soccer, youth soccer

Da’vian Kimbrough, 13, Becomes Youngest Professional Soccer Player In History

A 13-year-old soccer prodigy has become the youngest player to turn pro after his debut with the United Soccer League’s Sacramento Republic.

Da’vian Kimbrough was interviewed alongside his father, Dominique Kimbrough, on Good Morning America on Oct 6.

“At first, I was a little nervous but I feel like once I stepped on, it was more exciting than anything. I tried to silence the noise and just play soccer,” Da’vian said. 

Da’vian bested the previous record held by Axel Kei by about two months. Kei was 13 years, nine months, and nine days old when he debuted for the Real Monarchs, and Kimbrough was 13 years, seven months, and 13 days old when he stepped onto the pitch during the 87th minute of the match against the Las Vegas Lights.

Following the game, Da’vian said he kept his celebration relatively low-key, starting by taking photos with his family. “And then I also went over to fans at the end, to sign some stuff and take pictures,” he said. 

Da’vian only played about three minutes of the match, but his appearance represents the team’s long-term investment in him, which includes two years in the Republic’s youth academy. 

“I actually just didn’t think it would go this far, at that point,” Dominique Kimbrough told GMA. “His love for the game took it here. At 4 years old, it was just alright, let’s get into something, and then that something turned into this amazing human being that’s sitting here with me right now.”

Father has advised son to ignore the noise and keep working at his craft–advice Da’vian has taken to heart as he tells other young athletes.

“Persevere through everything, no matter what,” Da’vian said. “And everyone has a different path, so even if you don’t make it at the same age as me, keep pushing hard so you can make it eventually.”

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