves to help the Crew win the game 3–1. Gaven would go on to win MLS Save of the Week honors for one of the saves.
Gaven signed a contract extension for two years plus option years with Columbus on November 14, 2011.
Following his well publicized retirement from soccer in 2013, he moved to Ave Maria University as Head Men's Soccer Coach in March 2016.
Gaven played every minute for the U.S. in the 2003 Under-17 World Championship in Finland. He then became the youngest player (17 years 104 days) in CONCACAF history to appear in an Olympic qualifier when he played for the U.S. Under-23 team in a 2-0 victory over Canada on February 5, 2004. He then became the fourth youngest player in US history to get his a senior cap, doing so in a 1-1 against Poland on July 11, 2004.
Gaven is a devout Catholic.
|Club||Season||League||MLS Cup Playoffs||U.S. Open Cup||SuperLiga||Champions League||Total|
- Sharrett, Cody. "Black & Gold by the numbers". Columbus Crew. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- Haley, Craig. "Gaven working to regain magic", The Times (Trenton), June 19, 2007. Accessed July 8, 2007. "Gaven's slump was unexpected considering his vast success. In 2001, after his freshman year at Steinert High, he was invited into the U.S. residency program at the IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Fla."
- "Crew delighted to lock up Gaven with multi-year deal". MLS. November 14, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- "Gaven Retires". The Columbus Dispatch. October 31, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- "Ave Maria Names Gaven Men's Soccer Coach". Ave Maria University. March 7, 2016.
- "U.S. Advances to Semifinals of Olympic Qualifying with 2-0 Win Over Canada". United States Soccer Federation. Archived from the original on March 22, 2004. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "Late Bocanegra Header Gives U.S. 1-1 Draw With Poland in Chicago". United States Soccer Federation. Archived from the original on August 22, 2004. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "Major League Soccer All-Star Rediscovers Beauty of Catholic Faith". EWTN News, Inc. July 25, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2017.