Washington Spirit sign youngest ever NWSL player

Washington Spirit sign youngest ever NWSL player.
Washington Spirit sign youngest ever NWSL player. / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Washington Spirit made NWSL history on Friday, signing Chloe Ricketts as the youngest ever player to join the league at just 15 years and 283 days old. 

Portland Thorns figure Olivia Moultrie previously held the record, after signing with her club at 15 years and 286 days old. 

Ricketts now joins as the team’s new midfielder, arriving as a highschool sophomore on a three-year contract through the end of the 2025 season with an option for 2026. 

She will join the league through “the NWSL’s new Under-18 Entry Mechanism,” the Spirit said in their release. Under the rule, she holds full roster spot, but cannot be traded or waived before her 18th birthday without her and her parents’ consent and remains ineligible for selection in expansion drafts.

“This season, we remain very focused on building a roster that can help us succeed now while also investing in the future,” said Head Coach Mark Parsons. 

“Chloe has shown great quality with and without the ball and has an incredible intensity in everything she does. 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.” 

The midfielder is set to continue her education virtually during the NWSL season as she pursues her soccer career.

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

“Having the chance to work with Dawn Scott (Performance, Medical and Innovation) and Head Coach Mark Parsons as I begin my professional career is exciting, and I can’t wait to do my part in contributing to the club’s success… Now, let’s go win another championship!

Ricketts stands as just one of the team’s many roster changes during the offseason. The Washington Spirit strengthened the squad, signing midfielder Ines Jaurena and defender Gabrielle Carle, while also parting ways with key figures like Kelley O’Hara. 

The 2023 NWSL season kicks off on March 25.