Dia began his professional career with Sporting as the 20th overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft out of Clemson University. He made 37 appearances for the club in all competitions during a two-year stint highlighted by a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title and consecutive playoff appearances. Dia spent the last three seasons with perennial USL Championship contender Phoenix Rising FC, where he was named the team’s Defender of the Year in both 2018 and 2019, before returning to Sporting ahead of the 2020 campaign.
2020: MLS regular season: Has not featured. Open Cup: Has not featured. MLS Cup Playoffs: Has not featured.
2016: MLS regular season: Started nine of 10 appearances and contributed to three shutouts (817 minutes played). Open Cup: Did not feature.
2015: MLS regular season: Made 22 appearances with 13 starts (1317 minutes played), recorded one assist and contributed to six clean sheets. Became the first rookie to start a season-opening match for Sporting KC since 2011. Started in consecutive shutouts at Seattle on May 23 (0-0 draw), home to FC Dallas on May 29 (4-0 win) and home to Seattle on June 6 (1-0 win). Earned MLS Team of the Week honors in Week 12 for his defensive performances in consecutive shutouts. Earned MLS Team of the Week honors in Week 30 after recording his first MLS assist in a 1-1 draw against Seattle on Sept. 27, setting up Dom Dwyer in the second half. MLS Cup Playoffs: Started and played 120 minutes in Sporting KC's 7-6 penalty kick shootout loss at Portland after a 2-2 draw through regulation. Assisted Krisztian Nemeth's go-ahead goal in extra time and converted his penalty kick in the shootout. Open Cup: Started four matches and recorded one assist. Started and played 81 minutes in a 1-0 fourth round win over Saint Louis FC on June 16. Started and played 90 minutes in a 6-2 fifth round win over FC Dallas on July 1. Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-1 quarterfinal win over the Houston Dynamo on July 21, recording his first professional assist on a goal from Dom Dwyer as Sporting KC went ahead 2-1 late in the game. Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-1 semifinal win over Real Salt Lake on Aug. 12.
PHOENIX RISING FC
Dia was a leading contributor at Rising FC from 2017-2019. He started 87 of 90 USL Championship matches at the club—notching four goals and eight assists—and guided Phoenix to three straight playoff berths, winning the 2018 Western Conference Championship and helping the side to a historically dominant 2019 campaign.
Dia has culminated each of the last two seasons with Rising FC Defender of the Year honors as the club’s first-choice left back. Phoenix reached the 2018 USL Championship Final and ended 2019 with a 24-4-6 regular season mark, setting an all-time American professional soccer record with 20 straight league wins from May 10 to Sept. 14. Dia started in 18 games during the unprecedented stretch as Rising FC totaled a USL Championship record 78 points.
The left back appeared in 70 games during a four-year collegiate career at Clemson, contributing four goals and six assists. As a senior in 2014, he led the Tigers to the school’s first ACC soccer championship since 2001 en route to reaching the Round of 16 in the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.
Dia has represented the United States at the under-14 (2007), under-18 (2009, 2010) and under-20 (2012) levels and also holds dual citizenship in his native France. As a youth, he was an NSCAA All-American and Colorado’s Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year at Mountain Vista High School. In addition, he excelled for Real Colorado in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and was a member of the Region IV team within the Olympic Development Program.