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Clemson signee Tanner Tessmann chooses MLS over college football

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Tanner Tessmann was signed to play at Clemson but has chosen to play in Major League Soccer instead of suiting up for the Tigers football squad.

Tessmann, 18, signed a three-year deal Thursday to play at FC Dallas. He signed to play for the Tigers soccer team in December, but also committed to kick for the football team. He was recruited by Tigers coach Dabo Swinney.

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"I'm excited to get started," Tessmann said in a news release. "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."



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Tessmann joined FC Dallas Academy in 2016. He had 25 goals in 67 appearances at the United States Soccer Development Academy. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound midfielder will be under contract through 2022. His deal includes club options for 2023 and 2024.

"Tanner has been a great player in our Academy," FC Dallas president Dan Hunt said. "We know he had a wonderful opportunity at Clemson University, and we're pleased he chose the professional path here at FC Dallas."

Swinney is close friends with Tessmann's father.

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"He is an unbelievable kicker, but this guy is an amazing athlete," Swinney told the ClemsonTigers.com in December. "When I say he is a potential Deshaun Watson type guy for soccer, I mean it."

Starting kicker B.T. Potter will return to kick for the Tigers in 2020.

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