SAN DIEGO -- A transfer student from Scotland has kicked it into high gear with the Del Norte High School soccer team, becoming the Nighthawks' top striker.
"It's always been my dream to play soccer. If it's professional or just week-in and week-out, I've always loved it since I was a young age," Rhys Gourdie told FOX 5. "I've loved it."
At a time when most kids dream of moving to Europe to play professional soccer, Gourdie, a junior, moved to the US from Scotland last summer. He left his spot on the prestigious Rangers FC Scottish soccer academy to join the Nighthawks, where he brought a different style of soccer.
"Just a good kid coming from Scotland that plays old-school style soccer, that scores goals and that came through big for us this year," his coach David O'Rielly said.
Gourdie is adjusting well to living in Southern California, already scoring 15 goals this season. He attributes much of his success and talent to his father, Ross, who is a soccer coach for the San Diego Surf.
Gourdie is grateful to his father: "I'm so thankful to my dad for everything I know. There's also been coaches back home that have helped me massively to be become the player that I am now. But especially my dad."
"I'm glad I'm not playing against him as a defender," O'Rielly said. "And as a teammate, he leads.
Without Gourdie, the Nighthawks won the Division Three SoCal Regional Title last season, and they hope to make another long run this year.