California phenom Olivia Moultrie turns pro at 13

At 11, Olivia Moultrie reached a verbal agreement to play for the University of North Carolina.

At 12, she traveled to Europe to train with Lyon, the French women's champion, and Bayern Munich, winner of Germany's Frauen-Bundesliga titles in 2015 and 2016.

At 13, Moultrie has turned pro, foregoing her college eligibility by signing a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike and agency deal with the Wasserman Media Group.

The announcement came one day after she was one of 25 female athletes to appear in a Nike ad "Dream Crazier" during ABC's broadcast of the Oscars.

Moultrie, an eighth-grader, was one of four players born in 2005 on the U.S. under-14 girls national team that won the 2018 Concacaf Girls U-15 Championship. She was tied for second on the team with three goals.

She has played for Beach FC in the Girls Development Academy, scoring 21 goals in 32 games in the U-15 age group last season and nine goals in 15 games in the U-16/17 age group this season.

The Oregonian reported, citing sources, that Moultrie will leave her hometown of Canyon Country, California, to join the Portland Thorns FC developmental academy.

Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan, the 2018 NWSL MVP, was the first American woman to turn pro without going to college. She also passed up a scholarship to UNC to sign with Paris St. Germain after graduating from high school.

The only other American star to turn pro without playing in college is Mallory Pugh, who attended UCLA for a semester but never played for the Bruins.
10 comments about "California phenom Olivia Moultrie turns pro at 13".
  1. Wallace Wade, February 25, 2019 at 10:37 p.m.

    Good luck! Do you think Wasserman Group has ever heard the story of Freddy Adu?

  2. James Rose, February 26, 2019 at 12:31 a.m.

    Unfortunate that this is a marketing driven signing by the Portland Thorns to obtain homegrown signings. There is an enormous difference between u13 and u21+, which is the level that NWSL players play at.

    Are her parents acting in her best interest or going for a quick payout? Best of luck to her on making it to the next level.

  3. John Soares, February 26, 2019 at 5:53 a.m.

    JR, I agree, however "IF" handled right there is no reason why it can't work.
    She gave up eligibility to "play soccer" in college. Not the opportunity to go to college.
    She can certainly, now pay her own way.
    Much guidance will be required.

  4. Robert Robertson, February 26, 2019 at 8:27 a.m.

    If she was male would we be having this discussion?  Playing soccer in college does not necessarily create stronger players. Top club coaches are better than college coaches and the distorted schedule of college athletics are in my opinion not good for player development. The problem is there are not the same opportunities to play at the pro level.  
    I wish the player and the parents the best of luck.  The path forward is always a difficult decision.

  5. Wallace Wade, February 26, 2019 at 8:41 a.m.

    Robert, yes we would. 13?

  6. Victor Mathseon, February 26, 2019 at 9:28 a.m.

    I think everyone here is missing the obvious absurdity and corruption of the NCAA. There are no other activities at college where you can't make money and still go to college. If you want to make money in a small business and then go to college on a business scholarship, no problem. You want to make money as a child actor and then go to college to major in drama, great. You invent something as a kid and then want to major in the sciences, please do. 

    But you want to make money as an athlete and then go to college to play that sport. Sorry, college is all about amateurism. Except for the coaches, the trainers, the ADs, and the college marketing deaprtments. All of those people can make money off the athlete. 

  7. frank schoon, February 26, 2019 at 11:04 a.m.

    Never heard of her but my first first impression seeing the headline of this article was ," what are we doing?". Then I viewed the Nike video which didn't help either, watching some of the female athletes and female  coaches acting like idiots, displays so often seen in men's sports. Remember, Brandi Chastain pulling her shirt off running around the field after scoring a goal, an idiotic act seen at that time in men's soccer.
    I watched the first half of the Concacaf U15, 2018 against Mexico on Youtube, to see Moultry. Watching the level of soccer displayed, I asked myself, "do we really need a National "Girls"team at this age?" ,seeing the level of soccer displayed. But be that as it may, I found it interesting the way many of Mexican players are build are better  to cope in small spaces and the Amerian team, build more for speed and thereby better in large spaces.  I did like our #11, Shaw.  What we need is to play like the Mexican side and employ speed when needed.
    Moultry, didn't impress me considering the press she's had. She plays in one tempo, and is very predictable, leading me to think she needs to work, if she's that good ,with a bonafide great midfielder, a la Valderama of sorts, instead of some USSF licensed ,programmed coach.
    The Mexican girls displayed more "feel" with the ball than our American girls and that's seems to be a salient feature of our opponents in the men's side, too. 
    Watching the way our girls move ,adjust , handle themselves  reflects in the manner of training they are receiving which is way too programmed.
    I'm sure some of the girls will be recruited by UNC for some of the players fit that style of play. 

  8. John Soares, February 27, 2019 at 4:37 a.m.

    RR, Yes we would...should.
    This time it's not male/female.
    Remember Adu?
    Hate to see another child, full of potential be thrown in a situation they are not prepared to handle.
    It is NOT about college, rather hope that she has people around her with HER best interest in mind

  9. John DiFiore, February 28, 2019 at 12:38 a.m.

    Does Spring soccer not count?  Mal Pugh played for UCLA in Spring of 2017.

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, February 28, 2019 at 8:41 p.m.

    It doesn't matter whether it counts as a year played or not because Pugh turned professional. 

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