Young athletes often dream of moving beyond the high school field and onto the professional level. Those aspirations typically take years to realize and usually happen after graduation. But 15-year-old soccer player Chloe Ricketts is not your typical athlete. The sophomore’s excellence on the field just earned her a contract with the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League.
When Ricketts signed her contract on March 2, she became the youngest contracted NWSL player ever, according to a press release from the Washington Spirit. At 15 years and 283 days old, Ricketts surpassed the previous age record set in 2021 by just three days.
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
The high school student’s three-year contract has an option for a fourth year, which shows the team’s belief in this young woman’s talent.
“Chloe has shown great quality with and without the ball and has an incredible intensity in everything she does,” said Mark Parsons, the Washington Spirit head coach, in the press release. “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 newest player for the NWSL has specific guidelines to follow. As part of the league’s Under-18 system, Ricketts will have a full roster spot and continue her schooling online. She will also live with a parent or guardian until her 18th birthday.
Ricketts has been breaking ground in soccer for years. She was also the youngest player on the AFC Ann Arbor team last season, when she was 14.
𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙍𝙊𝙊𝙏𝙎 𝘼𝙍𝙀 𝙂𝙍𝙊𝙒𝙄𝙉𝙂 🌳
Another massive news from our women's side, as our very own Chloe Ricketts joins the NWSL side @WashSpirit's preseason roster.
Good luck on your first professional stint, @ChloeRicketts89! ❤️#COYMO pic.twitter.com/4qM28iE3aS
— AFC Ann Arbor (@AFCAnnArbor) January 25, 2023
In 2021, she earned an invitation to play on the Ann Arbor Tigers boys team, which went on to win the Michigan Cup and National League Great Lakes Championship.
“I think it’s made me a better player because it’s increased my speed of play,” Ricketts said about playing on the boys team. “You have to be physically and mentally quick when competing against boys.”
Ricketts thanked her former team AFC Ann Arbor, who celebrated the player’s achievements on Twitter.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity and supporting my journey. Much love for the AFC Ann Arbor fam! https://t.co/qR35VVWRmU
— ChloeRicketts89 (@ChloeRicketts89) March 4, 2023
In a statement following her contract signing with the Washington Spirit, Ricketts acknowledged her excitement for the opportunity to play professional soccer. And her eyes are already on the prize for her new team.
“The opportunity to join the Washington Spirit on a professional contract is a dream come true,” she said. “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!”