So we've looked at the back four and our fearless keeper. Very solid. Very experienced. Very talented. We're moving on to the midfield. As is a recurring theme, they're returning a good bit of talent and much of the creative force behind the attack.
Alex Halis (So)
Nick Perea (Sr) - Stefanos Stamoulacatos (Jr)
Juuso Pasanen (Jr)
Returners: Mike Koegel (So), Gogo Kollie (Sr), Robert Palmer (So)
New Blood: Julian Buescher (Fr)
The midfield in any team is that which drives the entire energy and style of the team. Last year that style became quite apparent and developed. Pasanen in the holding role, Stamoulacatos and Perea shuttling and Halis playing a number 10 role. The interplay and passing in the diamond formation developed into a solid, fluid unit through the season. Depending on who is brought in, styles may shift, and Stamoulacatos and Perea are capable of coming more central depending on personnel. Last year there was a touch of 4-3-3 deployed.
Basically there's options. And a lot of them. And a lot of talented ones. Halis is your classic Number 10. Playmaker, great on the ball skill and can put it home when he needs to. He's part of the excellent Canadian duo brought in last year (Chris Nanco being the other). He was a College Soccer News Freshman All-American selection on the third team, a selection on the ACC All-Freshman Team and the team Rookie of the Year. He's the offensive spark on the team and should be one to watch this coming season. Perea and Stamoulacatos function as shuttlers, playing relatively box to box, Perea being the more defensive of the two. He has been a stalwart for years, starting since 2011 and is part of the glue of the team and the co-captain.
Stamoulacatos, the Camillus native is a bit more offensive, with solid vision and a decent service. The holding midfielder is Juuso Pasanen. The Finnish DM is a solid anchor to the midfield and a great compliment to the back four. Koegel, Palmer and Kollie should give some depth off the bench. Kollie is coming off of a redshirt year.
The new recruit, Buescher, is hoping to make a splash as a German Wunderkind. I'll cover him more later, but there's a good bit of promise there.
Side note: Saw the preseason game on Saturday night. Coach McIntyre seems to be looking to employ a 3-5-2, moving Oyvind Alseth into the holding role, and running three at the back. It will be interesting to see how this new style progresses moving forward. You could tell a few of the guys weren't used to the shape yet, but they've only been together a week and should be able to glean more as time goes on.
Julian Buescher opened the scoring with a penalty in the first half. Hartwick equalized by Nick HIllis' "Power of the Beard" to make it 1-1 after the break. There's no pictures of this guy, but the Aussie has got facial hair to make a lumberjack envious.
In a torrential downpour, the Orange took advantage of some friendly bounces and some passes strung together as well as possible in the conditions to put three more away. Stamoulacatos, Rynhart and Koegel all netted their first of the preseason. Stamoulacatos' strike was a picturesque top left corner rifle, put where the keeper had no chance.