7:19:11: 10-17-2020UKvsUABMensSoccer

UK senior midfielder Kalil Elmedkhar kicks and scores a penalty to put Kentucky up 1-0 during the University of Kentucky vs. University of Alabama at Birmingham men's soccer game on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 2-0. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff.

After helping lead the Cats to a No. 3 ranking and 5-1 record over the fall non-conference portion of their 2020-2021 season, senior midfielder Kalil ElMedkhar is headed to the United States’ professional ranks.

This morning, Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas announced it signed ElMedkhar - who forwent his remaining eligibility to go pro - to a two-year contract with club options. ElMedkhar’s Hometown Rights were acquired from the Philadelphia Union for $50,000 prior to the deal being inked.

Back in 2007, MLS implemented a Homegrown Player program. It allows teams to retain the rights of players who attended their developmental academy for at least a year instead of losing them to the league’s SuperDraft. ElMedkhar, A native of Middleton, Delaware, graduated from Philadelphia’s YSC Academy in 2017.

ElMedkhar made 66 appearances over four years as a Wildcat, 50 of which were starts. He tallied 61 points off of 20 goals and 21 assists in those contests. 11 of those goals and assists came during his breakout sophomore campaign (2018), where he was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region first team and All-Conference USA first team.

As a junior in 2019, ElMedkhar claimed both of those distinctions for a second straight season behind six goals and seven assists. He was also named Conference USA’s Preseason Co-Offensive Player of the Year while making both the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll.

In his six appearances of 2020, he notched three goals and two assists. His final score in blue and white came in the 55th minute of the non-conference finale, putting Kentucky on the board in their 2-0 victory over UAB at the Bell. It was the seventh game-winning goal of his distinguished career.