Growing up in Ogden, Taylor Booth always had designs on one day leaving the town 40 miles north of Salt Lake City to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player overseas. On Jan. 31, Booth’s dream became a reality when he signed a 3 1/2-year deal with soccer club Bayern Munich.
After competing in a couple of tournaments with the United States Youth National Team, Bayern Munich — considered one of the biggest and most successful soccer clubs in Europe — invited him overseas to train for a week. Not long after, Bayern made the offer that Booth could not refuse.
“It was my goal to play in Europe so it was an amazing feeling to sign for such a successful club,” Booth told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Booth spent time with the Under-23 team for a winter training camp before joining the U-19 squad. He has yet to appear in the lineup for Bayern, but anticipates seeing action soon.
“I’m extremely excited to finally be able to play matches so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season,” Booth said.
So far, Booth is enjoying his new life in Germany. On his off days, he spends lots of time at the Hard Rock Cafe because its American atmosphere reminds him of home, he said.
When it comes to soccer, though, Booth is already getting a level of play he has not yet experienced in his career. He said the biggest change he has noticed in himself is his mentality toward the game.
“The German culture has taught me to never take a day off and to train 100% every day,” Booth said.
Not long ago, the 16-year-old Booth played for the Real Salt Lake academy team. In fact, RSL wanted to ink him to a homegrown contract. Although he chose not to do so, he gave credit to the academy for helping him improve as a soccer player.
“I give RSL a lot of credit for helping me with my youth development,” Booth said. “They are definitely one of the best academies in the U.S., if not the best. They continue to develop top players every year. So they deserve the respect they have.”
While Booth is living his dream, he is attempting take to his new life all in stride, and remembering what his parents told him when they learned he signed with Bayern.
“They were super proud of me,” Booth said, “but they realized I still have a lot of work to do. They told me to stay grounded and continue working hard.”