RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The North Carolina FC youth program continues to grow right here in the Triangle and now the program's impact is being felt in the top pro ranks, with one homegrown talent making it to Major League Soccer.
"It was obviously great, and I'm super excited to play and everything," DJ Taylor said.
Taylor, 23, grew up playing soccer in the NCFC youth academy and began his professional career in 2015 playing two years in Spain.
In 2017, he came back to Raleigh and signed a contract with NCFC. The 2019 defensive player of the year has continued to progress and just this week made it to the next level -- joining Minnesota United of the MLS.
"Soccer is just a way for me to push myself to be better every day," Taylor said. "That's how I got to this point today."
Taylor, who spent the last two years coaching young players ages 7 to 16, said a big reason why he plays is to inspire youngsters, especially his 9-year-old brother Ethan.
Taylor said through the hard days and rejections, it's been his faith that's pushed him throughout his young career.
"God allowed me to take every step forward in my life and career," Taylor said. "I am extremely humbled and blessed by Him to be able to be a better person and player every day. I pray that others will see my path and be inspired to reach out and grow their connection with Him."
Taylor's motto is to turn your dreams into reality and even though he's made it to MLS, he's not done yet. His ultimate dream is to eventually play in one of the top leagues in Europe.
Raleigh native signs MLS contract with Minnesota United