Young Blood: Analyzing MOBA's Latest Signings - Jack Bailey

The term "young blood" does not specifically mean bringing in youth in order to boost an organization's performance. Sometimes, instead of youth, teams will bring in seasoned veterans to stabilize and teach while also providing quality caps and doing what a team needs to be successful. Just a few weeks ago, after a 4-0 loss to Atlanta United, the Chicago Fire needed to evaluate the situation, and so instead of finding new, young talent, they signed thirty-two year old Bastian Schweinsteiger, and they are now undefeated since his arrival. With their latest signing, MOBA steps away from the youth approach, and instead takes a chance on a PDL veteran to help the team succeed.

Jack "Digga" Bailey - Limestone College

England - the soccer capital of the world. A hotbed for talent, the country of England is a place any professional team would love to have a player from, as the sport of soccer is placed at the top of many young athlete's aspirations. Jack Bailey is no different. Growing up in London, Bailey played his youth soccer in the development programs for English professional teams Norwich City FC, Stevenage Borough FC, and Cambridge United before coming to the United States. At Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina, Bailey played a prominent role for the Saints all four of his collegiate years. Between 2010-13, he played in seventy-one games and started fifty-four, scoring thirty-six goals and seventeen assists for eighty-nine points, leading the Saints to back-to-back conference titles in 2012 and 2013. His thirty-six goals were scored at an efficient clip for a midfielder at 14.3%, shooting 251 shots. Jack received a number of accolades during his four years, including 2010 First-Team All-Conference, 2011 Second-Team All-Conference, and Spring 2013 Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll, among others. Following his years at Limestone, Bailey entered into grad school and is an Assistant Coach for Thomas University.

Throughout his collegiate career, Bailey was also a star in the PDL. Playing all up and down the East Coast, from The Villages, Florida to Portland, Maine, Jack starred in the midfield as well as at forward for three different teams. With the Ocala Stampede (now Villages SC), Ocean City Nor'easters, and GPS Portland Phoenix, Bailey has played in fifty-two PDL matches, scoring thirty-nine goals along with twenty-one assists, including two goals in a 4-0 victory for Ocala against Mississippi Brilla FC in 2013, whom MOBA plays a home and home series against for the second time in 2017. A player with a wealth of experience in the PDL, Bailey will be a welcome sight for MOBA this season.

Joining Todd Fidler and newly-acquired Lukas Joyner in the middle, Bailey brings experience to a group that lacked that in 2016. Entering their second PDL season, Peachtree City is looking to be successful and fight for a division title, and one of the best ways to do that is to bring in players who have seen firsthand the hard-nose, professional-style soccer that is player in the Premier Development League. The MOBA coaching staff is sure to use Bailey more as an attacking midfielder/forward, as his ability to put the ball in the net as well as create opportunities for other players to do so is sure to give MOBA a huge boost going into the new year.

#MOBAProud
Image from Limestone College

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