Tanner Tessmann had a very special fan watching on as he came off the bench to make his US men's national team debut on Sunday night.
When the FC Dallas midfielder strode onto the field as a substitute against Trinidad & Tobago, the biggest smile inside Orlando's Exploria Stadium belonged to Dabo Swinney, famed Clemson football coach and Tessmann's godfather. Even behind his mask, Swinney's smile was a sight to behold as was the FC Dallas jersey signed by Tessmann that he was sporting.
And the connection between the two men goes beyond godson and godfather.
A year ago, Tessmann looked set to attend Clemson having being recruited as a kicker for the school's powerhouse football team. But then plans shifted and at the end of February and he signed a Homegrown contract with Dallas. After an impressive first season in MLS, in which he made 21 appearances across the regular season and Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, Tessmann's swift rise continued on Sunday with a debut outing for his country in a 7-0 rout.