The Washington Spirit has announced the signing of 15-year-old midfielder Chloe Ricketts to a three-year contract with an option for 2026, making her the youngest contracted player in the history of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). Ricketts, who is currently a high school sophomore, will join the NWSL through the league’s new Under-18 Entry Mechanism.
Ricketts surpassed the previous youngest NWSL player, Olivia Moultrie of the Portland Thorns FC, who signed her first professional contract at 15 years and 286 days old in June 2021. Ricketts joined the Spirit for preseason training camp in January as part of a group of non-roster players and impressed the coaching staff with her competitiveness and ability to compete with professional-level players.
Head Coach Mark Parsons said, “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.”
Ricketts, a Dexter, Michigan native, played for AFC Ann Arbor in 2022 after becoming the youngest player in the youth club’s history at 14. She also played with the 2007 Boys Ann Arbor Tigers, which won the Michigan State Cup and the National League Great Lakes Conference, and the 2006 Girls team, which advanced to the Elite Clubs National League finals.
Per the NWSL’s new Under-18 Entry Mechanism, Ricketts will occupy a full roster spot, will reside with a parent or legal guardian until she turns 18 years old, 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. The club fully supports Ricketts’ education and she will continue her studies virtually throughout the season.
In a statement, Ricketts said, “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. 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!”