ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - As you glance out onto the pitch at Al Lang Stadium, you may have difficulty spotting the team's youngest member.
Jordan Doherty is 18 years old, but as Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins says, he is "old beyond his years."
Doherty carries himself with the surety of a veteran. His build and speed allow him to blend effortlessly with players 10 years his senior.
He has been playing with and against older players since he was 15, when he signed with England's Sheffield United.
Irish by birth, Doherty set out on his own with the blessing of his parents.
"Obviously, it was tough moving away from home at such a young age," says Doherty. "When I went to Sheffield, there were a couple of Irish lads there that helped me."
Jordan Doherty is the first player for the Rowdies that was born post-Y2K. It is odd to find a professional athlete whose bio lists their date of birth in the year 2000, let alone one who has been playing elite-level soccer for more than three years.
One of the ways Jordan stays in contact with family is a unique tattoo that he and his brother back in Ireland each have. Jordan's graces the right calf, and it is two Chinese alphabet characters side-by-side.
"It was kind of like secretive," Jordan says of the tattoo. "It stands for brothers. Brothers for brothers. What more can you say?"
Jordan Doherty and the Rowdies look to maintain their place at the top of the Eastern Conference standings when they take on Ottawa Fury FC Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium.