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Casey Phair becomes youngest ever to play in Women's World Cup at age 16

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Just 26 days after her 16th birthday, South Korea forward Casey Phair made history as the youngest to ever play in the Women's World Cup. 

The striker from Warren, New Jersey, entered in the 68th minute as a substitute during South Korea's 2-0 loss against Colombia in Sydney, Australia – which along with New Zealand are hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup, which ends on Aug. 20. In doing so, she beat the previous record held by Ifeanyi Chiejine from Nigeria, who was 16 years and 34 days old at the 1999 Women's World Cup. 

Phair, who has a Korean mother and an American father, is also the first player of mixed heritage to be selected for a Korean World Cup team, male or female, Reuters reported

Colombia v South Korea: Group H - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023
Phair Casey of Korea Republic looks 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, Australia. James Chance / Getty Images

Prior to the World Cup, she went to the Players Development Academy in Somerset, New Jersey – one of the top soccer programs in the U.S. According to, she attended development camps for the American and South Korean teams. 

The outlet reported Phair's parents met in South Korea while Phair's father worked as an English teacher and her mom owned a restaurant. They left to the U.S. shortly after Phair was born. 

Earlier this month, she told how South Korea and her older teammates have been supportive to her. 

"They always make sure to look after me and set a great example for me to follow," she said. "The Korean media and fans have also been very supportive. Their kind words and support encourage me to work my hardest to be the best that I can be."

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