Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Realslfan's Underdog #3


Why he's an underdog.

Okay so admittedly this one's an easier sell than the other two. As a rookie drafted with the last pick in the first round, Horst is clearly an underdog. In addition, the club signed two notable players at the central back position: Nat Borchers, and Jamilson Olave. These were added to the stable already including Matias Mantilla, and the underachieving (to this point) Nik Besagno.

Why I'm rooting for him.

REASON #1: Athletic ability! Having watched him in practice, this guy seems like a monster. He is 6' 4", 200 pounds and seems to be very quick for his size. In practice, he finished in the first two or three in a couple of speed drills that the team did. Not bad for a big guy.

REASON #2: Attitude! He is also fearless and throws his body into the play without a thought that he is just a rookie. Also in a scrimmage at practice he was one of the most active at getting to the open spots and getting shots off, when some of our forwards were struggling to put shots on frame. Someone forgot to tell him that he's a central defender!

REASON #3: Background! How can anyone not love a guy from Pine Grove, Pennsylvania - a horse and buggy town in Schuylkill County Pennsylvania with a population of 2,154? A guy who was an NCAA All-American and CAA defender of the year for consecutive seasons. Horst was also Old Dominion's first MLS 1st Round pick.

REASON #4: History! First, Eddie Pope's shoes are big un's to fill. Between Mantilla, Olave and Borchers we seem to have 3 good options at center back. However, remember last year when we started the season with Pope, Stewart and Torres? Olave is a bit of an unknown, with a reputation for disciplinary issues. Mantilla had some positioning lapses, and demonstrated a temper last season. Only Borchers appears to be rock solid. It seems to me that the more quality options at this position, the better.