Alex Molano joined the Swope Park Rangers this week after spending the majority of his early playing career in Croatia and Sweden.
Initially a member of FC Dallas’ Juniors, Molano was invited to the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in 2008 and 2009. Molano will recognize a familiar face when he arrives for training at Swope Soccer Village next month, as current Sporting KC goalkeeper Jon Kempin was part of that same group at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
With college on the horizon, Molano chose to try his luck in Europe and, with the help of his grandmother’s Croatian citizenship, joined Dinamo Zagreb’s Under-19 team in August of 2009. Moving out of the states did not put his National Team chances on hold, as he played a further five times for the U.S. Under-20 team in 2010 and helped the side claim the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland, playing alongside the likes of Juan Agudelo, Greg Garza, Perry Kitchen and Dillon Powers.
Soon after, Molano brought his skills to Scandinavia and joined Bodens BK in Sweden. Injuries played their part over the next few years of his career, as he ended two separate stints at Bodens with two assists in 13 appearances, having also trained with Croatian side NK Vrapce in between his spells in Sweden.
In 2014, Molano returned to his hometown of Dallas, and quickly found his way on to Dallas City FC’s roster for their inaugural NPSL campaign, spending two seasons with the club. When the Rangers’ open tryouts took place in November, Molano seized the opportunity with both hands and sufficiently impressed head coach Marc Dos Santos, who is looking for the 23-year-old to play a creative role on his team.
“Alex has done well at the youth level and gained some experience while in Europe,” Dos Santos said. “He did very well during our open tryouts and he could provide us with creativity in the midfield.”