15-year-old youth soccer midfielder inks three-year deal with fourth year option in move to pros
The Washington Spirit has made history by signing the youngest ever player, 15-year-old midfielder Chloe Cathleen Ricketts, who is currently a straight A high school sophomore. The Washington Spirit announced the player signing on March 3, 2023 and the contract is for three-years with an option for 2026.
Ricketts officially becomes the youngest contracted NWSL player ever, passing Portland Thorns FC’s Olivia Moultrie who signed June 30, 2021. At 15 years, 283 days old when she signed last Thursday, Ricketts surpasses her new National League alum by being three days younger at the time of inking her deal with Washington.
Born in 2007 and graduating high school in 2025, Ricketts will join the NWSL through the league’s new Under-18 Entry Mechanism.
A Dexter, Michigan native, Ricketts competed with the Michigan Jaguars U-19 2004 Girls Academy in 2022 and was the youngest player in the youth club’s history at 14. She also played for the Michigan Jaguars U-19 2004 Girls Academy. In 2021, Ricketts played in the USYS National League with Michigan Tigers 07 Boys Gold (MI) which won the Michigan State Cup as well as the National League Great Lakes Conference. In addition, Ricketts played for the 2006 Girls team that advanced to the Elite Clubs National League finals.
Ricketts was also selected as a forward for the 23-player U.S. Under-16 Women’s Youth National Team in 2022 which was the first event for U-16 WYNT head coach Patchy Toledo.
“This season, we remain very focused on building a roster that can help us succeed now while also investing in the future,” said Head Coach Mark Parsons. “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.”
“Chloe has always been driven like no other. Even in her younger years here at Michigan Tigers, coaches always saw the energy and love for the game she had,” said Michigan Tigers Club Director Andy Pritchard. “In her more recent years playing in the National league platform, her mentality and speed of thought improved to the degree of contributing and impressing in games, as well as winning the National Championship.”
“The opportunity to join the Washington Spirit on a professional contract is a dream come true,” Ricketts stated. “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!”
The Washington Spirit, based at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. was launched in 2012 and has always been forward thinking.
Ricketts joined the Spirit for preseason training camp in January after being invited as part of a group of non-roster players, traveling with the team to Florida as well as training in Leesburg, Virginia. The young player impressed in training with her competitive drive and ability to compete with players at the professional level.
With full support from the club, Ricketts will continue her education virtually throughout the season. 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 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.
Source: Press Release Washington Spirit, U.S. UNDER-16 WOMEN’S YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM SET TO GATHER AT NIKE HEADQUARTERS IN PORTLAND, OREGON and USYS.
Visit Chloe Ricketts website.