Olivia Moultrie signs contract with Thorns after litigation
Olivia Moultrie has finally signed with the Portland Thorns.
The 15-year-old star signed a three-year deal with the club for a fourth year, announced the Thorns on Wednesday afternoon, putting an end to Moultrie’s long quest to join the National Women’s Soccer League.
“This step is very important for Olivia,” coach Mark Parsons said in a statement. “It is immense for this club to have the commitment and the vision to sign a young, talented player who we really believe in. Olivia has continued to grow and develop during her time here, accepting every challenge and turning it into an opportunity. “
Moultrie filed a lawsuit to sign NWSL
Moultrie turned pro at age 13 and signed a marketing deal with Nike, but she couldn’t play a minute of professional football due to the NWSL rule that players must be 18 to sign a contract and play at a top game level Team.
Moultrie filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league earlier this year. Part of their argument was that players under the age of 18 should be allowed to sign professional contracts in other football leagues around the world and in MLS.
A judge temporarily stopped the NWSL’s age requirement rule, which paved the way for Moultrie to finally sign with the team. The NWSL later appealed a judge’s decision to grant Moultrie an injunction.
It was then claimed by OL Reign, but the Thorns acquired it in exchange for a third round election in the 2022 draft. The Portland native began playing for the Thorns in the 2019 season but had to compete with their younger clubs.
The league, while still fighting the case, made a statement welcoming Moultrie to the league.
“After developing a comprehensive plan to protect minors and running a SPA, a special supplement and a parental guarantee, the NWSL today welcomed Olivia Moultrie to the league,” an NWSL spokesman said in a statement on The Athletic. “The NWSL continues to believe that age requirements for the league should be collectively negotiated (as in other leagues) and that negotiations are ongoing.”
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