The Washington Spirit has signed 15-year-old midfielder Chloe Ricketts to a three-year contract with an option for 2026, the National Women’s Soccer League team announced on Friday.
Ricketts, who is a high school sophomore, became the youngest contracted NWSL player ever, surpassing Portland Thorns FC’s Olivia Moultrie. Ricketts will join the NWSL through the league’s new Under-18 Entry Mechanism.
At 15 years, 283 days old when she signed Thursday, Ricketts broke the record set by Moultrie, who signed her first professional contract at 15 years, 286 days old on June 30, 2021. Ricketts joined the Spirit for preseason training camp in January after being invited as part of a group of non-roster players. She traveled with the team to Florida as well as training in Leesburg, Va. She impressed in training with her competitive drive and ability to compete with players at the professional level.
“This season, we remain very focused on building a roster that can help us succeed now while also investing in the future,” Spirit head coach Mark Parsons said in a statement. “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 look forward to Chloe developing and becoming an important player and teammate for our team.”
Ricketts will continue her education virtually throughout the season. Per the NWSL’s new U-18 Entry Mechanism, Ricketts will occupy a full roster spot, will reside with a parent or legal guardian until she turns 18, 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.
A Dexter, Mich. native, Ricketts competed for AFC Ann Arbor in 2022 after becoming the youngest player in the youth club’s history at 14. In 2021, Ricketts played with the 2007 Boys Ann Arbor Tigers, which won the Michigan State Cup and the National League Great Lakes Conference as well as the 2006 Girls team that advanced to the Elite Clubs National League finals.
“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. 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!”