By Ben Ferree/NPSL.com
Continuing the Carbon Athletics U-19 Spotlight, we take a look at Cole Allen of Pensacola FC.
An early standout in the NPSL’s U-19 pilot, Allen registered an assist in the 1-1 draw against the
New Orleans Jesters last month. The starting left back for the club, Allen embraces the new role
of the modern fullback.
“The role has really changed,” Allen said. “About ten years ago [fullbacks] weren’t really
involved in the attack. It’s good because now you can get forward and make most of the plays
happen. It’s about getting wide and getting forward, and now we’re looked at as an attacking
Prior to playing for Pensacola, Allen played as a midfielder for his high school team at Fort
Walton Beach High School where he has played varsity all four years. He also spent time as
center back and winger, giving him versatile experience.
“For [Pensacola], they have me in a position where they think I can benefit the most,” Allen said.
David Kemp, Director of Coaching for Pensacola FC, was quick to praise Allen’s work at the
“He’s very calm and composed,” Kemp said. “He’s so reassuring off the field. On the field, he
looks like everything is a breeze for him. He plays in a defense position but he’s attacking
minded. He probably takes as many shots as our forwards in some games, and we give him the
license to do that. He’s not afraid to attack and he always gets back. It’s like having two players
on the field.”
Allen is grateful for the new NPSL U-19 schedule.
“It’s been great,” Allen said. “It’s a really high level of play, and it challenges me to be a better
player. It really challenges players to compete against more talent and harder, more organized
teams. It gets you ready for the next level.”
For Kemp, having Allen on the field doesn’t seem like playing a teenager.
“He’s kind of like having an older player on the field for us,” Kemp said. “He’s composed, he’s
mature, he’s always up for battle. We can rely on him when we’re in a tight spot and when the
game gets physical. He’s emerged as a very constant performer for us.”
The next level for Allen is still a question at this point. He hopes to play collegiately and plans to
make a decision on where he will be attending in the coming months.
“He’s going to be a gem for someone at the college level,” Kemp said. “He’s under the radar
right now and someone is going to get a great player.”
Outside of soccer, Allen’s main interest is…staying fit for soccer.
“I do a lot of CrossFit,” Allen said. “It helps me with gaining muscle and making sure you’re still
active and not falling behind in fitness.”
Allen also doesn’t have a favorite soccer team or player. Instead, he prefers watching YouTube
videos of soccer to learn more about the game.
Allen will be back in action Thursday, October 20 against Port City FC.
Photo Credit: Jay Garcia, Thirty30Vision