15-year-old soccer star Olivia Moultrie signs with NWSL's Portland Thorns FC

Fifteen-year-old soccer phenom Olivia Moultrie has signed a three-year contract with the Portland Thorns FC, the team announced Wednesday. The move comes less than one month after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction to allow Moultrie to play in the National Women's Soccer League despite her age.

"This step is very important for Oliva," Thorns FC head 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."

In May, Moultrie sued the league over its refusal to allow her to play because of her age. The lawsuit filed in Portland, Oregon, alleged that by not allowing Moultrie to play, the league was violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.

In the lawsuit obtained by USA TODAY Sports, the "Age Rule" is noted to be "highly unusual in world soccer, male or female" because Major League Soccer in the U.S. does not have an age limit, and has had players under 18 compete — similar to men's and women's major leagues around the world.

The preliminary injunction granted earlier this month prevents the league from enforcing an age rule that would prohibit her from signing a contract.

Before signing, Moultrie has been training with the Portland Thorns' academy.

"Oliva has continued to grow and push forward through her time here and has taken every challenge and turned it into an opportunity," said Parsons.

Contact Analis Bailey at or on Twitter @analisbailey.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Olivia Moultrie, 15-year-old soccer phenom, signs with Portland Thorns