Chloe Ricketts, midfielder of the Washington Spirit team, recently held the title of the youngest-ever NWSL player for less than three weeks. Her record was surpassed by Melanie Barcenas, another 15-year-old, who joined the San Diego Wave team on Tuesday and broke Ricketts’ record by 145 days.
Barcenas, a San Diego native, signed a three-year contract at the age of 15 years and 138 days. She has previously represented the United States at the youth level and was called up for the Under-17 team’s friendlies against England in February. Barcenas expressed her excitement on signing with her hometown team, saying that it has been her dream not just to play in the NWSL but to represent her city since the announcement of the Wave last year.
On the other hand, Ricketts signed a three-year contract earlier this month at the age of 15 years and 283 days. Both Ricketts and Barcenas were able to join their clubs under the NWSL’s new under-18 entry mechanism, which allows each team to sign two underage players to the senior roster with the consent of their parent or guardian.
San Diego Wave, an expansion franchise that joined the NWSL in 2022, will kick off their season against Chicago Red Stars on Saturday. The competition among these young talents is expected to intensify as they showcase their skills on the field.
The report was provided by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru, with Peter Rutherford editing.
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