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When Real Salt Lake took what was essentially a low-risk gamble on Nelson González late in the 2009 campaign, the team’s fanbase might not have had many chances to see him on the field, but the RSL Technical Staff had seen more than enough to be convinced the chance was well worth it. After seeing action only in a friendly late in 2009, González would be pressed into action early in 2010 with mixed results, the lack of consistency often times overshadowed by a fierce competitiveness that would prove to rattle the opposition. A hamstring injury would slow down the young Argentine in early summer, but he would return in time to be a valuable contributor in CONCACAF Champions League play, starting three of the team’s first four matches in the tournament en route to the pinnacle of Group A.
The exciting left-footed player possesses the technical pedigree found in so many like him from Argentina, but he also possesses a tenacity and hunger beyond his 5’6” frame that allows him to survive quite well in the sometimes rough and tumble MLS. While González’s versatility could allow him to provide some cover at left fullback, look for him to line up on the left side of the team’s tight diamond midfield formation once again.
2010: In his first full season with the Utah side, notched two goals and two assists in 17 games (seven starts), totaling 617 minutes of play … Started three of his four appearances in CONCACAF Champions League play (226 minutes), in which he tallied one helper … Made his MLS debut on 4/01 @ HOU, coming off the bench for the final 15 minutes of the 1-2 defeat … Made his home MLS debut on 4/10 a memorable one, entering at the half and capping his night by placing a 94th minute corner kick in the path of Álvaro Saborío, who nodded home in the dying seconds to give RSL a share of the spoils via a 2-2 draw … Four days later, started and played 61 min. in RSL’s U.S. Open Cup qualifier on 4/14 @ SJ, his goal at the hour mark giving RSL a 2-0 cushion in what ended as a wild 3-3 draw and eventual 5-3 triumph in PKs … First MLS start came three days later on 4/17 @ LA, his tenacious 64 minutes in midfield not enough to overturn an eventual 1-2 defeat in the MLS Cup ’09 rematch at The Home Depot Center … Played 90 minutes and assisted on lone RSL goal (Campos – 57’) in 1-1 draw on 5/15 at Rio Tinto Stadium v. Mexican U-21 National Team … A strained left hamstring would keep him out of the mix for a handful of games across May and June … Saw his loan deal extended through end of 2011 MLS season on 7/12/10 by RSL/MLS/Quilmes … Struck a beauty of a goal in stoppage time on 7/31 v. DC to open his scoring MLS scoring account (93+’), working a series of short passes with Andy Williams in midfield before springing free and chipping the ‘keeper from the corner of the area, icing away a 3-0 win … Registered a career-high 72 minutes via a starting role on 8/11 @ PHI (1-1 T) … Made CONCACAF debut on 8/18 v. Árabe Unido with a 32-minute stint off the bench, helping RSL capture a 2-1 victory in a bizarre contest at Rio Tinto Stadium … Would get starting nods in following three CCL contests on 8/25 @ Cruz Azul (45 min. in a 4-5 L), 9/15 v. TOR (68 min. in a 4-1 W), and 9/22 @ Árabe Unido (81 min. in 3-2 W) … Recorded first point in CCL play in the away affair in Panama, helping on Saborio’s 36’ tally that gave RSL a lead it would not relinquish … Final start in League play came on 9/09 @ SEA, when he logged 65 minutes in the scoreless statemate in RSL’s return to Qwest Field.
2009: Did not see time for Real Salt Lake in MLS play after joining the squad officially on 8/13 via a loan deal from Argentine Second Division squad Quilmes Atlético Club … Made his debut on RSL’s 18-man gameday roster on 8/23 @ NE … Made RSL debut by starting and playing 45 minutes on 10/07 v. Chivas Guadalajara in a hotly-contested international club friendly at Rio Tinto Stadium (1-1 T) … Not listed on any of RSL’s four matchday rosters during postseason run to MLS Cup 2009 title.
International Club Career
2007-2009: Quilmes Atlético Club – Argentina Primera Nacional B (Second Division): The young Argentine spent his first two professional seasons with Quilmes in Argentina’s second division, making his debut on May 3, 2008, with his lone appearance of the team’s 2007/08 season before playing in nine contests (one start) for El Cervecero in their 2008/09 campaign.