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Chloe Ricketts, 15, Becomes Youngest Signed Player in NWSL History

  • She beat out Olivia Moultrie — who signed with the Portland Thorns in 2021 — for the record by three days.
  • Ricketts is the first player to sign under NWSL's new Under-18 Entry Mechanism.
Chloe Ricketts posing while holding a soccer ball on her shoulder.
AFC Ann Arbor

In June 2021, Olivia Moultrie made National Women’s Soccer League history by signing a professional contract with the Portland Thorns at 15 years, 286 days of age.

Less than two years later, the NWSL has a new youngest-ever player: Chloe Ricketts, who signed a three-year deal with a fourth-year option with the Washington Spirit last week at 15 years, 283 days old — beating out Moultrie for the record by three days.

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

Ricketts’ deal is the first under the NWSL’s new Under-18 Entry Mechanism, a set of rules dictating how players under 18 can participate in the league.

Under the mechanism, Ricketts, a high school sophomore, must continue her education while playing. Additionally, she will occupy a full roster spot, cannot be traded or waived before age 18 without both her and her parent/legal guardian’s consent, cannot be selected in entry drafts, and will live with a parent/legal guardian until she turns 18.

The mechanism was brought about after Moultrie filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league to allow her to sign with Portland in 2021.

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Ricketts joins a Spirit squad that won the 2021 NWSL Championship.

Washington star Trinity Rodman was the youngest player ever drafted into the league when she was taken second overall in the 2021 College Draft at age 18. She subsequently signed a reported four-year, $1.1 million deal — the largest contract in NWSL history.

Ricketts, Rodman, and Moultrie are set to appear in the popular soccer video game “FIFA 23,” which recently announced it is adding an NWSL mode to the game.

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