Blandin’s national, international experiences carry him through final college soccer season

Diana Levy, Sports Writer

Louisiana native Alex Blandin always knew soccer was a very important part of his life.
Blandin has finished his senior season with the Francis Marion University (FMU) men’s
soccer team with 3 goals and 3 assists.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was 4 years old; it is just something that has been engraved
into me,” Blandin said.
Blandin won the honor of All Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Second Team during his
freshman season in 2010 and All PBC First Team in his sophomore year in 2011.
According to John Campbell, men’s soccer head coach, Blandin has all of the tools to be a
good player and is able to handle “1 v. 1” situations well.
Blandin, who said he is a pretty versatile player, played the center midfield position, which is
different than his position last year of forward.
He said he enjoys the running aspect, which is a big part of the center midfield position.
This past summer, Blandin played for the Connecticut Football Club (CFC) Azul, an
amateur soccer team based out of Hamden, Conn.  He played there with FMU teammate Simon Nett for
the entire summer break.
While playing for the team, Blandin was exposed to many different styles of play from
different players.  This allowed him to develop and learn new techniques.
Blandin explained that playing for Azul allowed him to stay in good shape and prepare
himself for the fall season with the Patriots.
In 2010, the summer before he began college, Blandin had an opportunity that would help
him to transition into a college level of soccer.  He was presented with the chance to play for the
club team Chernomorets in Burgas, Bulgaria and became the first American to do so.
This experience helped Blandin transition from a high school level of play to a more
professional level.
“It was difficult sometimes with the language,” Blandin said.
He was able to learn the language and customs throughout his stay.  He added that once he
stepped on the field, language was not as important.
While playing for the Chernomorets Burgas, Blandin also had the opportunity to play soccer
in Turkey.
Blandin explained how playing in with international soccer players has allowed him to
develop as an athlete.
“Different nations have different playing styles,” Blandin said. “Playing with these players
has allowed me to learn.”
Blandin, a business management major, would like to pursue a professional soccer career
after he graduates, but if not, he said he will look into graduate school.