Gevork Diarbian and Moussa Ndiaye high-five during a Vermont Green FC match // Photo courtesy of John Alexander Dolan
USL League Two boasts some of the most talented players from the pre-professional ranks on the continent. Every two weeks, The USL League Two Scouting Network, presented by The Soccer Syndicate, will highlight some of the top performers in League Two that caught their attention.
Palmer Ault – Flint City Bucks - F
Ault is the youngest player on this list, and for good reason. His strength belies his age, and he’s fluid on the dribble, with a good understanding of space. He’s already gotten onto the score sheet twice in Flint City’s three games, all wins, and is a regular starter for one of League Two’s most storied teams.
Pep Casas – NC Fusion – M
An extremely technically adept player, Casas keeps control of the ball and gets it out of danger on a routine basis. Sometimes, that’s meant taking it through multiple defenders, using his tight control to get the ball into dangerous spaces. He creates a lot of the bite in the Fusion attack, and they’ll need that if they want to pursue another deep playoff run.
Sebastian Chalbaud – Fort Wayne FC – M/F
A lean attacking midfielder, Chalbaud has been a major contributor for the Fusion, and has recently made a move to the front line last match. He got a goal for his trouble, and uses his slender frame to quickly change direction and progress the ball. He works hard in defense, but skill and control are his calling cards.
Max Chretien – SF Glens – F
Chretien has already filled up the score sheet for the Glens, one of the best teams in the competitive NorCal Division. The six-footer has both pace and strength, and it’s hard to move him off the ball. Much more finisher than creator at this stage of his career, he has all the tools to be a successful number 9. He’s been good on the turn, in space, and especially in front of goal for a Glens team with top aspirations.
Christian Engmann – Ballard FC – D
The tall, powerful, and fluid left-footed CB has kept things pretty clean and painless for Ballard FC to this point in the season. The Bridges have allowed only one goal all season, against United PDX on the road. His 6’4 frame lends itself to winning a lot of battles in the air, and he gets balls forward quickly either through the channels or over the top.
Eliot Goldthorp – Des Moines Menace – F
Goldthorp has already made a name for himself at this level, and after a successful season at Hofstra, seems to be right back to it for the Menace. The six-foot-tall forward has the technical ability to beat most defenders he’s faced – he can shoot with both feet, has great balance, and can leave all his options open when approaching a defender. He’s poised for a huge season for the Menace.
Moussa Ndiaye – Vermont Green FC – D
Ndiaye played as a defensive midfielder early in his college career, and has recently transitioned into a back line role with aplomb. He lays on crunching tackles, cuts out space in a hurry, and dissuades attackers from choosing him as a target. As he continues to develop in possession and playing out from the back, he will continue to perform at a high level for one of the most exciting teams in League Two.
Nick Pariano – Ocean City Nor’Easters – M
A slight and technical midfielder, Pariano keeps the action ticking for Ocean City after a successful season at Duke. Passing is his calling card, and he’s able to clip them all over the pitch. He wants the ball, and wants to get it forward. He’s willing to press, and press hard. He’s already an important piece to the way Nor’Easters set up, and will need to have a good season to propel them forward. He already has the tools and work rate to do so.
Wessel Speel – Long Island Rough Riders – GK
The 6’6 All-League goalkeeper is picking up right where he left off, though to start the season he hasn’t been the busiest player on the team. It took three matches for anyone to score on the Rough Riders, and Speel commands his goal with assertiveness. His shot stopping is critical to Long Island’s success, and he seems poised to hold it down for another run.
Omar Yehya – Redlands FC – F
Yehya is one of the quickest players in League Two, full stop. His pace is emphasized by his timing along the back line, able to take off for runs and create separation where it seems like many players would get caught offside. He’s a goal threat for Redlands, and has enough strength to hold up play and wait for support. He’ll be a huge part of the Redlands attack for the rest of the season.