USL signing, 13, youngest pro in American soccer
Aug 8, 2023, 07:10 PM ET
USL Championship side Sacramento Republic signed 13-year-old Da’vian Kimbrough on Tuesday and made U.S. soccer history in the process.
At 13 years, 5 months and 13 days old, Kimbrough is the youngest player to become a soccer professional in the U.S. and is believed to be the youngest professional in team sports across the major leagues in North America, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and WNBA.
The record most recently belonged to Maximo Carrizo, who signed with New York City FC’s senior squad on his 14th birthday in February 2022.
Kimbrough, a forward who joined Sacramento’s youth academy in 2021, gained notoriety in June after playing in the Bassevelde U13 Cup — a tournament featuring youth teams from some of Europe’s top clubs — as a guest player for the New York Red Bulls. He helped the Red Bulls become the first MLS team to win the tournament and was named MVP.
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) August 8, 2023
“Da’vian’s journey with Republic FC is just beginning,” Sacramento president and general manager Todd Dunivant said in a statement. “He is a remarkable talent who has committed to his dream of becoming an elite player, from competing with players in older age groups and thriving at top competitions, to stepping on to the first team training grounds,”
“We are honored that the Kimbrough family and Da’vian have chosen Republic FC to support his professional pathway, and we look forward to taking the next steps together.”
In their announcement, the Republic said Kimbrough will follow a “modified” training schedule and be monitored by the sports medicine staff.
Kimbrough will continue his education, as well, by enrolling at Elk Grover Charter School in Sacramento County.
The 5-foot-11 forward from Woodland, California, is a dual-national who also has ties to Mexico.
Pending approval from the federation and league, Kimbrough could make his debut Saturday against Birmingham Legion FC (7:30 p.m. ET, available to stream on ESPN+).
Sacramento is currently atop the USL Championship’s Western Conference standings with a record of 12W-8D-3L.
Information from Reuters was used in this story.