TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — All anyone ever wants is a chance, and for former Leon High soccer player Jaden Jones-Riley, that's what he's getting. Jones-Riley was a part of Leon High's nationally ranked soccer team in 2019. He's played for the Tallahassee Soccer Club, and played collegiately at Dayton. This week, Jones-Riley got his next chance when he was taken in the third round of the MLS SuperDraft by the Portland Timbers, and now has the opportunity to become a professional athlete.
It's a dream come true for the kid from the 850, and now, he can't wait to make the most of it.
"There's not better feeling of putting on for where you came from," he said. "Growing up here, there's a lot of great soccer players around here. This is a dream come true. I've been hoping for this chance ever since I was a little guy at Leon. I'm going to do everything I can in my power to make the first team and make everyone at home proud and make everyone who beleived in me proud too."
Jones-Riley said the MLS season starts at the end of February. He said he hasn't gotten his full schedule yet, but anticipates the preseason starting in January, which is essentially try-outs for a spot on Portland's first or second team.