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The youngest person ever has joined the National Women's Soccer League at age 15

Washington Spirit players celebrate after defeating Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL Championship soccer match Nov. 20, 2021, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jeff Dean
/
AP
Washington Spirit players celebrate after defeating Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL Championship soccer match Nov. 20, 2021, in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Washington Spirit has signed the youngest person to ever play in the National Women's Soccer League, the team announced Friday.

Chloe Ricketts, a 15-year-old midfielder and high school sophomore, signed a three-year contract on Thursday, with the option to extend it after 2026, the team said.

Ricketts first began participating with the team after she was invited for preseason training in January.

"The opportunity to join the Washington Spirit on a professional contract is a dream come true," Ricketts said. "I'm looking forward to continuing my development as a player and individual with the great resources here in the District."

The previous record holder for youngest person in the league is 17-year-old Olivia Moultrie, who is a midfielder for the Portland Thorns, signed her professional contract in June 2021, when she was 15 years and 286 days old. Ricketts is 15 years and 283 days old, according to the Spirit.

"Chloe has shown great quality with and without the ball and has an incredible intensity in everything she does," Head Coach Mark Parsons said. "The vision and infrastructure of our club make this signing possible, and we are [looking] forward to Chloe developing and becoming an important player and teammate for our team."

Ricketts will continue her education throughout the season.

Per league rules for players under 18, she will have a full roster spot, reside with a legal parent or guardian until she is 18 and cannot be traded or waived without both her and a parent's consent.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ayana Archie

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