Soccer prodigy Olivia Moultrie has signed a professional contract, becoming an official member of the Portland Thorns. The contract, executed today, allows Moultrie to be eligible for play immediately. On May 4, Pacific Northwest-based Miller Nash LLP, along with Law Offices of Leonard B. Simon P.C., and Gustafson Gluek PLLC filed an antitrust lawsuit against the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) on behalf of 15-year-old Moultrie. The lawsuit arose from the league’s “Age Rule” that requires a player to be at least 18 years old to play in the NWSL.
“This is a dream come true and I can’t wait to officially join my Thorns teammates in competition,” said Moultrie. “I am so thankful to the legal team that helped me get this done, they were nothing short of amazing. And as always, thank you to my agent Spencer Wadsworth for having my back from day one.”
U.S. District Judge Karin J. Immergut issued a temporary restraining order on May 24 and a preliminary injunction on June 17, which opened the door for teams to obtain the right to sign Moultrie. Nearly half the league’s teams participated in the process, which eventually ended with the Portland Thorns acquiring Moultrie’s rights. The contract executed today completes the process for Moultrie to join the Thorns.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled and excited for Olivia, her family, and her teammates,” says Miller Nash sports law attorney Max Forer. “She’s been practicing and scrimmaging with professionals for years and it’s heartwarming to see that she’ll finally get a chance to play in an official match now.”
“I’m incredibly proud of Olivia and the Moultrie family for their strength during this process,” said Spencer Wadsworth, Wasserman Senior Vice President of Global Soccer. “Olivia has worked so hard to reach this point in her career, and this experience has only reinforced all the positive qualities that make Olivia so special as a person and as an athlete. All of us at Wasserman Soccer are excited to watch Olivia begin her professional career and continue to support all her endeavors.”
View the Portland Thorns’ video regarding Olivia Moultrie’s signing (link).