Underage Soccer Player Brings Antitrust Case Against The NWSL

Fifteen-year-old soccer prodigy Olivia Moultrie is suing the US’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) over its refusal to allow her to play because of her age.

The NWSL requires all players to be at least 18 years old, and the lawsuit filed in Portland, Oregon, alleges that by not allowing Moultrie to play for the NWSL, the league is violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play professionally in the US,” Moultrie said in a statement released by the firm representing her, Miller Nash Graham and Dunn. “I know girls my age are competing around the world and I just want to get on the field and officially compete.”

Moultrie believes that the age minimum will hinder her development and delay the chances of her being invited to play on an Olympic team or the US Women’s National Team.

In the lawsuit obtained by USA TODAY Sports, the “Age Rule” is noted to be “highly unusual in world soccer, male or female” because Major League Soccer in the US does not have an age limit, and has had players under 18 compete — similarly to men’s and women’s major leagues around the world.

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