Former Arlington Soccer Association standout Nelson Flores Blanco recently was added to the El Salvador men’s national-team roster prior to the squad playing in three World Cup qualifying matches.
Flores, who played for Arlington Soccer Association travel teams for four years, was named a defender for the 26-player team. La Selecta will play the United States on Jan. 27, Honduras Jan. 30 and Canada on Feb. 2 in qualifying matches.
Flores, 22, made his international debut with El Salvador in a match against Bolivia in November. A month later, he made his first international start in a 1-1 tie against Ecuador. In high-school in Northern Virginia, Flores played for the West Potomac Wolverines.
“We are extremely proud of and happy for Nelson on his call-up to the El Salvador national team,” ASA technical director German Peri said. “This achievement is a testament to the hard work he has put in throughout his career. We are beyond excited to watch Nelson during World Cup qualifying.”
Flores, who was born in El Salvador, most recently wrapped up his third professional soccer season in the U.S. with North Carolina FC. The left back appeared in 27 games in 2021, making 25 starts and recording three assists. In December, North Carolina FC signed Flores to a new one-year contract, with an option for 2023.
Flores, who also played professionally for teams in San Diego and Oakland, signed a professional contract with North Carolina FC in 2017 after a successful three-year run with the D.C. United Academy team.
When playing for ASA, Flores was coached by Peri, Tony Damiani and Grant Smith over four years as a member of the Arlington Eagles Red Team.
Flores’ North Carolina FC teammate and fellow Arlington Soccer alum, Nelson Martinez, also has been named to the roster for the El Salvador national team as a defender. Martinez, who started 25 games for North Carolina FC last season, spent two years on ASA’s academy team before also moving to the D.C. United Academy squad.