At 15 years and 138 days old, Melanie Barcenas has become the new youngest player in the National Women’s Soccer League. The San Diego Wave F.C. signed Barcenas to a three-year contract on Tuesday, ESPN reported.

Before Barcenas, the youngest player was Chloe Ricketts, as previously reported by the Deseret News. Ricketts was 15 years and 283 days old when she signed with the Washington Spirit a few weeks ago.

“I’m very excited to sign my first professional contract with my hometown team, San Diego Wave,” Barcenas said this week, according to the Wave’s website. “It’s been a dream of mine to not just play in the NWSL but to have the opportunity to represent this city since the announcement of the Wave last year. I know I am young, but the team and coaching staff have been amazing, and I look forward to learning from them every day as I continue to develop.”

In 2021, Barcenas spoke at the team’s launch event. While speaking at the event, she mentioned her hopes to play for her hometown team in the future.

“I’m super excited and cannot wait for this amazing season to kick off and be able to cheer for my own local team,” she said at the event, per the team’s Twitter. “I even hope to represent (San Diego) Wave F.C. one day.”

As a San Diego native, the Wave claim Barcenas is the first homegrown youth player in the NWSL. She spent her youth career playing for the club team San Diego Surf and has also played for the U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-17 U.S. women’s national teams.

Until this year, players had to be at least 18 years old to sign a contract with an NWSL team. In January, the league unveiled its Under-18 Entry List, which allows young players to join the NWSL under certain parameters.

Before players in the Under-18 Entry List turn 18, they cannot be waived, traded or drafted in an expansion draft without a parent or legal guardian’s consent, according to the NWSL’s website. They must also live with a parent or legal guardian until they are 18.

“We’re excited to maximize (Barcenas’) potential through the coming years, while being patient and deliberate in advancing her development while ensuring she retains some routine and normalcy of being a teenager,” Wave coach Casey Stoney said in a statement, per the team’s website.

The Wave kick off their second season on Saturday.