Nashville SC signs Sporting Kansas City forward Kharlton Belmar

Belmar headshot.jpg

From Club release:

NASHVILLE (December 13, 2018) – Nashville Soccer Club announced the signing of forward Kharlton Belmar on Thursday morning to its 2019 United Soccer League (USL) Championship squad, pending league and federation approval. Belmar spent a portion of last season with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer (MLS) and also appeared for its USL Championship affiliate Swope Park Rangers.

“Kharlton’s pace and power has given many defenses sleepless nights,” said Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith. “He’s not only a good creator but also a top finisher. He’s a fantastic and exciting addition to the team.”

Belmar, 26, has been with Sporting Kansas City in each of the last two seasons, making seven total MLS appearances. His Sporting KC debut came in the Round of 16 of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup, which SKC went on to win. He scored his first MLS goal, and added an assist, in a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake in the Open Cup last year.

“Kharlton’s combination of outstanding athleticism and relentless mentality make him a threat to get behind opposing defenses,” said Nashville SC VP of soccer operations and technical director Mike Jacobs. “He has demonstrated throughout his career the ability to create and finish scoring chances, and we know that he will bring an added dimension to our club.”

Drafted by the Portland Timbers in the second round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Belmar had immediate success as a pro, scoring 12 goals as rookie for Portland’s USL Championship affiliate, Portland Timbers 2. He was named the 2015 USL Rookie of the Year and was a member of the All-League Second Team that same season. He played two seasons with Timbers 2 before signing with Sporting Kansas City.\

While with Sporting KC, Belmar has been loaned down to Swope Park Rangers for portions of each of the last two season. In four seasons in the USL Championship, Belmar has scored 40 goals, good for 12th all-time in league history. Just last season, Belmar was named the USL Player of the Month in March, and secured three USL Team of the Week honors, including a USL Player of the Week in the opening week of the 2018 season.

Obviously, this is huge news (and one of the signings I predicted several weeks back). I’ll have an analysis piece up at some point this afternoon.

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