JACOB SPEED (photo courtesy of Fort Worth Vaqueros)

Besides having a really cool name for an athlete, Jacob Speed has now done something that no other Fort Worth Vaqueros alum has ever done — he’s made it to The Bigs.

Speed is on the fast track to Major League Soccer, this country’s highest level of professional soccer. The Frisco-based FC Dallas drafted Speed this week in the MLS draft.

Speed, a graduate of Mansfield High School, played for the Vaqueros last summer before returning to SMU to play his senior year.

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“It was very evident from Jacob’s first training session with the team that he had all the tools to play at the next level,” Vaqueros coach Mark Snell said in a statement. “We want to wish him all the best.”

FC Dallas drafted Speed in the fourth round with the 78th overall pick.

Fort Worth Weekly has written about the Vaqueros’ efforts to develop players (“Broadening the Talent Pool,” Jan. 14, 2015). The fourth-division Vaqueros have seen three players move up the professional ranks in the past two years. Following the Vaqueros inaugural season of 2014, Vaqueros goalkeeper Zak Downes and defender Damian Rosales joined the USL squad Arizona United.

The Vaqueros return for their third season this summer with kickoff set for late April or early May at Texas Wesleyan University’s Martin Field.

(This report contains information from a Jan. 19 Vaqueros press release)