Top MOBA Players to watch in the NCAA
The Premier Development League is all about developing young athletes into the football superstars of the world. This mission has been more than successful, as seen by the profound amount of talent that has passed through the PDL, including former Boulder Rapids Reserve defender Nat Borchers, now a star player of the Portland Timbers, Brad Guzan (Chicago Fire Premier), goalkeeper for Middlesbrough F.C. of the English Premier League, and Graham Zusi (Central Florida Kraze), starting midfielder for Sporting K.C. and U.S. National Team member. The PDL is a breeding ground for young talent, and Peachtree City MOBA plans to be a hotspot for that talent.
After a decent first season in the PDL, MOBA showed promise and potential under the leadership of head coach Jordan Davis, assistant coach and owner Volker Harms, goalkeepers coach Wesley Lutz, and striker Omar Jarun. Upon the completion of the season, many MOBA players headed back to college to continue training for the upcoming NCAA season that kicked off August 26th. Using the PDL season as a basis of data, these are six MOBA players to watch in the NCAA.
Nick Spielman (East Tennessee State University)
After a long, successful season with Peachtree City MOBA, playing in 13 games and tallying 1 goal and 1 assist, the midfielder heads back to East Tennessee State to kick off the NCAA season at High Point University. A junior at ETSU, Spielman looks to have another successful season at the college level. Previously at Lincoln Memorial University, Nick started in 16 games with the team, picking up 3 goals and an assist, ranking him fourth on the team, with the sixth best shot percentage at 11%. At a new school in a more competitive conference, Spielman looks to make a big impact and lead the team to back-to-back winning seasons.
After an injury-riddled sophomore year, Asher looks to bounce back with the Blue Devils and get his name back on the score sheet. Asher showed prowess as he led MOBA in assists in 2016 with 2, and always gave 110% effort in an attempt to get back into playing shape. Expected to be an impact player on the Blue Devils squad, Asher can only hope to stay healthy, but there is no doubt he will leave it all out on the field and help Duke be a powerhouse in the ACC. Duke kicks off the 2016 season in the John Rennie Nike Invitational along with San Diego, Elon, and UNC Asheville.
Hague was an underrated player with Peachtree City in 2016. As a defender, his main focus was keeping the ball out of the net, and although it may have gone unnoticed by many, Hague made a heavy impact on the defensive side of the ball, giving goalkeeper Luke Oesterle some breathing room, and keeping the opposition off the attack. Hague is heading to Georgia State after two years at Clayton State, accumulating 2854 minutes, 2 goals, and an assist. Nick looks to be a key member of the defensive strategy for head coach Brett Surrency, but that all comes down to his ability to mesh with a new squad of players.
What player watch list would be complete without the reigning MOBA Proud Man of the Year? Lorenzano was a star on Peachtree City MOBA this season, leading the defense and midfield in all 14 games, helping to take leads and preserve them. Now the redshirt Junior turns his focus to Atlanta as he returns to play for Georgia State for the first time since 2013. Lorenzano, who attended both Starr's Mill and Mcintosh, looks to lead the Panthers defensive backs and the rest of the squad back to the Sun Belt championship again in 2016, with the hope of a better outcome than in 2015 when they fell to Hartwick 3-0 in the championship game.
Casey Shultis (Georgia State University)
A key leader on the offense for Peachtree City MOBA, Casey Shultis returns to GSU as a senior, and now has established a name for himself as a go-to man for Coach Surrency. Shultis enjoyed a successful 2015 season in which he scored 4 goals, including clutch goals in the Panthers win over top-25 ranked Brown and Georgia Southern in the Sun Belt semifinals. Shultis has proven his capabilities at Georgia State, and he reestablished that leadership down south in Peachtree City, giving MOBA boosts of confidence and pride when they needed it the most.
Oesterle rounds out the 4 Georgia State players who were members of the 2016 MOBA squad, helping to grow their bonds for the upcoming NCAA season. Luke Oesterle was Coach Davis' #1 option after goalkeeper Jeremy Booth went down with an injury mid-season. Oesterle took over the goal, and recorded a number of unbelievable saves. Luke is a junior at GSU, and has an overall record of 4-2. Oesterle looks to be the #1 goalkeeping option of the Panthers as well, as he hopes to build off of a decent 2015 season, where he had 1.88 goal allowed average, allowing 12 goals in 7 games.