At 13 years, seven months, and 13 days, Da’vian Kimbrough is the youngest player to make their professional debut, coming on in the 87th minute of Sacramento Republic’s win over Las Vegas Lights on the weekend.
Kimbrough broke Axel Kei’s record from 2021, only two months younger than the Real Salt Lake striker was when he took the field for the first time. The teenager is also the youngest American athlete, signing his first pro contract with Sacramento in August.
Kimbrough joined Sacramento’s academy in 2021 and stunned for the U13s, scoring 27 goals in 31 matches alongside players over a year older than him.
More and more young players are joining professional set-ups in recent years, and an overwhelming number of them were made in the USA. Casey Phair, a New Jersey native, became the youngest player at a Women’s World Cup this past summer, turning 16 just weeks before the tournament.
In the NWSL, 15-year-olds Melanie Barcenas and Chloe Ricketts broke the record for the league’s youngest professional player within days of each other. The birth years on team rosters were shocking when 2006 and 2007 were starting to pop up. Kimbrough just raised the bar to 2010. This is one to watch out for.