By Jeff Helfrich/NPSL.com
During his time with FC Baltimore Christos, Jon Bell was usually younger and less experienced than the players he squared off against.
Head Coach Larry Sancomb never let that get to the now-defender for New England Revolution II.
“FC Baltimore Christos was great for me,” Bell said. “I enjoyed it a lot. I’m forever grateful for Larry and the staff and players. It was a short time, but Larry inspired me to be better. He always said, ‘Nobody out there is better than you.’ I keep in touch with him. I always root for them and check in.”
Bell’s most memorable moment with FC Baltimore Christos was the match-winning goal he scored in extra time of the NPSL Mid-Atlantic Conference championship game. Sancomb still speaks highly of him.
“Jon is a talented soccer player, but he’s an even better person,” Sancomb said. “He works hard day in and day out and that’s why he keeps impressing everyone he plays for or against.”
Bell spent four years at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, starting 53 games and playing in 56, recording one goal and eight assists as a defender. As a senior in 2019, he scored his first and only career goal on Senior Night in a season-finale win over Stony Brook.
During New England Revolution II’s inaugural USL League One season Bell started and played 90 minutes in 15 of the club’s first 16 games and finished the year with 820 passes, fourth-most in League One.
“It’s been great,” Bell said of his time with Revs II. “I couldn’t ask for anywhere better to start my pro career. I’ve learned a lot on both sides in their style. I’m becoming a better player.”
One of Bell’s top goals with Revs II is to win more. He said it had a rocky start as a new team last year before finishing strong. He wants to continue that along building a bond with his teammates.
Bell called the training ahead of camp this year great so far. He is working to improve his mental game and work rate.
“You can get to the next level with skill, but only for so long,” Bell said. “It’s about a mindset. My top goal is to get up with the first team. On Revs II, you get to showcase your talent. Someone is always watching you, and I never forget that. I want to show I can play at that level.”
Playing at multiple levels of the American soccer system has taught Bell about himself and others he’s come across. He’s learned there’s thousands of players chasing the same goal.
“The way America has done it is great,” Bell said. “Within 3-5 years, I think three will be something really special. With all the leagues, development is growing. People want to see soccer thrive here.”
Outside of his conference championship-winning goal, the thing Bell remembers most about his time with FC Baltimore Christos is the people he got to meet.
“A lot of guys with different backgrounds,” Bell said. “We bonded just because we were out there with a ball. They have a loyal group of fans, even when we were in Virginia Beach we’d see them.”
Photo Credit: Christopher Fincham and Revolution Communications