High school sophomore Chloe Ricketts became the youngest player in the National Women’s Soccer League history on Thursday when she signed with the Washington Spirit. Ricketts signed a three-year contract with an option to extend for a fourth year in 2026.
The record for youngest NWSL player was previously held by Olivia Moultrie who signed with the Portland Thorns when she was 15 years and 286 days old. At the time of Ricketts’ signing, she was 15 years and 283 days old.
Spirit sign 15-year-old Chloe Ricketts to a 3-year contract!Youngest signed player in NWSL history pic.twitter.com/EU2zeis45o
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) March 3, 2023
An absolute dream come true. Thank you @WashSpirit for this incredible opportunity. This moment wouldn't be possible without my loving family, friends, teammates and @mktjersey by my side. To the Spirit community, I can't wait to see what magic we create together. #OneSpirit pic.twitter.com/MJvCwHAR11— ChloeRicketts89 (@ChloeRicketts89) March 4, 2023
The Washington Spirit have signed 15-year-old Chloe Ricketts — officially the youngest player ever to join the NWSL.She's currently a high school sophomore. pic.twitter.com/LuOTFrWUId
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) March 7, 2023
Ricketts joined the Spirit’s preseason training camp in January as an invitee where she impressed head coach Mark Parsons.
"Chloe has shown great quality with and without the ball and has an incredible intensity in everything she does," Parsons said. “We are looking forward to Chloe developing and becoming an important player and teammate for our team."
Ricketts played with United Women’s Soccer side AFC Ann Arbor before signing with the Spirit. The Michigan native showcased her potential with the team and was honored with the goal of the month in May of the 2022 season.
— USL W League (@USLWLeague) March 3, 2023
Ricketts will become the first player to have a deal under the league’s new Under-18 Program. With this program she will: Occupy a full roster spot, will reside with a parent or legal guardian until she turns 18 years of age, may not be traded or waived before age 18 without both her and her parent/legal guardian's consent and may not be selected in expansion drafts.
Moultrie helped pave the wave for this new program when she and her family filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NWSL in 2021 which allowed her to play with the Portland Thorns.
“The opportunity to join the Washington Spirit on a professional contract is a dream come true,” Ricketts said in a club statement. “I’m looking forward to continuing my development as a player and individual with the great resources here in the District.”
Ricketts will continue her education virtually while with the team.