Valley soccer star taking the sports world by storm at young age

FRESNO, Calif. -- Like many young soccer girls growing up, Dakota Watterson dreamt of scoring the winning goal in a World Cup.

"I definitely want to be a player in the World Cup and be a part of that," Watterson said. "I also want to play in the Olympics and try to be a starter, and just seeing how that goes would be really fun."

Dakota's father, Bryce Watterson, said he noticed his daughter's athleticism at a young age.

"Funny story, there was a lot of soccer fields going on at the same time, Bryce said. "She came to me and said 'Dad, what do I do?,' I said, 'you just kick the ball into the soccer goal.' She dribbled the ball through four soccer fields and kicked the ball into the goal."

Dakota's family started posting videos of her playing on YouTube when she was just 11 years old. A year later, UCLA and USC begun to show interest. When she turned 13, she got a call from Jay Z's sports agency Roc Nation.

"It was a surprise, and I really didn't believe it at first," Dakota said. "It was just a star in the sky, and I kept looking at it. "

In October, Dakota became the youngest professional athlete to sign with Roc Nation at just 14 years old. She is the second youngest American women's soccer player to turn pro.

"She's not afraid of anything," says Jesus Garcia. "It's kind of intimidating as an opponent because when you play against someone who is fearless, it messes with you psychologically. It's an unbelievable trait she has."

The soccer star has six trips out of the country planned this year, where she will train and showcase her skills. She currently plays for the International Prospect Academy and travels every weekend to compete as a guest player for different teams.

"People say soccer parents are crazy, and we are crazy," Bryce said. "At the same time, I thoroughly enjoy watching her play. "

"You don't want to overthink it, you just want to stay relaxed and calm," Dakota said. "When you get onto the field you let all the pressure go, you just act like you're the only one on the field. You just own it, I guess."

At just 14, Dakota is already becoming a positive role model to young kids in the Valley.

"It took me to turn 21 to host a camp," Garcia said. "To see her doing it at her age and see how amazing of a person she is, is unbelievable."

It's been a whirlwind for the Watterson's since Dakota turned pro, but where these new opportunities take her in 2020, she's proud to represent the Valley.

"How dare we not give it our best shot," Bryce said. "There's no way I'm going to look back and say we should've done this, we should've done that. There's no way."