Another Club Champions League (CCL) alumni inked a professional contract before the start of the 2018 season, with Nelson Blanco signing with North Carolina FC of the United Soccer League (USL). Nelson played for Arlington during his time with the CCL, and has decided to forego collegiate soccer to pursue a professional career. His experience in youth soccer has primed him for a successful transition, spending time with DC United, in addition to North Carolina FC, before deciding to turn pro.
“Nelson has been in training with us before, previous to this stint of training,” North Carolina FC coach Colin Clarke siad. “I liked him and invited him back, and he wanted to come back. When the time came, we were in a position to offer him an opportunity to turn pro here and we’re delighted that he said yes. He’s a great kid and good player. He’s very good technically and we’re looking forward to helping him and watching his development over the next couple of years.”
A native of El Salvador, Nelson can play on either side of the field as a winger, but is just as comfortable in the center of the park as an attacking midfielder. Nelson is a prototype player maker, with exceptional technique and a creative flair, but more than anything he is grateful for and determined to make an impact.
“I’m very happy and blessed to sign my first professional contract,” Nelson said. “I’d like to thank God, my family, and the coaches that I’ve worked with. I couldn’t have done it without them. I’d also like to thank Colin [Clarke] and Dewan [Bader] for the opportunity. I’ve been working hard since I was a kid for this moment. It’s a dream come true.
“I want to help the club win as many matches as possible during the push to qualify for playoffs. I’d like to get on the scoresheet as much as possible and bring the excitement of my game to the club.”