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13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
#718669 02/26/19 08:42 PM
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American youth soccer phenom Olivia Moultrie, a 13-year-old midfielder from Southern California, made history this week by taking the first steps toward embarking on a professional career.

Moultrie, who had previously committed to the University of North Carolina at age 11, has decided to forgo her amateur status. This week, she appointed the Wasserman Media Group sports agency as her representation, and promptly signed an endorsement deal to become an official Nike athlete.

In another move signaling her seriousness about going pro sooner rather than later, Moultrie has announced her intention to move to the Portland, Ore. area where she will join the Thorns FC Academy program. Although current rules prevent her from signing a pro contract until she turns 18, Moultrie’s move to the National Women’s Soccer League club’s Academy system brings her another step closer to becoming a pro.

Keeping her options open, Moultrie has also spent time training overseas with European clubs Olympique Lyon and Paris St.-Germain in France, and Bayern Munich in Germany.

There has been speculation that Moultrie could eventually become the beneficiary of future rule changes that would allow her to play either domestically or abroad before she turns 18. But until then, existing FIFA and NWSL age limits will keep her waiting.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Larry Miller #718673 02/27/19 08:56 AM
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The moment I read the story about this young girl I immediately thought about Freddy Adu and how this young phenoms life was affected with being labeled soccer’s future in this country at a similar young age. Adu’s Experience has no happy ending and is a sad story in which he was never able to live up to the expectations placed on him. Would love to hear from this young girls parents and hear there thoughts about the action they have taken on her behalf. Parents primary obligation should be “what is in the best interest of there child”. Does there actions here meet those standards? It makes me think as well about colleges making commitments to players in 9th & 10th grade based on only the schools soccer program. These young girls and parents give little thought to being student-athletes with an emphasis on being a student and preparing for life. Would love to have publicized the first year salaries of those players drafted to play in the NWSL as well as the salaries of all the players in the league so that these young ladies can see what the reality is for playing professionally after college. To think that an endorsement was the motivating factor for these parents to make this decision is quite sad.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Anonymous #718674 02/27/19 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
The moment I read the story about this young girl I immediately thought about Freddy Adu and how this young phenoms life was affected with being labeled soccer’s future in this country at a similar young age. Adu’s Experience has no happy ending and is a sad story in which he was never able to live up to the expectations placed on him. Would love to hear from this young girls parents and hear there thoughts about the action they have taken on her behalf. Parents primary obligation should be “what is in the best interest of there child”. Does there actions here meet those standards? It makes me think as well about colleges making commitments to players in 9th & 10th grade based on only the schools soccer program. These young girls and parents give little thought to being student-athletes with an emphasis on being a student and preparing for life. Would love to have publicized the first year salaries of those players drafted to play in the NWSL as well as the salaries of all the players in the league so that these young ladies can see what the reality is for playing professionally after college. To think that an endorsement was the motivating factor for these parents to make this decision is quite sad.


I agree with you on a lot of your points. The most popular or most occurring one being deciding on a college at 14 or 15 years old. That seems to be the one that trickles down even to the lowest level of high end or pay for play soccer. What is different here, compared to Adu, is he was the Luke Skywalker (the only hope) for the USMNT meaning he could be the player to push the US onto the world stage and we all know what happened. The team was not ready for Adu even if he lived up to the hype.With this extremely talented young lady the USWNT does not need her to make the world stage that momentum that was established in 1999. If if she is a bust let's hope she is doing what she loves. As a former female semi-pro (30 years ago) and current coach there are peanuts to be made a player without a marketing machine behind you. Although now you can play in France or Germany and really make a good living, nothing to retire on but at l east you are not living is host family housing or senior housing like so many of the so called pro women players.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Larry Miller #718677 02/27/19 10:04 AM
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I read an article about this girl. Multiple private coaches and trainers since age 6, a $60k training facility in her back yard and a dad who retired just to manage his 10 year olds soccer career. It sounded like Todd Marinovich more than anything. She's gotta be great but it can't be ignored that it comes at incredible cost that most people could never hope to pay.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Larry Miller #718681 02/27/19 11:30 AM
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You still have to see how she matures. Will she be physical fast and strong enough and mentally strong enough? May come a time when her current Technical ability stops progressing and many catch up to her and are just faster and stronger. This will be very tough mentally for her. Similar to Freddy Adu.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Larry Miller #718682 02/27/19 12:51 PM
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She looks like a beast already, tall and strong. Beastmode soccer often puts her in their videos and next to full adult professionals she doesnt look that small. Chances of her dad giving her growth hormoes, too? As crazy as that sounds, add up the decade of trainers and backyard facility and it wouldnt surprise me. People are all crazy.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Anonymous #718701 02/27/19 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
You still have to see how she matures. Will she be physical fast and strong enough and mentally strong enough? May come a time when her current Technical ability stops progressing and many catch up to her and are just faster and stronger. This will be very tough mentally for her. Similar to Freddy Adu.


She hasn't even gone through puberty yet (which often doesn't go well for girls). She's quite good but not head and heels above several other players her age. The highlight reel is deceiving as it's obviously high lights and the competition she's playing is poor. Many things can happen between now and 18. She can't actually play professionally until she's 18 both here or abroad. But in taking money from Nike she will forgo a free ride to college. If the parents want to burn through their cash for a "pro" career go ahead and light it up. But I think pushing a kid that young to 1) commit to a college at 11 years old 2) forsake playing in college at 13, borders on abuse. She isn't mature enough to make such decisions. Mallory Pugh waited until she had almost graduated high school before going pro, and even then she went through the recruiting process when she was a bit older. People also may not realize the family is moving her from SoCal (a soccer hotbed) to train with the Thorns in OR, one of the worst clubs in the league.

Maybe she becomes a phenom, but we all know the odds aren't great. World history is littered with young stars who flamed out before full adulthood.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Larry Miller #718703 02/27/19 05:43 PM
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My assumption, based on her having a turf facility at home, all of the private coaches since age 6 or 7, being home schooled and her dad not even working just to manage her career is that they're very rich and whether or not she goes to college doesn't really matter. This is looking more about attention seeking than anything else.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Anonymous #718704 02/27/19 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
You still have to see how she matures. Will she be physical fast and strong enough and mentally strong enough? May come a time when her current Technical ability stops progressing and many catch up to her and are just faster and stronger. This will be very tough mentally for her. Similar to Freddy Adu.


She hasn't even gone through puberty yet (which often doesn't go well for girls). She's quite good but not head and heels above several other players her age. The highlight reel is deceiving as it's obviously high lights and the competition she's playing is poor. Many things can happen between now and 18. She can't actually play professionally until she's 18 both here or abroad. But in taking money from Nike she will forgo a free ride to college. If the parents want to burn through their cash for a "pro" career go ahead and light it up. But I think pushing a kid that young to 1) commit to a college at 11 years old 2) forsake playing in college at 13, borders on abuse. She isn't mature enough to make such decisions. Mallory Pugh waited until she had almost graduated high school before going pro, and even then she went through the recruiting process when she was a bit older. People also may not realize the family is moving her from SoCal (a soccer hotbed) to train with the Thorns in OR, one of the worst clubs in the league.

Maybe she becomes a phenom, but we all know the odds aren't great. World history is littered with young stars who flamed out before full adulthood.

Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
You still have to see how she matures. Will she be physical fast and strong enough and mentally strong enough? May come a time when her current Technical ability stops progressing and many catch up to her and are just faster and stronger. This will be very tough mentally for her. Similar to Freddy Adu.


She hasn't even gone through puberty yet (which often doesn't go well for girls). She's quite good but not head and heels above several other players her age. The highlight reel is deceiving as it's obviously high lights and the competition she's playing is poor. Many things can happen between now and 18. She can't actually play professionally until she's 18 both here or abroad. But in taking money from Nike she will forgo a free ride to college. If the parents want to burn through their cash for a "pro" career go ahead and light it up. But I think pushing a kid that young to 1) commit to a college at 11 years old 2) forsake playing in college at 13, borders on abuse. She isn't mature enough to make such decisions. Mallory Pugh waited until she had almost graduated high school before going pro, and even then she went through the recruiting process when she was a bit older. People also may not realize the family is moving her from SoCal (a soccer hotbed) to train with the Thorns in OR, one of the worst clubs in the league.

Maybe she becomes a phenom, but we all know the odds aren't great. World history is littered with young stars who flamed out before full adulthood.


Someone is super jealous and doesn’t know the facts. You must know someone who you don’t like and are jealous of and has a kid on The Thorns for you to label the, as one of the worst clubs in the league. And of course this player is not heads above your kid. And your kid will be fine as they age and only get better. And if you wanted to you could have focused on your kids soccer but you don’t have to because she is on track to being amazing and the ROI is just perfect for you

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Anonymous #718711 02/28/19 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous


Someone is super jealous and doesn’t know the facts. You must know someone who you don’t like and are jealous of and has a kid on The Thorns for you to label the, as one of the worst clubs in the league. And of course this player is not heads above your kid. And your kid will be fine as they age and only get better. And if you wanted to you could have focused on your kids soccer but you don’t have to because she is on track to being amazing and the ROI is just perfect for you


eh, one look at standings says the Thorns seems pretty bad, while there are clearly some very good teams in her area already. Be like AT on Real SoCal and play up 3 years and dominate scoring and then let's talk "phenom".

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Anonymous #718714 02/28/19 11:00 AM
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What started out as a grown up conversation about a 13 year old child turning professional then becomes a juvenile argument that has nothing to do with the subject matter. The fact that this young lady has become a marketing tool for Nike at the age of 13 to sell soccer merchandise to young girls in the USA and internationally is much bigger than where these posts are going. This young ladies parents have decided to make decisions based on economics rather than looking out for her best interests. To walk away from a scholarship to be a student-athlete at a great university and declare her a professional is the subject. The same argument can be said for players who make college commitments at the age of 15. That is the subject where colleges need to think this through more thoroughly The vast majority of girls in 8th/9th grade have no clue about what they want to major in college and be a student/athlete. I understand the economics for those players that are offered substantial scholarships but for the vast majority that is not the issue.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Anonymous #718715 02/28/19 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
What started out as a grown up conversation about a 13 year old child turning professional then becomes a juvenile argument that has nothing to do with the subject matter. The fact that this young lady has become a marketing tool for Nike at the age of 13 to sell soccer merchandise to young girls in the USA and internationally is much bigger than where these posts are going. This young ladies parents have decided to make decisions based on economics rather than looking out for her best interests. To walk away from a scholarship to be a student-athlete at a great university and declare her a professional is the subject. The same argument can be said for players who make college commitments at the age of 15. That is the subject where colleges need to think this through more thoroughly The vast majority of girls in 8th/9th grade have no clue about what they want to major in college and be a student/athlete. I understand the economics for those players that are offered substantial scholarships but for the vast majority that is not the issue.


Agree with the view that turning "pro" when no "pro" opportunities exist for several years is non-sensical. But to your second point around early recruiting, I thought the recent NCAA rule changes around recruitment effectively moved that timing to similar to when most students are starting to look at colleges, i.e. junior year, no?

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Anonymous #718728 02/28/19 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
What started out as a grown up conversation about a 13 year old child turning professional then becomes a juvenile argument that has nothing to do with the subject matter. The fact that this young lady has become a marketing tool for Nike at the age of 13 to sell soccer merchandise to young girls in the USA and internationally is much bigger than where these posts are going. This young ladies parents have decided to make decisions based on economics rather than looking out for her best interests. To walk away from a scholarship to be a student-athlete at a great university and declare her a professional is the subject. The same argument can be said for players who make college commitments at the age of 15. That is the subject where colleges need to think this through more thoroughly The vast majority of girls in 8th/9th grade have no clue about what they want to major in college and be a student/athlete. I understand the economics for those players that are offered substantial scholarships but for the vast majority that is not the issue.


Agree with the view that turning "pro" when no "pro" opportunities exist for several years is non-sensical. But to your second point around early recruiting, I thought the recent NCAA rule changes around recruitment effectively moved that timing to similar to when most students are starting to look at colleges, i.e. junior year, no?


The recruiting changes were very superficial and have had little impact. Kids are still attending camps in 9th and 10th grade, contacting coaches, and there have been plenty of commitments in 10th and early 11th grade when the process is supposed to be just starting.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Larry Miller #718730 02/28/19 02:59 PM
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Clearly not for everyone. Also not sure if this is a new direction for women's soccer - skip college and turn pro. There's just not enough money in women's soccer yet for this to become mainstream.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Anonymous #718731 02/28/19 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
What started out as a grown up conversation about a 13 year old child turning professional then becomes a juvenile argument that has nothing to do with the subject matter. The fact that this young lady has become a marketing tool for Nike at the age of 13 to sell soccer merchandise to young girls in the USA and internationally is much bigger than where these posts are going. This young ladies parents have decided to make decisions based on economics rather than looking out for her best interests. To walk away from a scholarship to be a student-athlete at a great university and declare her a professional is the subject. The same argument can be said for players who make college commitments at the age of 15. That is the subject where colleges need to think this through more thoroughly The vast majority of girls in 8th/9th grade have no clue about what they want to major in college and be a student/athlete. I understand the economics for those players that are offered substantial scholarships but for the vast majority that is not the issue.


Agree with the view that turning "pro" when no "pro" opportunities exist for several years is non-sensical. But to your second point around early recruiting, I thought the recent NCAA rule changes around recruitment effectively moved that timing to similar to when most students are starting to look at colleges, i.e. junior year, no?


The recruiting changes were very superficial and have had little impact. Kids are still attending camps in 9th and 10th grade, contacting coaches, and there have been plenty of commitments in 10th and early 11th grade when the process is supposed to be just starting.


But that seems a whole lot better than giving out meaningless commitments to 11 y.o., like OM, purely for PR purposes. Not perfect obviously.

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Re: 13-year-old phenom Olivia Moultrie signs with Nike, eyes pro career
Larry Miller #719076 03/09/19 02:07 PM
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Look at it this way, she is doing this for us as much as herself. We get to see how this works out for her. She will be the first female player who follows the Messi model rather than do what most of us plan to do, clubs, HS, College. If it works out well she will be a trailblazer, if not we'll all have a lesson.

I'd like to know who made the decisions though. Did her dad just push her into this or was she discovered by the ID program and pulled along. Personally I'd prefer to see my daughter play with her club friends, train in the PDP/ ID2 programs, take her time finding the right college and then going to medical school.

The one local 14 yo girl who was invited to train with the USWNT only goes to their camps in the summer. She has let everyone know she wants to play HS soccer, attend UNC and will stay with her club. In 8 years we will have 2 case studies.

Looks like NIKE is taking care of her financially, so if her dad has any financial sense she'll have a safety net.

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