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League Two's Top Performers, presented by Soccer Syndicate: Week 8

By Staff, 06/29/23, 5:15PM EDT


It's time again to look at some of the players that have made fantastic impacts for their clubs this season, and are showcasing the ability to make an impact at multiple levels, according to the scouts at Soccer Syndicate!


Quenzi Huerman, Asheville City SC – F

Huerman is a modern winger – silky, direct, and plays an inverted style. He uses his tall frame to burst past fullbacks in one-on-one situations, and may one day soon carve a living out of beating those that have signed up to stop him. Able to put a pass in accurately to keep defenses honest and punish them for over-committing, Huerman has the tools to be a successful wide player.

Hosei Kijima, Sarasota Paradise – M

Kijima’s spatial awareness is nearly unrivalled in League Two. Capable as an attacking midfielder, winger, or even as a right back, Kijima knows where to be and when, at all times. He makes life easier for his teammates by sniffing out pockets of space and making himself available, and can do the same to push a back line to its breaking point. If a defense is bending, it’s a safe bet that Kijima will find and apply pressure to the weak spot.

Diego Konnicks, Des Moines Menace – D

Konnicks is a capable ball-playing defender, composed with the ball at his feet and good tactical sense to keep the play moving in his own half. He’s most comfortable defending in his box, challenging for headers and beating would-be threats as they try to navigate the tight space. Des Moines haven’t conceded in a month.

Joel Sangwa, Nona FC – D

A defender’s defender. Sangwa is a stout defender, and looks the part, but is light on his feet and able to move quickly with tricky attackers. Without an elite vertical leap, Sangwa instead challenges in the air with his strong frame and game sense, able to make any tackle or challenge needed from him by the Florida club.

Sam Sarver, FC Motown – F

Sarver is a pest in the very best way for a forward. Loves to press, loves to get into the mix, and loves to win the ball back once his team loses it. He’s not here to just make runs in behind for the sake of scoring goals – he likes to run the channels to clear space for others, likes to get into the defense out of possession, and likes running directly with the ball to attack a defense. Everyone must be on alert at all times with Sarver on the pitch.

Jason Smith Jr, Park City Red Wolves – GK

Smith consistently looks to build out from the back. He has great distribution and can break lines with ease with his hands and feet. He has great positioning and organizes his defense well. He is a solid shot-stopper who rarely spills. He’s smart and aggressive coming off his line to claim a cross or close down the angels on breaking forward.

Bailey Sparks Jr, Texas United – F

Thriving most as a false nine, Sparks likes to drop below the opposing center backs, turn, and lay passes to advancing runners, trying to break the last line. He is always looking for the assist, and thrives when making decisions immediately after receiving the ball. His first touch with both feet is sublime, as is the touch on his passes. Sparks is one of the best high playmakers in the league.

Jack Clarkson, AHFC Royals – M

Clarkson patrols the middle of the park for the Royals, living to mop up mess and start pushing the team up the pitch. He hasn’t been substituted out of a match since AHFC was leading 5-0 against Round Rock SC in the 53rd minute, three weeks ago. He’s the central piece to how they retain and progress the ball, and will be heavily leaned on the rest of the season.

Lewis Duncan, Salt City SC – M

If Salt City has scored, it’s pretty safe to think that Lewis Duncan was involved. In matches where Salt City SC scored at least one goal, Duncan has scored in all but one of them as a left-sided midfielder or attacker. Sometimes as a substitute and sometimes as a starter, when it’s time for Duncan to step up, he’s delivered the goods.

Shunnosuke Nakajima, Flatirons Rush – M

Nakajima lives to challenge for the ball, whether on the first or second, and usually comes away the winner. He makes everyone around him better as the “connective tissue” type of player – unselfish, aggressive, intense. His impact is irreplaceable for Flatirons Rush.

Bruno Rosa, Westchester Flames – F

Rosa is the Flames top scorer, and the top scorer in the Metropolitan Division. With eight goals in ten games, the winger lives to apply pressure, get in the box and cause strain with the ball at his feet more so than putting service in. He has two more goals than the next highest scorer in the division, and has a few more games to continue showing his supreme scoring ability.

Marc Torrellas, Chicago City SC – M

How do you go undefeated through your first eight matches and build one of the most consistent attacks in the league? You have Marc Torrellas as your number 10. A frequent scorer, willing distributor, and aggressive right from the opening kick. Torrellas has scored more than once this season in the first ten minutes of the match, using a scripted attack Chicago City SC runs to perfection.

Mathias Yohannes, Northern Virginia FC – M

Yohannes has great positioning. He always seems to be in the right spot to pick up loose balls. From there, he has the feet to get out of tight spaces, and he’s deceptively quick with short bursts of speed. Those attributes allow him to eliminate defenders from the play and drive at defenses before passing it to his attackers with either foot. He has good passing range and perhaps more importantly, an understanding of when to use that range to go more direct and when to play it simple. He never looks rushed on the ball, always very calm and composed. Has a good understanding of what’s going on around him, as he constantly checks his shoulders and alerts his teammates of where to be.

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