The USL named it's Player of the Week for Week 14 and it's New York Red Bulls II midfielder Dan Metzger!
New York Red Bulls II midfielder Dan Metzger has been voted the USL Player of the Week for the 14th week of the 2015 season as his standout midfield performance proved key in NYRBII’s 2-0 victory against Louisville City FC on Saturday night.
Metzger earned 40 percent of the vote, which was conducted by a national panel of independent media representing every USL market. Sacramento Republic FC’s Gabe Gissie and the LA Galaxy II’s Dave Romney tied for second with 30 percent apiece.
Canadian defender Karl Ouimette -- on loan from the MLS squad -- was also named to the Team of the Week.
D – Karl Ouimette, New York Red Bulls II: Solid all-around display to limit Louisville to four shots on target as NYRBII took important road victory
Goalkeeper Santiago Castano -- also on loan from the MLS squad -- was named to the "Bench" (or Honorable Mention).
It's been an interesting season so far for Metzger. A former player in the Red Bulls Academy, he spent four stellar years at the University of Maryland before shedding his Homegrown tag and entering the SuperDraft. He was drafted with the 42nd pick, but was released during the preseason.
Metzger ended up signing a USL contract with New York Red Bulls II and it appears that things are working out well for him. He's been playing with the United States Under-23 National team and appears to be a lock for the Olympic qualifying roster. Now his play is being recognized by the league.
A few quick thoughts:
1) This is why the USL reserve squad exists. Without this "safety net" for players either not quite ready for or unable to be squeezed into restrictive MLS rosters, he wouldn't be in the Red Bulls' development pyramid. As it stands, he's getting a full season of professional experience and hopefully this will pay off in the future with him contributing to the MLS squad.
2) Metzger is a perfect defensive midfielder and a bit of Dax McCarty clone. He's almost magnetically drawn to the ball and shows up whenever there's danger in front of the backline. He's also a decent passer under pressure while possessing the stamina to push up and help out on offensive opportunities.