Sacramento Republic FC makes history in signing 13-year-old Da’vian Kimbrough

New Sacramento Republic FC forward Da’vian Kimbrough is just 13 years old, which makes him the youngest professional soccer player in the United States. (Kelley L Cox/USA Today)

The Sacramento Republic made history Tuesday with the signing of teenager Da’vian Kimbrough.

Kimbrough isn’t just any teenager. He’s barely a teenager.

Kimbrough, who is 13 years, 5 months and 13 days old, is the youngest player to become a professional soccer player in the United States. He’s likely the youngest professional to be signed in any major American sports league, too.

Kimbrough, who has been a member of the Sacramento Republic’s youth development academy, will be eligible to compete in USL championship matches once the league approves the transaction.

“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, thriving at top competitions, to stepping on to the first team training grounds,” Sacramento Republic general manager Todd Dunivant said in a 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.”

Kimbrough first joined the Republic’s youth development academy in 2021 when he was 11. He played up an age group in his first year, and he scored a team-best 27 goals in 31 matches on the U13 team. He then joined the U14 team, and scored 61 goals in 81 appearances with the club in MLS Next league play over two seasons.

Kimbrough also played for the New York Red Bulls academy team as a guest player in the Bassevelde U13 Cup earlier this summer, where he was named MVP and helped lead the Red Bulls to the win in the European tournament.

Kimbrough, a 5-foot-11 forward, could make his debut as soon as Saturday.

“A young player’s path is never the same as the person seated next to them. Da’vian has shown tremendous focus, commitment and dedication, as well as a willingness to embrace the challenging road ahead of him,” Sacramento head coach Mark Briggs said in a statement. “Over the last two years he has demonstrated his tremendous potential, and our goal is to continue to support and help him grow as a player and person.”

The Sacramento Republic holds a 12-8-3 record, which is the best in the USL’s Western Conference. The USL is the second-tier soccer league in the United States, one step below Major League Soccer.


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