Across the USL Championship, there are clubs primarily focused on winning now, others focused on developing young talent, and some that try to prioritize both. With the restrictions of needing to get players to win now or young enough to zero in on development, clubs are left to pick from a smaller player pool.
But, 23-year-old Nansel Selbol, formerly of Swope Park Rangers and Orange County SC, can fit into any roster structure a USL club might have. He’s young enough to continue to develop as a player, experienced enough to have two Western Conference titles under his belt, and skilled enough to change the game in the blink of an eye.
After playing in the Sporting Kansas City Academy, Selbol joined Swope Park in 2016. He would go on to play a role in both of the club’s runs to the USL Championship Final in 2016 and 2017. As a 19-year-old in 2016, Selbol scored a CONCACAF Champions League goal in Sporting Kansas City’s win over Central FC.
During the 2017 season, Selbol picked up the league’s Goal of the Month honor in June, July, and August. All three goals were nominated for the Goal of the Year and the strike seen below took home that honor.
Looking back on his time within the Sporting KC organization, Selbol told BGN, “It was really fun and I will always call it home. I met new people who gave me confidence on and off the field. It’s a beautiful city with kind people.”
“I wouldn’t mind going back to Kansas City a thousand times.”
Ahead of the 2018 season, he moved on from the club and out to California to play for Orange County SC. He played in eight matches before a family emergency came up. His father has diabetes and was very ill back in Nigeria. Unable to reach an agreement with the club on being away for a couple of weeks, they decided to mutually part ways. The former Nigerian U-17 player explained that after already losing his mother, he felt there was no choice but to get back home to be with his father, who is doing better now.
Following his departure from Orange County, Selbol briefly played for a club in Egypt and now plays for BSK Bijelo Brdo in the Croatian second division. Discussing his improvement since leaving the USL, Selbol said, “It’s all about hard work. I must say I have been working to get back at the top where I belong. I know I’m different and can always give something different.”
Selbol’s happy to have worked his way into the starting lineup out in Croatia, but he has his eyes on a return to the United States and the league he was once a rising star in.
Outside of his obvious talent, what does Nansel Selbol bring to a USL Championship club? “A lot of energy,” he said, explaining that his experience would be helpful, too. “I’ll give everything it takes to help my team win.”
With the 2021 USL Championship season slated to start around May 1st, a return to the league is important to Selbol. He said, “It will mean a lot to me. I miss everything about the USL and will be happy to come back and score more goals.” Nansel added that he’s willing to play anywhere in the attack where he can score goals for his next club.
For any club across the league looking for a motivated, offensive weapon ahead of the season, Nansel Selbol will happily be that player for you.