NCE Soccer graduate Daniel Dixon is celebrating an international call-up – and the opening of a global gateway to professional football.

Daniel made his international debut for Slovakia yesterday (Tuesday) and celebrated with a win against Macedonia.

He started the match and played a pivotal role in a 2-1 victory following a weekend training camp with his new teammates.

Daniel flew to Bratislava earlier this week to join his new international teammates after a whirlwind few weeks created by his Dad’s dogged detective work and ancestral links to Slovakia and Hungary.


The result now means Daniel is eligible to obtain dual citizenship, allowing him to pursue a professional career anywhere in the world.

“It has all happened so quickly in the end, but the start of this journey was down to our experience with NCE Soccer and our trip to Oakham a couple of years ago,” Victor explained.

“Daniel was selected to join NCE Soccer’s Pro Academy Tour to England and, during the the tournament, he received some interest from a couple of watching coaches.

“What became clear, however, was that those avenues would not be possible without an EU passport.

“This became more apparent after NCE Soccer arranged for Daniel to train at Fulham Football Club as a reward for his performances in training.

“We enjoyed almost a week with Fulham training with Fulham Academy coaches and learning more about life within the Academy system.

US Passport

“But we learned he couldn’t train with Academy players until the club had a realistic chance of signing him – which, of course, they didn’t at the time, as he only held a US passport.

“The rules mean that unless a young player has a VISA to remain in the UK they can not pursue a professional career unless they are an international player. That means, for many players, it is the end of their dream.”

Daniel is now part of the Philadelphia Union Academy and working hard towards earning a pro contract with the MLS giants currently ranked as the US top youth academy.


International Soccer

However, it was during his time playing with NCE Soccer, where he received supplementary training from top UEFA A qualified coaches, that the issue of citizenship was raised.

Daniel was interested in potentially playing in Europe but time in England with NCE Soccer opened the family’s eyes to the challenge they faced because of VISA requirements.

American children under 17 can play soccer in England if they study and board in private schools. They can also play in England via a Tier 4 Child visa if their parents are deemed ‘skilled workers’ and are sponsored by their company to work in the UK.

Even then, English Football Association rules mean players can only sign for Academy clubs that are within a 60-minute journey for U12s or a 90-minute minute journey for U16s.

“It was a real eye-opener for us, the challenge to play professionally is already immense but the restrictions on travel make it even harder,” Victor added.

“I immediately came back to the US after the NCE Soccer tour and started consulting immigration/naturalization attorneys.

Historical Links

“I also did a thorough check with our family lineage and began exploring all options including both my side and my wife’s sides of the family. We knew we had historical links but had never really explored them.

“We looked into it and discovered that my wife’s mom and dad both had ancestors from Hungary and the Slovak Republic…so we applied to both countries.  

“As it turns out, the Slovakia process has progressed much faster.  Once the Slovakia Football Association became aware of Daniel’s dual national eligibility, they monitored and followed him with his current club, The Philadelphia Union.

“He received an official invitation/nomination for a call-up to the squad for a Development Tournament featuring some top European nations in North Macedonia later this month.”

NCE Soccer Alumni

Daniel is the latest in a long line of NCE Soccer graduates to play international soccer. NCE Soccer works tirelessly with pro clubs in the US and around the world to secure pathways to elite schools and the professional game and has produced several success stories.

Henry Welles moved to the UK to study at Rossall School and he went on to captain England schoolboys, Curtis Ofori signed pro terms at the New York Red Bulls II before moving to the New York Red Bulls. Dren Dobruna, Cooper Flax, and Diego Rossi joined New York City Football Club.

Maximo Carrizo became the youngest player in MLS history to sign a pro contract and scores of others have gone on to secure places at top Division One, Two, and Three College teams.

Exposure To Top Teams

“I can not thank NCE Soccer enough for their support, guidance but most importantly the opportunity of exposure to these top professional teams,” Daniel added.

“I’m not getting carried away, this is only the start of the process and I know my ultimate goal of playing professional soccer is still a long way ahead. 

“I know there are no guarantees, but at least now the barrier of boundaries has been removed.

“I can not thank NCE Soccer enough for their coaching and support and the exposure they provided me within the UK and the incredible team at Philadelphia Union who have helped me to develop my game further.

“Now I have a huge opportunity to represent Slovakia, learn more about our family’s proud history, our lineage back to Slovakia, and a new language, culture, and experience.”


NCE Soccer founder John Curtis said: “We are delighted for Daniel, he has worked extremely hard on and off the pitch for his opportunity and that is testimony to him and his family.

“Now it is over to him to continue working hard and we wish him the very best of luck as he pursues an international career with Slovakia.

“It is frustrating that our young players are restricted from playing in England where the coaching structure is way more advanced than in America.

“It is why we created NCE Soccer, to bring advanced European coaching standards to the US.”

NCE Soccer provides supplementary soccer coaching for advanced players at venues across America.

The range of programming is club-neutral and free of politics. NCE Soccer provides weekly training programs, Showcase events involving top Universities and Colleges, and international tours around the world.

* To find out how you can get involved visit our tryout page to register your interest and qualify for our programming via this link.