USL signing, 13, youngest pro in American soccer

USL Championship side Sacramento Republic signed 13-year-old Da’vian Kimbrough on Tuesday and made U.S. soccer history in the process.

At 13 years, 5 months and 13 days old, Kimbrough is the youngest player to become a soccer professional in the U.S. and is believed to be the youngest professional in teams sports across the major leagues in North America, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and WNBA.

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Kimbrough, a forward that joined Sacramento’s youth academy in 2021, gained notoriety in June after playing in the Bassevelde U13 Cup — a tournament featuring youth teams from some of Europe’s top clubs — as a guest player for the New York Red Bulls. He helped the Red Bulls become the first MLS team to win the tournament and was named MVP.

“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,” said Republic’s president and general manager Todd Dunivant in a club statement.

“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.”

The 5-foot-11 forward from Woodland, California, is a dual-national that also has ties to Mexico.

Pending approval from the federation and league, Kimbrough could possibly make his debut this Saturday in a match against Birmingham Legion FC (4:30 p.m. PT/ 7:30 p.m. ET, available to stream on ESPN+).

Sacramento are currently at the top of the USL Championship’s Western Conference standings with a record of 12W-8D-3L.

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