FRESNO, Calif. – Fresno Football Club announced Monday it has re-signed Fresno native Milton Blanco for the 2019 USL Championship season, pending league and federation approval. The 34-year-old midfielder will return to a field player role in 2019 after spending the previous season with Los Zorros as a player/coach.
Blanco’s addition to the 2019 roster brings the number of former Fresno Fuego players on the team to four, joined by Christian Chaney, Renato Bustamante and Elijah Martin. Blanco, who grew up in Fresno and graduated Roosevelt High School before going on to star at Fresno Pacific, has enjoyed a 14-year career in professional soccer.
After Fresno Pacific and his first stint with Fresno Fuego in the Premier Development League, Blanco made his MLS debut with Chivas USA in 2005. He then enjoyed success in the NASL and USL Pro, starring for Harrisburg City Islanders, Orange County Soccer Club, Arizona United, Atlanta Silverbacks and FC Edmonton, among other clubs. Blanco also propelled his hometown Fresno Fuego to a regular season PDL title and Western Conference runner-up finish in 2011, earning him the 2011 PDL Most Valuable Player award.
“I’m just thankful and appreciative of this opportunity to continue my pro career,” Blanco said. “I’m honored to wear our crest one more year and leave it all on the field for my city. Fresno has made me who I am. I want to finish my career playing for the city that gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams, and give the kids the hope that they can one day play for our club, too.”
Blanco made six appearances for Los Zorros in 2018, including two starts in the 2018 USL season and another pair of starts in the second and third rounds of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Blanco will wear the No. 8 jersey in 2019, switching from the No. 7 he wore in 2018.
The Foxes enter their final stretch of the preseason with two exhibitions at Fresno Pacific on Wednesday, February 27 and at Fresno City College on Saturday, March 2. Both matches are free and open to the public.
Fresno FC official kicks off the USL Championship regular season on March 9 at New Mexico United. The Foxes open at home on March 23 against Reno 1868 FC. Tickets for the full 2019 Season and single games are available now at 559-320-2525 or by visiting FresnoFC.com.
Name: Milton Blanco
Hometown: Fresno, California
How Acquired: Re-signed
Last club: Fresno FC