Da’vian Kimbrough becomes youngest pro athlete in U.S. after signing with Sacramento Republic FC
Written by B87FM on August 10, 2023
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Sacramento Republic FC, part of the USL Championship league, has signed a 13-year-old soccer player, making him the youngest professional athlete in American history, People reports.
Sacramento announced the signing of Da’vian Kimbrough on Tuesday, noting that the 5-foot-11, 150-pound forward “is a remarkable talent who has committed to his dream of becoming an elite player,” said Todd Dunivant, Republic FC’s president and general manager.
“Da’vian’s journey with Republic FC is just beginning,” Dunivant said.
Eder Quintanilla, Sacramento’s youth academy director, said Kimbrough is “a special player who has thrived in difficult and challenging environments.”
Kimbrough joined the team’s youth academy in 2021 when he was 11. That year, he scored 27 goals in 31 matches for the Republic’s under-13 team. The following season, he became a member of the U14 team and scored 61 goals in 81 appearances with the club in MLS Next league play.
Before joining Republic’s youth development academy, Kimbrough played for North Bay Elite Futbol Club in Solano County and Woodland Soccer Club of Yolo County, CBS News reports.
New York Red Bulls Academy won the Bassevelde Cup tournament for under-13 teams in Belgium this year behind guest player Kimbrough’s six goals. The team is the first Major League Soccer youth team to win the cup, “the youth soccer version of the Little League World Series,” states People.
According to ESPN, Kimbrough’s dazzling performance at the event in June garnered widespread attention.
“A young player’s path is never the same as the person seated next to them,” Sacramento head coach Mark Briggs said in a statement. “Da’vian has shown tremendous focus, commitment and dedication, as well as a willingness to embrace the challenging road ahead of him.”
People reports Republic FC 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 Woodland, California, native is now the youngest professional athlete in North American sports league history — including the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL and WNBA.
“We’re excited to be a part of the next step in his development and to continue to support his professional dream,” Quintanilla said, according to People.
Kimbrough will be eligible to play in Saturday’s match against Birmingham Legion FC.
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