Da’vian Kimbrough, 13, makes history as the youngest professional athlete in U.S. team sports

Francis Akhalbey August 10, 2023
Da'vian Kimbrough made history after signing with Sacramento Republic's senior team -- Photo Credit: Sacramento Republic FC

Thirteen-year-old Da’vian Kimbrough on Tuesday wrote his name in the history books when he signed his first professional contract with USL Championship side Sacramento Republic. Per ESPN, Kimbrough, who was 13 years, 5 months, and 13 days old when he signed the contract, is now the youngest professional soccer player in the United States.

The teen is also said to be the youngest professional athlete in North America’s major sports leagues. They include the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and WNBA. The record was initially held by New York City FC player Maximo Carrizo. He signed with the soccer franchise’s first team when he turned 14 in February last year.

Kimbrough had stints with the North Bay Elite Futbol Club and in Solano County and Yolo County’s Woodland Soccer Club before he joined Republic FC’s Academy in 2021, the team said in a statement

The teen made a name for himself in June during the Bassevelde U13 Cup – a youth tournament that features some of the most prestigious clubs in the world. Featuring as a guest player for the New York Red Bulls, Kimbrough emerged as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after scoring six goals and helping his team become the first MLS club to win the competition. 

“Da’vian’s journey with Republic FC is just beginning. 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,” Republic FC President and General Manager Todd Dunivant said. 

“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.”

Republic FC said Kimbrough will be put on a modified training schedule and “monitored with the club’s sports medicine staff, in consultation with his family and USL safeguarding guidelines.” The teen will also continue his education at Elk Grove Charter School.

The team also said Kimbrough would be added to the first team roster pending approval from the league and federation. The teen’s professional debut could come against the Birmingham Legion on Saturday. 

“A young player’s path is never the same as the person seated next to them. Da’vian has shown tremendous focus, commitment and dedication, as well as a willingness to embrace the challenging road ahead of him,” said Head Coach Mark Briggs. “Over the last two years he has demonstrated his tremendous potential, and our goal is to continue to support and help him grow as a player and person.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 10, 2023


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