Sockers Sign Defender Nelson Santana
The San Diego Sockers, presented by Kaiser Permanente, today announced the signing of veteran defender Nelson Santana to a Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) contract for the remainder of the 2021 season. Terms were not disclosed, as per league and team policy. Santana will wear uniform #78 and be available for selection on Saturday when the Sockers take on the Ontario Fury.
“It’s all hands on deck,” said Sockers director of player personnel Chiky Luna, “We brought ‘Nelly’ into training this week and we think he can help our team. Santana has vast playoff experience and will be a steady hand for our club.”
Santana, 42, has been on the opposing side of the field against the Sockers dating back to 2009, when the club returned to existence in the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL). Making his professional debut in the MISL in 2006 with the Stockton Cougars, Santana played five years in the California port city, both in the MISL and PASL, winning the PASL championship in 2007-08. He moved on to Syracuse in 2011, playing four seasons for the Silver Knights, before spending the 2015-16 campaign with the Ontario Fury. Moving to Baltimore, Santana was part of back-to-back MASL championship clubs in 2016-17 and 2017-18. He played the past two seasons in Harrisburg with the Heat, where he was co-captain.
Over his 288-game professional career in the MISL, PASL, and MASL, Santana has totaled 124 goals and 152 assists, with 240 blocked shots. In 2019-20 with the Heat, Santana had five goals, five assists and 13 blocks in 18 games played.
The Sockers (3-4) head toward the conclusion of the COVID-influenced 2021 MASL season with a pair of matches in Ontario this coming weekend, taking on the Fury Saturday night and the Tacoma Stars on Sunday afternoon, before traveling to Dallas on March 20 for the regular-season finale. San Diego is playing an all-road season due to local COVID restrictions, and the lack of an available playing facility. All matches are available to be viewed on MASL Facebook Pay-Per-View, at facebook.com/MASLsoccer/events.