Melanie Barcenas Skills on the Ball

Melanie Barcenas soccer skills were on display when she stepped on the field for the first time as a pro.

San Diego Wave signed 15-year-old forward Melanie Barcenas making her the youngest player to sign a professional contract in the NWSL. She has been training with the Wave for the past year and signed a three year deal.

The teenager Barcenas played for the United States under 17 youth soccer team and grew up in the area playing for the San Diego Surf soccer club. In the NWSL, teams can have two under-18 players on their roster.

And, she has now made her first professional appearance for the Wave. Moreover, she showed she has skills on the soccer ball.

Barcenas is the youngest player to start in NWSL’s Challenge Cup history (15 years, 242 days to be exact) and shows off her footwork in the video below. She has one sequence in the box where she cuts the ball back nicely. Then nearly bends the ball into the upper corner.

For soccer coaches, it seems like a good message to keep in mind when coaching young players: Don’t drill out of the player the free flowing style of play that young soccer players like Barcenas exhibit. Let them try new things, dribble and take players on.

Olivia Moultrie is another young soccer player who went pro at the very young age of 13. Playing for the Portland Thorns academy until she was old enough to play with the pro team. Moultrie has settled into the Thorns club and now plays regularly.

You might say let them dance on the soccer ball. They will create chances and score goals if you let them play freely.

Hopefully Barcenas has a long pro soccer career and scores a ton of goals for the San Diego Wave.