Welp lets get the bad out of the way and then focus on some good. The bad is Hayden Partain left yet Drew Skundrich is staying. Partain offered dynamism in attack with some clever footwork and entertaining close quarters passing between forwards. He will be missed.
Fortunately midfielder Villyan Bijev will be on the roster once more. The Fresno Phantasm offers a unique skillset; tall and good in the air, is slower than Houston hip-hop, yet has outstanding creativity and one v. one skills to ghost past defenders. Bijev is fun to watch and he seems really passionate about the game. This can sometimes translate to a lazy sulk when things are not going right, but a good coach should be able to focus his strong emotional drive.
He has been used as a winger under coaches Buckle and Elliott, but his skills (and uhhh, pace) are more suited to a pure “number ten” creative central midfielder. Playing behind a striker as the most advanced central midfielder will give him time unleash some genius, while not forcing him to chase down long passes into attack or track fast opposition wingers in defense.
And speaking of tracking fast wingers, SHANNON GOMEZ IS COMING BACK! Republic’s best defensive signing of the past few seasons will return after facing a long absence due to injury last campaign. Gomez is a highly intelligent defender who can play on the left or right, cuts out opponent’s attacking angles and consistently covers for his compatriots all too common lack of sense.
He is always there to snuff out a late midfield run into the box or cut off a fast wingers attack from out wide. While offering more in defense than offense, Gomez can put in a good early cross or low cut-back. It will be good seeing him continue to mature his game hopefully enjoying a full, injury free season.
Who will be announced next? Who would you like to see? Let us know below!