Clemson signee Tanner Tessmann to join FC Dallas in MLS instead of going to college

Major League Soccer kicks off its new season this weekend and has been celebrating its 25th anniversary in recent days leading up to it. Maybe it’s all that excitement that caused Clemson signee Tanner Tressmann to make the decision to skip kicking footballs for Clemson and instead kick futbols for MLS squad FC Dallas.

Tessmann signed with Clemson’s soccer team in December and was also scheduled to kick on the football team even though he’d never played football before. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had known Tessmann for years because he’s friends with his father, and Swinney said last December that he had seen Tessman “bomb it 45 to 50 yards in the eighth grade.”

“He’s one of the best athletes,” Swinney said. “He could go play D-I basketball. He could probably start at receiver at Clemson. He could probably play safety at Clemson. He’s a 6-foot-2 phenom. He can fly. He’s as good an athlete as I’ve ever seen.”

Instead, he’ll play Major League Soccer. Tessman is 18 years old but has been playing in the FC Dallas Academy since 2016.

“I’m excited to get started,” said Tessman in a statement announcing his deal. “Signing a professional contract has been a goal of mine since I moved to Texas to join the Academy at 14 years old. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get this opportunity, so it meant a lot to have my family here with me today.”

While Swinney and Clemson will surely be sad to see Tessman go, the Tigers still have B.T. Potter for one more season, and possibly two unless he decides to join MLS too, anyway.

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