Young Blood: Analyzing MOBA's Latest Signings - Jordan Smith-Williams
English football, no matter who you ask, remains the pinnacle of the football world. The Premier League is undoubtedly where all players want to find themselves at some point in their careers. All soccer players worldwide grew up with a favorite EPL team, whether it Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal, even Newcastle if you grew up in the mid-to-late 20th century. Growing up in the U.K. is a different picture. Football is the norm. It is what almost every child strives to play professionally, and whole academic careers are centered around it. Some of the world's greatest come out of England, including Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Harry Kane, and Jack Charlton, just to name a few. While some players do not wish to compare themselves to the greatest, one cannot help but strive to attain their level, and MOBA's latest signing is on a path to do just that.
Jordan Smith-Williams - Reinhardt University
Reinhardt University has been or is home to some of MOBA's best talents from a year ago. Star defenders Jack Coulton and Adam Reakes, as well midfielder Todd Fidler all attended the university (all of whom have English backgrounds), and new squad member Jordan Smith-Williams, out of Birmingham, England, has starred there over the last three seasons. In 2014, as a freshman, Williams had an outstanding season, scoring ten goals and notching ten assists, leading the team to a 14-3-2 record and a national ranking that climbed as high as #14. Facing an incredibly difficult schedule, the Eagles charged head first into each challenge, going 4-1 against teams who were either in the top 25 or received votes. Reinhardt captured the AAC regular season title and clinched the #1 seed in the AAC conference tournament. After marching through the first two rounds with two wins of 4-0, the Eagles fell in heart-wrenching fashion to St. Andrews 2-0. Despite that, Smith-Williams got his deserved recognition, as he was named to the AAC All-Conference First Team and was voted AAC Freshman of the Year.
Heading into his sophomore year having already established himself, Williams looked to continue his great form. Despite slipping a bit record-wise, going only 10-7, Jordan only got better out on the pitch, as he started fifteen games and scored fourteen goals with seven assists. Starting off sputtering, the Eagles picked it up mid-way through the year, and closed out the season on a four game winning streak before falling to Truett-McConnell in the AAC Tournament. Following the season, Williams was recognized again for his great campaign, being named AAC Player of the Year and NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, both of which were firsts in school history. Williams also made the NCSAA All-Region Second Team, as well as the AAC All-Conference First Team and the AAC All-Academic Team. 2016 saw the Eagles get back into winning form, as they went 11-6-1 on the year, but once again fell in the first round of the AAC Tournament. Williams had another stellar season despite only playing in twelve games, as he led the team in both scoring and assists with seven and four, respectively, and Williams once again saw himself named to the AAC All-Academic Team.
Smith-Williams not only starred in collegiate football, but found himself succeeding in the PDL as well. Playing last season with division rivals Charlotte Eagles, Williams scored a goal along with two assists in his six games with the team, including starts in both games against Peachtree City. Departing the team before finishing the season, the Eagles went 4-1-1 in games Jordan played in, and found themselves atop the division upon the end of the season, however the Eagles fell in their first playoff game against Ocean City FC.
A player with incredible scoring ability and PDL experience with one of the best teams in the league, Jordan Smith-Williams is definitely the type of player MOBA will need on their roster to win. Featuring alongside Reinhardt teammate Todd Fidler and Dalton stars Daniel Valenciano and Santiago Moore, Peachtree City is crafting a team that can be lethal to opposing goalkeepers and fill the void left by Omar Jarun's retirement. MOBA will no doubt be looking to be the dark horse in the South Atlantic and Eastern Conference, as they look to carve their path to Statesboro and the Eastern Conference Championship.
Image from Charlotte Eagles SC