March 15, 2023 – United Soccer League One (USL1) – North Carolina FC News Release
CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC announces the return of 17-year-old midfielder Nico Rincon on a USL Academy contract. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.
“Nico is on a very high trajectory,” head coach John Bradford said. “He’s continued to move in the right direction and grow as a player, and we’re very happy he’s a part of our club. Coming back this year we expect him to be more settled in and comfortable, have more of a voice, and be more impactful in matches.”
Born in Colombia, Rincon moved to Spain at a young age. For nine years, Rincon was a part of the RCD Espanyol youth academy in Barcelona before moving to the United States in 2020, with his family relocating to New Jersey. He played high school soccer for Brick Township High School and club soccer at the Players Development Academy (PDA) in Somerset, NJ for a year and a half.
Rincon joined NCFC after being scouted at Alianza de Futbol by head coach John Bradford in November 2021. Rincon’s MVP performance at the showcase saw him receive trial invitations from every attending professional club. This included Liga MX clubs Club America, Necaxa, Pachuca, and Chivas, as well as MLS clubs Atlanta United, New York Red Bulls, New York City FC, New England Revolution, Columbus Crew, and the San Jose Earthquakes.
“When we went to USL League One, we changed our scouting identity and where we were going to find players. People thought I was crazy, but I was going to youth national team camps for the U16’s, U17’s and youth talent showcases trying to find top players. I went up to New York and watched Nico, and immediately knew he would fit our player development model,” said Bradford.
Rincon and his family spent a lot of time deciding his future after the showcases, and together came to the decision to join NCFC. He said the opportunity to train and play professionally while still getting regular minutes with the Academy and youth teams was the driving force in their choice.
“My family and I agreed that NCFC was the best option for me to start my professional career. It is a club that takes great care of its young players with a great environment. It was a perfect fit,” said Rincon.
While Rincon made the move to North Carolina, his family stayed in New Jersey. Rincon spent the 2022 season with the family of Matteo Navas, a member of NCFC Youth. Navas’ family is Colombian, which Rincon credited with…
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