Olivia Moultrie, 15, makes history by signing with NWSL’s Portland Thorns

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Moultrie now has a squad: she signed a three-year contract with Portland Thorns FC, the team announced on Wednesday. She is eligible to play immediately.

“This is a dream come true and I look forward to officially joining my Thorns teammates in competition,” Moultrie said in a press release. “I’m so grateful to the legal team who helped me do this, they were just amazing.”

A press release from the Thorns says Portland acquired the rights to Moultrie from NWSL club OL Reign, which held its rights as the first team on the NWSL Discovery Priority List. In return, OL Reign will receive a third round pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft.

Moultrie began training with Thorns FC during the 2019 season and has competed in preseason competitions in each of the past three seasons.

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“This step is very important for Olivia,” said Thorns head coach Mark Parsons. “For this club, having the commitment and the vision to recruit a talented young player that we truly believe in is immense. Olivia has continued to grow and move forward throughout her time here and has taken on every challenge. challenges and made it an opportunity. “

“We are delighted that Olivia is joining our team,” said Gavin Wilkinson, General Manager and President of Soccer for Thorns FC. “She has been with this club since early 2019 and many Thorns staff have been fully committed to her development.”

On June 17, United States District Court Judge Karin J. Immergut granted a preliminary injunction to Moultrie, whose father argued that the NWSL rule prohibiting players under the age of 18 from signing with a team violates federal antitrust law.

Immergut’s order points out that the NWSL’s counterpart men’s league in the United States, Major League Soccer, has no minimum age and that “more than half of MLS teams would have one or more players. »Under 18 in May 2021.

CNN has reached out to the NWSL for comment on Moultrie’s signing.

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