1.15 Ponder/Rayo Signing DL

North Texas SC Signs Former FC Dallas Academy Players Philip Ponder and Gibran Rayo

The pair are the 38th and 39th Academy products signed to professional contracts by the FC Dallas organization

FRISCO, Texas - North Texas Soccer Club has signed former FC Dallas Academy players Philip Ponder and Gibran Rayo, pending league and U.S. Soccer Federation approval.

Ponder joins North Texas SC on a one-year contract with an option for the 2021 season. Rayo joins the club on a two-year contract with an option for the 2022 season.

Ponder, 22, joined the FC Dallas organization in 2010 and played in its Academy before committing to play for Southern Methodist University. Ponder played four seasons for the Mustangs, featuring in 50 games and scoring five goals. His collegiate career produced numerous accolades including the AAC All-Academic Team (2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19), AAC All-Tournament Team (2018), CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-American (2017), as well as two AAC Defensive Player of the Week awards.

Rayo, 18, spent three seasons in the FC Dallas Academy after joining from Sporting United SC in 2017. In 2019, he featured in 12 USL League One games (four starts) while still in the FCD Academy. Rayo scored his first professional goal in North Texas’ 5-0 win over South Georgia Tormenta FC on August 27 at Toyota Stadium. The forward has represented Mexico at the Under 16 level and most recently the United States at the U-18 level.

Transaction: North Texas Soccer Club signs defender Philip Ponder to a one-year contract with an option for the 2021 season on Jan. 15, 2020. It also signs forward Gibran Rayo to a two-year contract with an option for the 2022 season on Jan. 15, 2020.

Name: Philip Ponder
Pronunciation: Pawn-der
Position: Defender
DOB: February 23, 1997 (22)
Birthplace: Denton, Texas
Hometown: Arlington, Texas
Height: 6-0
Weight: 170
Nationality: United States
Last Club: Southern Methodist University
How Acquired: Signed on Jan. 15, 2020

Name: Gibran Rayo
Pronunciation: Jih-brawn Rye-oh
Position: Forward
DOB: October 14, 2001 (18)
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Height: 5-8
Weight: 150
Nationality: United States
Last Club: FC Dallas Academy
How Acquired: Signed on Jan. 15, 2020