It's a long way from Poynton, England, to Tulsa, Okla., but that's the route Laurie Bell (UW-Milwaukee) took to become a professional soccer player – with a significant stop in Milwaukee and a summer in southern California, that is.
Bell announced earlier this week on his Facebook page that he signed with the Tulsa Roughnecks, who will kick off their first USL season on Saturday night.
The 22-year-old midfielder closed out his stellar career with the Panthers last fall, finishing with 26 goals and 15 assists in 70 appearances (69 starts). Bell was named a first-team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the Horizon League Player of the Year as a junior in 2013, and is one of only three players in UWM history to earn first-team all-league honors three times.
Bell, who played in the youth programs of Manchester City and Rochdale before coming to Milwaukee, tied for fourth in the USL Premier Development League last summer with six assists in 10 matches for the Ventura County Fusion.
On Twitter: @LBellBell