Syracuse men’s soccer is searching for midfielder consistency

first_img Published on September 7, 2016 at 11:05 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Facebook Twitter Google+ At first it was John-Austin Ricks and Sergio Camargo who filled two midfield roles. Then it was Hampus Bergdahl and Jonathan Hagman. Jan Breitenmoser had his name called and Adnan Bakalovic slid into the mix, too.Through four games, six different midfielders have all started in the same two spots.“We’ve got a lot of bodies that we’re still kind of working in,” head coach Ian McIntyre said.Syracuse (4-0) has had stability on its front and back line with the same five players starting every match. But the team is still searching for continuity in the midfield as it gets set to open Atlantic Coast Conference play at North Carolina State (1-2) on Friday at 7 p.m.Last year’s midfield line was consistent when healthy. Oyvind Alseth, Liam Callahan, Juuso Pasanen, Julian Buescher and Korab Syla started almost all of the games together. The line of four upperclassmen and arguably the most talented player on the team in Buescher helped propel Syracuse to the College Cup.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Pasanen and Syla used their eligibility, along with regular reserve Noah Rhynhart. Buescher left early and was drafted by D.C. United of Major League Soccer. In their absence, Syracuse has had to mix and match different midfielders. SU has yet to find a consistent combination.Alseth and Callahan are mainstays on the two wings from last year. Freshman Mo Adams has a stronghold on the third spot, starting all four games there. But the other two midfield positions have been a revolving door.Adams has seen the field so much in part because of his quick learning and his positional versatility. When defender Kamal Miller left a game with a leg cramp, Adams took his place.Tony Curtis | Staff PhotographerHis main role has been replacing Pasanen as the main defensive midfielder. But when someone else plays there — whether it’s Breitenmoser, who’s started two games, or Bergdahl who’s listed as a defender but plays a defensive midfield role since SU’s main defenders almost never sit — he moves up to play the central midfield role.“I hoped I’d get a starting spot,” Adams said about his goal coming into the season. “Right now, I’m just happy to play wherever.”It has been Breitenmoser who’s started the last two games, bumping Adams up. Two games ago against Colgate, Ricks started alongside him. Last time out against St. John’s, it was Bakalovic.Bakalovic only played in three games last year. He and Ricks have flashed their inexperience and haven’t gotten more than limited looks.Camargo is in his first year playing for the Orange. He started the first game, but has been dealing with a hamstring injury. He didn’t see the field again until he got three and a half minutes of action in the St. John’s game.Late in the same game, McIntyre actually dropped Nanco down to the midfield and played both forwards Kenny Lassiter and Johannes Pieles up front.The most consistent midfielder of the six for the Orange has been Hagman, even though he’s struggled at times.In his one start against Loyola Marymount, he played a shaky first half, getting a lot of his passes intercepted after thinking a teammate would be there. Making sure those passes will get through is something he says will take time.“We have to get to know each other,” Hagman said. “You have to get to learn how (his teammates) run and how they think in different situations on the field.”Hagman didn’t come into the game against SJU until the 34th minute, but he played the rest of the way through overtime. He went on to score the game-winning goal.SU has managed to go 4-0, avoiding two near losses against nonconference opponents. But with ACC play coming up, the Orange will need to find the right group to man the midfield the rest of the way.“So we’re still working about who we are, how we’re gonna play,” McIntyre said. “I think we’ll get better.” Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *