Young Blood: Analyzing MOBA's Latest Signings - Daniel Valenciano
Soccer is a sport that is loved all around the world. From right here in America to England to China to Australia to Brazil, you can find great players everywhere you look, but one of the greatest places for players in terms of development and spending their lives around the game is in the Central and South American regions of the globe. Soccer is adored by the people of this area, and this adoration tends to breed some amazing talent. Former FC Dallas and LA Galaxy great Carlos Ruiz is from Guatemala. Young FC Barcelona star Neymar Jr. is from Brazil. World soccer legend Lionel Messi is from Argentina. Some of the greatest players in the world come from this region, and MOBA's newest addition looks to join that prestigious group of athletes.
Daniel Valenciano - Dalton State College
Out of the great country of Costa Rica, midfielder Daniel Valenciano has lived his life surrounded by the game. Growing up in Heredia, Costa Rica, he played for Saprissa Academy, one of the best youth soccer academies in the country and a direct affiliate of Deportivo Saprissa, arguably the best professional team in Costa Rican football. Upon moving to the United States, Valenciano joined up with the prestigious IMG Academy, a top-class athletics school in Bradenton, Florida. IMG has been a hotbed of talent over the years, playing home to Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst and USL star goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. With the IMG PDL team, Valenciano recorded eleven goals and thirteen assists in 2014.
In 2016, Valenciano joined up with the Dalton State Roadrunners of the NAIA, one of the top teams in the league over the last few years. With the Roadrunners, Valenciano led the team in scoring in his first year with ten goals as well as two assists in fourteen games, including four two-goal games. He scored two game-winners, once at home against Montreat, and again against Faulkner. The Roadrunners finished the year 13-3-1, including a nine-game unbeaten streak to start the season in which they won eight of those nine. Dalton made it all the way to the SSAC Tournament final before falling to William Carey 1-0 on an own goal. Valenciano received various accolades for his outstanding season, including two SSAC Offensive Player of the Week awards, as well as being selected to the SSAC All-Freshman team and was one of four Dalton State players to be selected to the All-SSAC Tournament team.
A talented athlete with a high football IQ and a knack for scoring, the 5'9" center-mid brings to Peachtree City a wealth of potential. Valenciano will no doubt be able to make an impact from the first moment he steps on the pitch, as his scoring ability as well as his defensive capabilities will no doubt play a huge role in MOBA's success going forward. A player with PDL and international football experience will bring a solidifying block to an already incredibly talented 2017 roster for head coach Volker Harms.
Image from Peachtree City MOBA