13-Year-Old Da’vian Kimbrough Becomes Youngest Pro Athlete in U.S. History: ‘A Remarkable Talent’
Kimbrough, a soccer player, is eligible to play as early as this weekend, according to his new team Sacramento Republic FC
A 13-year-old soccer player has just become perhaps the youngest professional athlete in American history, after he signed a contract with Sacramento Republic FC of the USL Championship league.
Sacramento announced the signing of Da’vian Kimbrough, who is 13 years, 5 months, and 13 days old, on Tuesday.
“Da’vian’s journey with Republic FC is just beginning,” Republic FC President and General Manager Todd Dunivant said. “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.”
The team said Kimbrough “will continue his studies and will be able to join Republic FC’s education partner — Elk Grove Charter School — in the future.”
The 5-foot-11, 150-pound forward first joined the team’s youth academy in 2021 when he was 11 years old. Kimbrough then gained widespread attention this past June after an impressive performance at the Bassevelde Under-13 Cup, according to ESPN.
Kimbrough played in the Bassevelde Cup as a guest player for the New York City Red Bulls — who described the tournament as “the youth soccer version of the Little League World Series” — and was named the tournament’s MVP, helping the team become the first Major League Soccer youth team to win the cup.
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In two seasons with Sacramento’s youth academy, the Woodland, Calif., native has scored 61 goals in 81 games.
“Da’vian has shown tremendous focus, commitment and dedication, as well as a willingness to embrace the challenging road ahead of him,” Sacramento’s head coach Mark Briggs said. “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.”
Eder Quintanilla, Sacramento’s youth academy director, called Kimbrough “a special player who has thrived in difficult and challenging environments.”
“We’re excited to be a part of the next step in his development, and to continue to support his professional dream,” Quintanilla said.
Kimbrough is believed to be the youngest professional athlete in U.S. sports history, and Sacramento says the 13-year-old soccer star “will be eligible” to play as early as Saturday in the team’s next match against Birmingham legion FC.
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