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Kelly Walsh vs. Natrona County Boys Soccer - Vlastos

Natrona County's Niki Vlastos is congratulated by teammates after his second goal of the night in the Mustangs' 3-0 victory over Kelly Walsh on April 21, 2015, at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper. Vlastos signed with Saint Louis FC of the United Soccer League on Thursday.

Nichi Vlastos, who was born in Casper and played soccer for Natrona County as a freshman in 2015, signed with Saint Louis FC of the United Soccer League on Thursday. Vlastos is the first Wyoming-born player to sign with a professional soccer team.

Vlastos’ signing marks the club’s first professional contract signing of an Academy contract player.

Vlastos helped lead the Mustangs to the 2015 state consolation championship before joining the Saint Louis FC U15 youth academy team. He later played for STLFC’s U17 team and then joined the STLFC Academy U19 team in 2017, scoring three goals in 21 appearances in U.S. Soccer Development Academy competitions. Vlastos scored two goals in 29 games for the U19 team this past season.

“Nichi has earned this pro contract through his level of training with the first-team, his level of play with the U19s, and more importantly his mentality with both groups to remain consistent,” STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis said in a release. “This is another positive step for our club to show that the pathway from Academy to First Team is real if players apply themselves every day in training and in every game. Age is not a factor for me, if players are good enough and earn it, they will be given opportunities.”

Saint Louis (5-6-6) is currently 12th in the USL Champions Eastern Division standings.

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Sports Editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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