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Ottawa Pro Sports Management

“From high school to pro in less than a year.” OPSM NextGen Series: DJ Dean

Click to view DJ Dean’s profile on the OPSM database: https://www.opsmpro.com/players/dj-dean/

It’s safe to say DJ Dean isn’t your typical young American soccer talent.

He is something much more than that.

The creative and fast winger has taken a path to the top that you just don’t see in America.

DJ Dean is also the next athlete featured in the OPSM NextGenSeries, highlighting OPSM’s best u23 talents.

Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dean had a successful youth career, excelling on the pitch from a young age.

After four years of high school, Dean went to Central Arkansas University to play college soccer, for a month.

“I was only there for a month in the pre-season. I made some good friends and played against some good competition but it wasn’t for me.” Dean said about his college days.

The gut decision Dean made about leaving college turned out to be one of the smartest decisions of his life.

“Why is this? That’s a foolish decision,” you may ask.

I will answer.

At only 21, Dean has played a full two seasons in the USL Championship with the Tulsa Roughnecks (now FC Tulsa) and recently signed for one of Guatemala’s top clubs, Antigua FC.

In other words, Dean made the right choice.

While in Tulsa, Dean connected fellow Roughnecks player Jeff Addai. Since then, the Tulsa native has been a proud member of the OPSM team.

“OPSM has really helped me mentally. I take their mental strength classes with Jason every week and it has really helped me grow as a player. You could have so much skill but if you don’t have good mental strength your talent will go to waste.” Dean said about OPSM and how it’s helped him grow not just as a player, but as a person.

Dean has certainly taken a path you don’t see many American players take. He went from high school to playing professional soccer in less than a year, with a one month stint in college packed in between the two.

Currently, Dean is waiting for his season with his new club Antigua FC to start after being shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dean talked about the situation, stating, “Obviously it’s a tough time right now because of the coronavirus, so now I am at home in Tulsa, and there’s nothing like being home again… Antigua (his club) have also sent us at-home workout plans to help keep us in shape to keep us going through this time.”

A humble and respectful young player, Dean has his mindset on big things within his career.

“OPSM and I have talked about my plans for the future and how we are going to work together. I just want to go to the highest level I can play it. That’s what I want to do”

In the meantime, Dean will be waiting for his season with Antigua FC to start.

A great young talent, with lightning-fast pace and the ability to beat you off of the dribble so easily and effectively, the future is bright for the young DJ Dean.

If you love what you see, make sure to tune back in the next article to see who the next OPSM NextGenSeries talent will be!

WRITTEN BY CHRIS DAILEY

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