Chloe Ricketts has just become the youngest player to join a US National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) team. On March 21, 2023, the high school sophomore from Dexter, Michigan, signed a three-year contract with the Washington Spirit. At that time, Ricketts was 15 years and 283 days old. Olivia Moultrie previously held the record. She was 15 years and 286 days old when she joined the Portland Thorns in 2021.
Ricketts will continue her education online. Per the NWSL's rules, she will reside with a parent or legal guardian until she turns 18. Their consent will also be needed to trade her to another team.
The teen soccer phenom is no stranger to making history. In 2022, she competed for AFC Ann Arbor's women's team. At just 14 years old, she was the youngest to play for the elite amateur soccer club. In 2021, Ricketts helped the 2007 Boys Ann Arbor Tigers win the Michigan State Cup and the National League Great Lakes Conference. She also led the 2006 Girls Ann Arbor Tigers to the Elite Clubs National League finals that year. More recently, Ricketts agreed to a multiyear endorsement deal with Adidas. She is the youngest US female soccer player to sign with the sportswear company.
This is not the first time the Washington Spirit has captured young talent. In 2021, they signed 18-year-old Trinity Rodman. She was the youngest player ever selected in an NWSL college draft.
Resources: NPR.com, girlssoccernetwork.com, washingtonspirit.com