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Portland Thorns FC have signed 15-year-old midfielder Olivia Moultrie to a three-year contract, the club announced on Wednesday. Moultrie, an Oregon native who has trained in Portland youth academies for years, was from OL Reign who actually held her rights as the first team on the NWSL Discovery Priority list. The two clubs engaged in a trade for rights to Moultrie in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft. 

"We are pleased to have Olivia join our team," Thorns FC general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement. "She has been part of this club since early 2019 and there have been many Thorns staff fully invested in her development."

Earlier this year, Moultrie filed an antitrust lawsuit against NWSL for the right to play, arguing against a league rule that prevents players under 18 from signing with teams. She was granted a temporary restraining order last month, and on June 17, a judge granted Moultrie a preliminary injunction in her lawsuit.  Though the league appealed the ruling, the decision prohibits the NWSL from enforcing its age rule to prevent her from signing a contract.

Moultrie walked away from a collegiate scholarship with the University of North Carolina at the age of 11, and began her time training with the Thorns franchise at the age of 13, after signing a nine-year deal with Nike. She made her first appearance for the club in 2019 during a preseason event, and has participated in preseason competition in each of the last three seasons with the full team while also competing at the U.S. youth national team levels.

Her contract signing comes during the Olympic stretch of the NWSL regular season, where the league will continue play through Olympic tournament without a break in the season. Portland will be without several key starters in the squad, including midfielders Christine Sinclair, Crystal Dunn, and Lindsey Horan.

"This step is very important for Olivia," Thorns coach Mark Parsons said. "For this club to have the commitment and vision to sign a young, talented player that we really believe in is immense. Olivia has continued to grow and push forward throughout her time here and has taken every challenge and turned it into an opportunity."