The Prowl

The Prowl

Soccer phenom not letting age get in the way of her Goals

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Soccer phenom not letting age get in the way of her Goals

Photo courtesy of urbanpitch.com

Photo courtesy of urbanpitch.com

Photo courtesy of urbanpitch.com

Photo courtesy of urbanpitch.com

Elizabeth Franklin, Staff Writer

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If you watched the Oscars on Feb. 24, you probably saw Nike’s all-female “Dream Crazier” advertisement and the young soccer player looking at the camera near the end. That girl is 13-year-old Olivia Moultrie, who has, if you can believe it, already turned pro.

Moultrie was offered a full-ride scholarship to University of North Carolina at age 11, but has recently turned down the scholarship in favor of the pro ranks. In addition to already going pro, Moultrie has signed a deal with Nike that’s worth more than the four-year scholarship to UNC.

The soccer prodigy has been training intensely since age seven, and has been homeschooled since fifth grade to allow more time for practice. Moultrie was the first girl to play for a boy’s team in the US Development Academy system, and by the age of 10 she was participating in college showcase camps.

Moultrie has already played with older girls within the US national program and often has to compete with boys to find someone to match her skill level. She has already played with clubs in Europe, like Bayern, Lyon and PSG. By the end of her trip to France to play with Lyon, coaches had Moultrie practicing with the boys’ Under-17 team.

Moultrie is set to leave her hometown of Canyon County, California to join the Portland Thorns developmental academy in Portland, Oregon, but, due to her young age, there are a lot of unknowns for her current placement in the NWSL. Although she’s fitting right in at the Thorns’ preseason practices, Moultrie can’t compete in the league until she’s 18. She also can’t sign with any foreign clubs before then, even though she’s captured the attention of numerous European clubs. In the meantime, Moultrie will continue to develop her skills in Portland in a professional environment before she turns 18 and can take the soccer world by storm.

By skipping college ball, Moultrie is following the example of current soccer stars Mallory Pugh and Lindsey Horan, and she’s right on track to excel as soon as she is eligible to play for the US national team. Get ready to see this phenom take on the pros in the next few years, and don’t be too surprised when she quickly overtakes players who have been playing longer than she’s been alive. Moultrie is an inspiration to young athletes, and she’s proving to the world that greatness can come from any age group.

 

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