Haslett’s Brandon Dixon making a name for himself playing soccer in Europe
The 17-year-old Belgrade United F.C. player is getting ready for a big tryout in Sweden
HASLETT, Mich. (WILX) - The COVID-19 sports cancellations here in Mid-Michigan have helped push a Haslett native to chase his soccer dreams overseas. Brandon Dixon is on the verge of a pro career at just 17 years old.
“I really wanted to experience a new culture, new country,” said Dixon. “So I really tried getting my mom to take me to Greece.”
The youngest of a set of athletic triplets, he started soccer at age four and always wanted to play professionally. A trip to play in tournaments in Greece at age 14 brought it closer to reality.
“Managers, agents, or whoever were coming up to me,” said Dominica Palacio, Brandon’s mom. “I remember one in particular from Germany who said ‘we would love to have him, send him over.’ He gave me information, but at 14 I just thought I’m not ready for him to be away from us as a family.”
He played varsity soccer for Haslett High school for two years, earning all-conference honors. He left as a junior when he realized he might not be able to have a season due to the pandemic. The next step was going overseas.
“I got an email over from Marbella F.C. where they asked me if I wanted to go over to another country and play soccer,” said Dixon. “They were taking people from all over the country and they were going to bring them over to Serbia.”
“He kept asking me about it. So, I had hoped over the next couple of summers when we went for tournaments in Portugal and Spain that that would kind of fill his willingness of wanting to be over there in Europe,” said Palacio. “But, that drove him even further.”
His success in Serbia started to draw attention. He started in six games and scored four goals with Belgrade United F.C. He came home for the holidays, and now he’s heading back to Europe for the next step in his career, which is a tryout for an academy in Sweden.
“I really want to take this seriously. I really have the drive and the obsession to be the best,” said Dixon. “I believe if I got this opportunity, I’d be able to make it count and make it the best I could.”
Dixon said one of the biggest moments in his career so far has been working with the technical coach for the late soccer legend Diego Maradona. He’s taken the words of encouragement from him and remembers it every day when he takes the field.
“He’s developed a love being over in Europe and the opportunity to go pro is still his dream and he’s making his way towards that,” said Palacio.
You have to 18 in order to get a FIFA license, so this September Dixon could have the chance to land with a European club.
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