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Southlake soccer sensation Kennedy Fuller turns pro at 16

Southlake soccer star, 16, turns pro
Southlake soccer star, 16, turns pro 01:19

Two years ago, Kennedy Fuller was the leader of the Southlake Carroll "Fab Five Freshmen" who all started for the state champion Lady Dragon soccer team. Fuller scored a hat trick in the state title game, earning MVP honors.

Fast forward 23 months, and on Wednesday in Los Angeles, the 16-year-old became a professional soccer player, signing a 3-year contract with Angel City FC of the National Women's Soccer League.

It's the culmination of a two-year period that has seen Fuller emerge as the #1 ranked young women's soccer star in the United States.

Fuller was the captain of the U.S. Youth National Team, scoring 8 goals in a run to the U-17 CONCACAF Tournament Championship last month, winning the Golden Boot award.

Two years ago, Fuller scored 9 goals as the top player on the U-15 CONCACAF Tournament Championship team, the Golden Ball and Golden Boot winner.

In between, Fuller earned Gatorade National Player of the Year honors as a sophomore, scoring 55 goals playing alongside her sister, Kamden, on a Southlake Carroll team that fell short of the state tournament.

The Lady Dragons fell short only because Fuller and teammate Zoe Matthews were unable to play in the UIL regional tournament. That's because they were representing their country, playing for the U-16 Youth National Team that won the prestigious Mondial Montaigu Tournament in France, in which Fuller earned MVP honors.

By this time a year ago, Fuller's soccer career was racing ahead at warp speed. She committed to play collegiately for 21-time NCAA Champion North Carolina. She won ECNL All-America honors playing for Dallas-based Solar SC, the #1 soccer club in the nation.

Having played internationally in places like The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and the Czech Republic, her days of playing for the Carroll Lady Dragons in places like Keller, Trophy Club, Haslet, Burleson and Cleburne became numbered.

Kennedy re-classified to the graduating class of 2024, signing with North Carolina a year early, in November. And, upon signing an NIL deal with Nike last fall, she decided to graduate from Carroll Senior High in just 2½ years.

Thus, Kennedy was able to spend the first part of this "semester" leading the U-17 USYNT to the CONCACAF title in Toluca, Mexico. She has also spent time the past year training with

professional teams in the NWSL and attended the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia with her family last summer.

All of that was in preparation for the decision announced this week. Kennedy Fuller elects to forego her college career and go straight from high school to the pros with Angel City FC, which begins its season next week.

"Graduating in 2 1/2 years, I wouldn't have even thought about that as a freshman," Kennedy told me Wednesday from her hotel room in Los Angeles, where she spent the latter part of the day furniture shopping with her dad.

"God's timing is always right, and he led me to my decision. And the support from Southlake and Solar, and my family and friends has been awesome."

All of this before her 17th birthday, which is Saturday. So, how will she spend it? "We have a couple of scrimmages, so I'm hoping to score a couple of birthday goals!" Kennedy said.

That should be simple enough for this Southlake teenage soccer sensation who has far surpassed every goal she has ever set before.

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