BOCA RATON, FL - The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the professional North American Soccer League have announced the signing of former Florida Atlantic soccer star Darnell King.
"Ever since I was a little kid, I've wanted to play professional soccer, it's every kid's dream," said King. "(FAU head coach) Kos (Donev) gave me an opportunity, and I ended up having a good career at FAU. Every day has paid off, and making it to a professional level is awesome. Hopefully I can keep going and make it to the MLS (Major League Soccer) or maybe overseas somewhere, but this is a great start for me."
King gave Coach Donev credit for getting him into the NASL combine, which led to a tryout and preseason games with the Strikers, before eventually signing a contract. He also credits all his other coaches for teaching him discipline and fundamentals, and is especially thrilled at staying close to Boca Raton.
"It's given me a chance to finish up and get my degree, it's a blessing in disguise," he said. "I'm glad it happened this way. I can stay around Boca where a lot of people know me and maybe have some of the fanbase come to the games."
King, a Tampa native and four-year starter at forward for the Owls, led the team in scoring and goals in each of his final three seasons with the squad. His career totals at FAU include 17 goals and 10 assists for a total of 44 points. Among the accolades he achieved were being named both NSCAA All-North Atlantic Region and Mid-American All-Conference, and after his senior season, in which he was team captain, he was also named to the MAC All-Academic team.
"We think Darnell has a lot of good characteristics that we've added to our team," said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore. "He's got good speed, he's very dangerous getting forward and running at players. We felt like he had a good college career at FAU and warranted a look, when he got in with our guys he held his own. We felt like having a good, young, local player would be a good addition to our team."
The Strikers are part of the eight-team NASL, just a step below the MLS, America's top professional level. They play their home matches at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, and begin regular season play at home on Saturday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m., against FC Edmonton. Go to Strikers.com for more information.