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This 16-Year-Old South Korean Player Has Become The Youngest Person To Play At The Women’s World Cup

At 16 years and 34 days old, Casey Phair made history as the youngest player in women's World Cup history.

Casey Phair, 16, made history on Tuesday, July 25 when she became the youngest player in women’s World Cup history.

casey phair soccer football youngest player world cup
Casey Phair olooks on during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group H match between Colombia and Korea Republic at Sydney Football Stadium on July 25, 2023 in Sydney / Gadigal, Australia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

As a member of the South Korean national team, Phair entered play during the 78th minute in country’s first game in the World Cup.

This edged out the record was previously held by Nigeria’s Ifeanyi Chiejine record during her debut at 16 years and 34 days old in 1999 by just eight days.

casey phair south korea colombia womens world cup
Casey Phair of Korea Republic (L) fights for the ball with Lorena Durango of Colombia (R) during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group H match between Colombia and Korea Republic at Sydney Football Stadium on July 25, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Patricia Pérez Ferraro/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Born in South Korea but raised in the US, Phair is South Korea’s first mixed race player.

Her mother is Korean and her father is American.

south korea casey phair football soccer mixed race
Casey Phair of Korea Republic poses during the official FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 portrait session on July 21, 2023 in Sydney / Gadigal, Australia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Phair started played at a young age and currently plays for the Pingry School while training at the Players Development Academy (PDA) in New Jersey.

The young soccer star recently played for the South Korean Under-17 Team back in April, when she helped the team qualify for the 2024 AFC Under-17 Women’s Asian Cup by scoring two goals against Tajikistan and three goals against Hong Kong.

casey phair south korea womens world cup youngest
Casey Phair of South Korea controls the ball during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group H match between Colombia and South Korea at Sydney Football Stadium on July 25, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Sajad Imanian/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Shortly afterward, Phair was drafted to the senior team for this year’s World Cup.

“Casey is the future of this team. We need strong, fast players with physicality,” South Korea’s team manager Colin Bell said.

casey phair south korea womens world cup 2023 football soccer
Casey Phair of Korea Republic poses during the official FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 portrait session on July 21, 2023 in Sydney / Gadigal, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Despite the team’s 2-0 loss against Colombia, Bell remains optimistic.

south korea casey phair youngest women soccer football
Casey Phair of Korea Republic warms up prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group H match between Colombia and South Korea at Sydney Football Stadium on July 25, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“We’re still in the competition. We still have chances to progress but we need more intensity. We need that at club level in South Korea, need that type of player,” he said.

The South Korean team next face Morocco in Adelaide, Australia on Sunday, July 31.

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