FRISCO, Texas – The Norris family is a soccer family, to put it mildly.
All six of the Norris children play in the FC Dallas youth system: Nolan (17), Nylah (14), Neely (12), Nash (10), Nixon (8) and Noble (6).
“Everybody plays at the club. I would say that's part of the reason our family loves the club,” said Nolan, the eldest who plays for the FCD Boys Academy as well as North Texas SC in MLS NEXT Pro, the MLS reserve league. “They've helped us a lot. And all of my siblings love it here. We're actually pretty much at Toyota Stadium every day of the week and everybody plays and it's been really good. It’s a really good situation.”
Nolan and his younger sister Nylah – a member of FCD’s U-16 Girls Academy – are both U.S. youth internationals as well. Nolan has represented the U.S. at various youth levels since he was 14 and was recently called into the U-19 team for the Slovenia Nations Cup alongside FCD first team goalkeeper Antonio Carrera.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Nolan said. “It should be a challenge, but it’s a blessing to have the opportunity to represent and I’m really excited.”
Nolan leaves for Slovenia just a few days after Nylah returned from her first venture with the women's youth national team. Nylah attended a U-15 USWNT talent identification camp last week in Chula Vista, California.
“It was really fun, a little nerve wracking at first with how new everything was,” said Nylah, who plays as a defender like her brother. “But it was really fun getting to know all the people and it's really fun having high intensity training and games.
“It was a big stress-reliever because (Nolan) could answer all the questions I had. It was really cool just to see what he was doing and now I get to try to follow the same path.”
Having one youth national team player in the family is impressive. Having two is infinitely rarer.
“They just live life with grit and determination,” said April Norris, Nolan and Nylah’s mother. “It's very surreal but we also just keep them extremely grounded. We tell them others want your spot every day. And every day is a new day and every day is a tryout. Like somebody would want your spot, so it's every day having to work with an attitude of ‘I have to believe in order to achieve’ and bust your tail.”