Former FC Dallas GK Josh Lambo wins starting kicking job with San Diego Chargers

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Josh Lambo, the 2008 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick of FC Dallas, will be the starting kicker for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers when the Bolts kick off the 2015 season next Sunday.

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Lambo, who never made a league appearance in his four seasons with FC Dallas (2008-2011), gave up goalkeeping at age 21 and enrolled at Texas A&M University, where we walked on as a member of the Aggies football team, in 2012. Lambo became A&M’s starting placekicker midway through the 2013 season, his second as a member of the program.

Lambo, now 24, went a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts during the Chargers’ recently completed preseason, in which the Lansing, Michigan, native nailed three kicks of over 40 yards and one from more than 50.

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It’s actually pretty surprising that more life-long goalkeepers don’t make the goal-to-gridiron jump once it becomes clear a professional soccer career isn’t going to happen. As much time as goalkeepers spend booting a stationary ball up the field — doing so with specific direction and accuracy — you’d think those mechanics and skill would translate to placekicking extremely well.

The median base salary for starting kickers in the NFL was $875,000 in 2014, which is close to 10 times what most backup goalkeepers make in MLS.