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NWSL Jul 04, 2021

Olivia Moultrie becomes youngest player in NWSL history at age 15

Olivia Moultrie became the youngest player to ever compete in an NWSL match on Saturday night, as the 15-year-old made her first appearance with Portland Thorns FC.

Moultrie entered the game with Portland leading 2-0 against Louisville City FC in the 84th minute, and helped her team close out the final stretch of the clean sheet victory. The attacking midfielder looked sharp in her limited action, making several productive passes and applying defensive pressure when called upon.

Widely considered one of the top young prospects in women’s soccer, Moultrie recently had to overcome a legal dispute with the NWSL in order to become eligible to take the field, due to the league’s age restrictions. A U.S. District Judge issued an order temporarily preventing the league from enforcing their age limit of 18 years old, opening the door for Moultrie to join Portland’s first team roster.

The U.S. Youth National Team roster pool member and Wilsonville, Ore. native became a household name in women’s soccer at age 13 when she set her sights on a professional career, officially forgoing her NCAA eligibility. She signed a long-term endorsement deal with Nike and hired the Wasserman Media Group sports agency as her representation.

She joined the Portland Thorns Academy program at the time and was later called up to appear in exhibition action with the NWSL side. Saturday night marked the culmination of Moultrie’s high-profile journey to the professional level.

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