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15-Year-Old Olivia Moultrie Granted Preliminary Injunction to Sign NWSL Contract

Adam WellsJune 18, 2021

Craig Mitchelldyer/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Olivia Moultrie is one step closer to being able to play professional soccer in the National Women's Soccer League. 

Per Paul Tenorio of The Athletic, the 15-year-old's preliminary injunction in her lawsuit against the NWSL was granted by a judge Thursday. 

The decision prohibits the NWSL from enforcing a rule on Moultrie that requires players to be at least 18 years of age before they can sign a professional contract. 

Tenorio noted that Moultrie is "expected to sign a contract with the league soon and is eligible to play immediately."

Tenorio and Meg Linehan reported on June 6 that Moultrie was in the process of signing with the Portland Thorns, who acquired her rights in a trade with OL Reign. 

The move came after U.S. District Judge Karin J. Immergut granted Moultrie a temporary restraining order last month against the NWSL over the age rule. 

Moultrie alleged in the lawsuit filed on May 5 that the league was violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by preventing her from playing because of her age.

Immergut wrote when she issued the TRO that the league and each of its 10 teams "agreed to impose the NWSL’s age restriction which excludes female competitors from the only available professional soccer opportunity in the United States because they are under 18, regardless of talent, maturity, strength, and ability."

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Moultrie originally announced her intention to turn pro in February 2019 at the age of 13. She signed a merchandising contract with Nike and began working with the Portland Thorns FC academy. 

The California native is also a member of the United States under-17 national team.  

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