PHILADELPHIA - Otis Earle's professional career began with the 15th pick of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. That's when FC Dallas set the London-born defender on a path that will take him to Frisco, Texas when players report for preseason starting next week.
"It’s a dream come true," Earle said over the phone after his selection in Thursday's draft. "FC Dallas is a great team. I met with them during the Combine and really liked the coaching staff.
"I got a good feel for what they want to do, how they want to play and I thought that was a team I could contribute to. I’m really thankful for the opportunity and just ready to get to work now."
The feeling is mutual for FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo, who credited his coaching staff for doing the extensive scouting work it takes to be prepared for a late first-round selection in the draft.
"We were lucky to be honest with you," said Clavijo. "I thought he was going to go earlier. We’re pleased we got a position that we needed. We got an athlete that has a good background in the game and is going to help us get better."
Earle said he's also looking forward to working with head coach Oscar Pareja. The fact that Pareja has drafted and developed the last two MLS Rookie of the Year winners wasn't lost on the young defender.
"He’s a coach who does well with younger players and likes to play you the right way," said Earle. "To be under a manager who’s as good as he is and has that pedigree will be massive for me and my development."
The first step in that development will come in just a few days when Earle and his new teammates report to Toyota Stadium to get the preseason started.
"I’m just looking forward to getting to meet with my team, getting my head down and getting to work and ready for the season."