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Davian Kimbrough: A 13-year-old player starting his professional career in the USA

Davian Kimbrough: A 13-year-old player starting his professional career in the USA

Davian Kimbrough

Stolen childhood or support? Supertalent (13) angers the United States

13-year-old Davian Kimbrough has become the youngest soccer player in the United States to make his first professional start. There are also critical undertones about this on social media. Expert classifies.


Davian Kimbrough (13) makes his first appearance here.

Instagram, Sacrepublicfc

  • Davian Kimbrough became the youngest American athlete to sign a professional contract in August.

  • The soccer player made his debut for the Sacramento Republic on Sunday.

  • There has recently been a lot of hype surrounding Kimbrough, but he is also being viewed critically online.

  • The sports psychologist explains to 20 Minutes where the risks lie.

Goalkeeper Sascha Studer made his Premier League debut when he was 15 years old For FC AarauIn the USA, a younger teenager, Davian Kimbrough, made headlines sparking a global response. The soccer hope was substituted from second division team Sacramento Republic last Sunday in a league match against Las Vegas in the 87th minute to thunderous applause.

Kimbrough had no direct role in the two goals in Sacramento’s 2-0 win, but he still made history when he came on as a substitute. At 13 years, 7 months and 13 days, he became the youngest player to make his debut in professional soccer in North America.

The youngest professional athlete in the United States of America

His contract signing in August caused quite a stir. At the time, he signed his first professional contract at the age of 13 years, five months and 13 days, meaning he was able to play in all sports. The youngest professional athlete in the United States of America he.

Davian Kimbrough in his first appearance.


“He’s a great talent who is committed to his dream of becoming a big-time player,” said Sacramento coach Todd Dunivant, who praised Kimbrough. After signing the contract, the talent himself thanked his family for their “constant support for me.” His father talked about the dream coming true. However, not everyone sees the whole thing so cheerfully.

Parental criticism on social media

In social media comment columns, many are criticizing the fact that such a young player is already exposed to the pressures of a professional career. “This is exploitation by his parents,” one user wrote on X (formerly Twitter), while another said: “Once again, a stolen childhood.” Someone also wrote “This will be the next Freddy Adu” in reference to the former American prodigy who was celebrated early on but quickly faded into obscurity.

Zurich sports psychologist Cristina Baldassare confronted Kimbrough for 20 minutes in August, asking her to evaluate allegations coming from the Internet. Baldassare says developmental milestones for 13-year-olds range from about three years. “Some of them actually act like they’re sixteen years old, and some of them act like someone who’s only ten years old.”

‘It’s too early’

The issue cannot be assessed conclusively from a distance, but in principle it would be difficult for young people to deal with such noise and would pose many challenges. “He enters the performance zone where only performance is important and where his own needs do not have much space,” explains the expert. But this is the case in every sport as children and young people have to perform at the highest level from an early age. For example in artistic gymnastics, figure skating or synchronized vaulting.

“The baby’s development suggests that this step is very early,” says Baldassare. However, she adds that the individual case must be considered. “It is important that he is looked after closely by specialists so that he has a chance to develop well.” In addition, balance is very important to keep up with a teenager’s developmental steps. He added: “He actually needs people his own age by his side and a normal life away from football. But this may be difficult with such noise,” says the psychologist.

Meanwhile, Kimbrough’s coach assured that the youngster will have full support in Sacramento. “Our goal is to help him grow as a player and a person,” Republic coach Mark Briggs said. The Englishman also stresses that there is no equal path for young players to reach the top. Kimbrough’s training plan will be monitored by Republic’s sports doctors and the star will also have to continue going to school.

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