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At 13, he became a professional soccer player in California.

Da’vian Kimbrough. Does the name ring a bell?

We’re talking about a soccer player who has just signed a contract to play for Sacramento Republic FC, a second division (USL) club in North America.

So far, it’s nothing to write home about.

But what’s fascinating (to keep it polite) is that the young man is only 13 years old. And yet, under the terms of his new contract, he was allowed to line up for a pro club.

In the NHL, such a contract would have been illegal, since it takes 18 years to play in the league. But obviously, the United Soccer League doesn’t have the same restrictions. And I don’t understand why.

I understand that it’s not MLS and that it’s not the best league on the continent, but still: a 13-year-old kid has the right to play in the league under Messi.

We’re talking about a men’s league. At 13, there’s no way this guy is developed enough to hold his own, in my eyes, in a league with pro players.

Kimbrough is 13 years old and 5’11. I don’t know him, but let me assume that his puberty process isn’t exactly over either – far from it.

If he were four or five inches taller, that would be a different story. But here?

I understand that the young man is a prolific goal scorer, but he’s played against guys a little older than him. This will be a completely different challenge, clearly.

There’s a saying in the sports world that a prospect can’t spend too much time in junior (or college or the minors, whatever), but graduating too quickly can hurt.

Let’s hope for the kid ‘s sake that’s not the case. That said, I wish him every success, since what he’s accomplished is extraordinary from his point of view, of course.

In Brief

– Cole Caufield celebrates his captain’s birthday.

– What a mismanaged club.

– News from the former CH.

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