Find out why this Fargo soccer player is 'Instagram-famous' and where he's headed
FARGO—Excitement and nerves are hitting their peak as a Fargo South sophomore and his coach get ready for the opportunity of a lifetime on a soccer field more than 4,000 miles away.
On Friday, March 23, 16-year-old Tate Simpson will fly to Germany to train with an elite academy and hopefully catch the eye of some pro teams in the process.
"His technical ability is probably one of the best we've ever had," said Noel Nyborg, Tate's Coach, "he does things that other people don't think about, he's got a natural talent."
That talent combined with hard work is opening doors Tate Simpson has been dreaming about since 6-years-old.
"It's just crazy they picked me," said Tate.
Thanks to a partnership with Tri-City Storm Soccer, Schachter Sports out of Germany traveled 4400 miles to see if soccer players in a place where snow covers fields six months out of the year could play.
Tate impressed the coaches, and is the only one in the region getting this elite opportunity.
A chance to train with Schachter's academy teams, daily training sessions with pro coaches and feedback, analysis and advice to get his game to the next level.
"I'm just going to look at the look at it like the game of soccer and I'm going to play my best over there," said Tate.
"If he continues to improve like he has been improving the sky's the limit but it comes down to how much work he wants to put in to make it happen," said Nyborg.
Tate won't be making the trip alone, though. His Tri-City coach and mentor Noel Nyborg will be by his side, doing learning of his own.
"It's going to be a mental challenge. That's my biggest role just keeping him in the game. I think we're going to have a lot of fun and they said we're going to change this kid's life," said Nyborg.
While working to catch the eye of the pros, he's already getting big-time attention in the world of soccer.
"I have about 80,000 followers on Instagram," said Tate.
Tens of thousands who watch as he perfects his game, the garbage can on the roof, getting a buddy across the field and hitting that corner shot again and again and again.
"I see them doing it on the internet and TV and I try it," said Tate.
The skills and followers have caught the attention of the biggest names in soccer
"Soccer.com, Adidas, Puma. They have ne test stuff out, drop photos, make a test video and see how I like them," said Tate.
"I don't really know the impact it was until friends-of-friends started saying Tate's Instagram famous," said Dave Simpson, Tate's dad.
For Tate's and his family and coaches, it's been an exciting journey.
With a ball on his foot since he can remember, he's gained confidence and skills with each passing year and now is at the doorstep of an amazing opportunity.
"I just want to see how far I can go with the game and how I can get better myself and how good I can really get and what the highest level I can play is," said Tate.
"It's what he wants he wants it badly enough who knows what time brings I be lying if the proud parent and you didn't want to see him on TV. Now it's hands up good job guys boys," said Dave.
Tate will spend 10 days in Germany, and besides training, will even get the chance to experience the culture by sightseeing and going to school with a German player.