USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Swope Park Rangers youngster Nansel Selbol has come a long way in a short time, and the native of Nigeria is eager to continue that pace as he prepares for his first professional season with the expansion USL club.
“I believe I have all it takes to play in the highest level, so I just need to work hard because I feel football is what I can do best,” Selbol told SportingKC.com’s Megan Armstrong from preseason training camp in Tucson, Arizona for an in-depth feature on the striker. “My favorite part about football is playing at the highest level, and I like scoring goals. Any time I score, I’m happy. Sometimes, I backflip.”
A former Nigerian U17 international, Selbol arrived as one of three players invited as a trialist for Sporting Kansas City last year. He made a big impression quickly, recording a hat trick for SKC’s Academy side against the Colorado Rapids seven days after his debut with the team.
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“Nansel is a small player that plays like a big player,” Rangers Coach Marc Dos Santos told Armstrong. “He’s very dynamic. He’s always in movement. It’s very difficult to knock him down – he has a low center of gravity. Technically, he’s very sound. He’s a player that can balance a midfield or balance defenders in certain moments.
“He knows it's not going to be easy right away to get a major starting position, but if he works well and he has that mentality, I think he has all the tools to win a spot and make an impact in this club.”
Selbol had an impact already for Swope Park, contributing to the club’s undefeated record at the Desert Diamond Cup over the past two weeks. Known as Starboy to those closest to him, and with 10 goals in nine games in the Development Academy this season, there’s a chance Selbol could be a breakout star in the USL this season.
The 18-year-old is certainly going to do his best to continue up the path the Rangers have envisioned for him.“My goal for this upcoming season, I just want to be humble, work hard and I want to give my best,” Nansel told Armstrong. “It’s a new team and I like to win all the time. I hate to lose. I want to have a successful season because it’s my first professional season here. I just want myself and the team to be successful and work hard together, and I believe if we do so, we will achieve what we want.”