Youngest player in Dynamo history earns high school diploma through team

Adam Winkler Image
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Meet one of Dynamo's youngest players about to graduate
Brooklyn Raines is the youngest Dynamo player to ever start a Major League Soccer match before finishing high school.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Perhaps the only thing brighter than Brooklyn Raines' flashy pink soccer cleats is his grin.

"He's always smiling," Dynamo general manager Pat Onstad noted to ABC13 Friday.

Well, you'd probably smile, too, if you achieved a dream of playing a pro sport before even finishing high school.

"As a young athlete, I was able to manage both school and playing a sport professionally," Raines shared during an interview with ABC13.

Raines, who turned 18 years old in March, is the youngest Dynamo player to ever start a Major League Soccer match. As he mentioned, he did so while balancing school and sports. That's a dynamic to be highlighted this weekend.

During halftime of Saturday's home game vs. Austin FC, Brooklyn will be among a dozen players recognized for earning their high school diploma with the Dynamo and the club's academy.

"It's pretty cool," Raines said while smiling. "My mom always told me she wants me to do well in school and have good grades, so achieving graduation is a special thing."

Kathleen Fuller, who is spearheading Saturday's graduation ceremony, oversees the education platforms of the Dynamo Academy.

The former teacher is still an educator, making sure more than 30 student-athletes in the academy - ages 12 through 17 - focus on more than just soccer goals.

"We see that same level of excitement when they get that A in the class or when they're getting that 4.0 GPA," Fuller, the Dynamo Academy player care coordinator, explained. "Brooklyn finishing high school and joining first team is just an amazing achievement."

"It helps the rest of the younger guys within the U17s and the U15s to see that there's a pathway," Onstad noted. "You can still become a pro and still get the education piece. We're lucky to have a leader like Brooklyn."

Soon, his smile and boots won't be the only things showcasing how bright Brooklyn Raines is. He'll have a high school diploma to show off, too.

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