2024 Season

Tarik Scott Flourishes for North Texas SC after ACL Injury: “It changed me for the better"


“I felt like my world came crashing down.”

On February 3, 2023, Scott suffered an ACL and LCL tear in FC Dallas’ preseason match against Malmö FF. “I had just started my professional career; I was on a high from making my first national team camp. To see it get taken away so fast took a large hit on me mentally. It put me in a little slump. Eventually, I came to terms with it, and I was able to go from there.”

For the first time, he had to be away from the sport he loves. A homegrown through and through, Scott joined the FC Dallas youth side at age 5 and developed into an extraordinary talent. In 2016, Scott joined the Academy system. He had incredible success with the program, winning the 2018 Dallas Cup, the 2019 Bayern Adidas Campus Cup, and the 2021 U-17 MLS NEXT Cup Golden Boot.

Scoring on your professional debut is a challenging feat. And yet, Scott scored a brace on his debut with North Texas FC in March of 2022. That summer, he was selected for the 2022 Bayern World Squad. It is no mystery that FC Dallas would sign him to a 3-year contract later that year. He accomplished all of this before graduating high school in the summer of 2023.

As with all severe injuries, athletes can struggle during the rehabilitation process. During that long year, support systems were essential in giving him the strength to persevere. “In the beginning, it was my girlfriend and my parents. I started to let my mind run away from me, and I got into a really dark place. I had to rely on Christ. I found Christ for myself at that moment, being at my lowest. And from there, I’ve never looked back. He’s been my support system and my strength throughout the whole process. He’s the number one reason I was able to get out of that and be where I am right now.”

Now, he’s back and better than ever. In January, Scott was called up to join Jamaica’s U-20 squad for a training camp in Trinidad and Tobago. This invitation marked his first game back.

“I was nervous. It was hard because although it was my first game back, I had something to prove. The terrain wasn’t the best. I had to be careful with what I was doing. But I was happy. It was the longest year of my life having to go through that to return to it, but playing again and representing my country was an amazing feeling for me.”

Despite the hardship he faced, the young star says that it positively impacted his life in some ways. “It changed me for the better. I’m a better and stronger person. I took soccer for granted a lot of times during my lows when I felt burnt out. Being away from it for so long gave me a new passion. And like I said, I found Christ and my girlfriend. Going on a journey to become a better man for her gave me strength physically and mentally.”

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North Texas SC head coach John Gall has known Scott since his academy years. Coach Gall agrees that his attitude toward the game has evolved. “I think he’s more determined, I really do. He was always a determined and competitive kid, but he obviously had the game taken away from him for over a year, and now he’s determined to make up lost time.”

This season, Scott has started all six games with North Texas SC. The prolific goalscorer has been an essential catalyst for the team’s success. He has already tallied three goals and one assist. He has high aspirations for the season and for what is sure to be a stellar career. “I want to at least finish off with double-digit goals, help them reach the conference finals, and ultimately, win it. In the long term, I hope to make it to the U-20 World Cup for either country that calls me up (the United States or Jamaica). I want to use this year to jump out and let everyone know that I’m back on the scene and ready to go.”

Gall has found Scott a real joy to be around and shares that coaching him has been exciting. Also sharing high aspirations for the forward, he hopes to see Scott play with the first team one day.

“I think the sky is the limit for Tarik. He’s an attacking player, so being dangerous, being a threat on the field, and scoring goals and getting assists is the next level for him. He has a lot of potential to be an FC Dallas first-team player; we’re hoping for that. Our goal as North Texas SC is to push him to become a first-team player, and then let’s see where it takes him from there.”