Dutch Lions Re-Sign Four Players
Stop. Don’t browse away from this page just yet. I know you’re thinking that this is just another press release that can be found at practically any site that covers USL PRO. Sure, it is a press release, but it is more. At the Union Dues, we are more than an organization that brings you the boring facts. We also provide well-informed opinions. Please take the time to refresh your memory by having another look at the press release, then continue reading for our analysis of the information that was presented.
Dayton Dutch Lions FC Press Release
Dayton Dutch Lions FC is pleased to announce the return of four players to its roster for the 2013 USL PRO season. Joel DeLass, Matt Williams, Eddie Hertsenberg, and Jeremy Cheeseman are included among a strong core of players who will again take to the field for Dayton.
Patrick Bal, head coach for the Dutch Lions, said, “We want to build on the success of the second half of last year and have a better start than the previous two season in USL PRO. To maintain continuity, we are bringing a lot of players back. Last year we lost a lot of points in the last minutes of games due to a lack of maturity and experience. The players we are bringing back carry the experience of last season with them.”
With regard to the players returning to the club, Ball said, “Last year’s captain, Joel DeLass is a great leader and example for the team. I expect that his leadership role will be expanded this year, leading to positive results for the team. Matt Williams is a great personality who brings a good atmosphere to the team. He kept us in games and won points for us last year. Jeremy Cheeseman has a great mentality and his offensive approach to playing an outside defensive position can bring an extra element of attack from the back.”
Joel DeLass returns for his third season with the Dutch Lions. The midfielder was on the field for every minute of the 2012 campaign, tallying a goal and an assist. In recognition of his leadership and play last season, he was named to the USL PRO All-League Second Team.
Matt Williams will be back in the net for a second year with the Dutch Lions after beginning his USL PRO career with the Wilmington Hammerheads. 2012 was a breakout season for the goalkeeper who led the league with 115 saves. Williams also posted 5 shutouts and logged a goals-against average of 1.215.
Both Williams and DeLass echoed Patrick Bal’s desire to eliminate mistakes late in games and return to the form that the team exhibited late last season.
DeLass said, “Last year was about gaining some credibility for the club. I think we accomplished that last season by finishing three spots higher in the table than anyone expected and reaching the quarterfinal of the US Open Cup. Though we gained some credibility, I think our youth and immaturity showed quite a bit last season in the closing stages of games resulting in an absurd amount of draws. Hopefully, a solid group of returning players with a year of experience under their belt and some key offseason signings, we can turn those draws into wins, and find ourselves in contention for a playoff spot come the last couple weeks of the season.”
Williams stated, “I couldn’t be more excited to pick up where we left off last year. We have some unfinished business with a lot of teams that stole points late on us last year. Our goal should be to finish inside the top eight and make the playoffs. Judging from the returning players and new additions, that is a very attainable goal.”
Forward, Eddie Hertsenberg, made seven appearances for the Dutch Lions in 2011 after recovering from an injury. He spent a large portion of 2012 training with FC Ismaning and FC Desenhofen in Germany, as well as other European clubs. Hertsenberg also recently completed a professional season of indoor soccer with a club in Cincinnati. The Dutch Lions FC is anxious to see how his experience with other teams translates into USL PRO league play.
Jeremy Cheeseman returns to the squad after missing the majority of last season due to injury. The defender hopes to make a big contribution to the Dutch Lions’ on-field success and help the team make its first playoff appearance.
Cheeseman said, “I believe the Dutch style suits me well because I am an attack-minded back who likes to get up the field to provide width and services into the box. I also like to keep possession of the ball and not force anything, and I think being on the team last year really helped my understanding and I am looking to have a great season this year.”
Union Dues Views
Let’s start with Matt Williams. Quite simply, I believe that he is the most underrated goalkeeper in USL PRO. Before you get upset and start tossing out names like Nicht, Gallardo, or whomever, go back and read that last sentence again. It reads “underrated,” not “best.” It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if we aren’t including Williams name in a discussion of best goalkeeper at year’s end. I watched almost every minute of Williams 2012 campaign, and he is a stud between the uprights. Just when you think he couldn’t possibly make a more outstanding save, he comes up with something even more spectacular. The Dutch Lions are fortunate to have this guy under contract. If there is one thing that I would like to see Williams improve, it would be ball distribution.
Next let’s discuss Joel DeLass. You might look at his 2012 stats and wonder how he wound up on the USL PRO All-League Second Team. To understand DeLass’ contributions is to look beyond the stat sheet. He understands the system that the coaching staff has implemented in Dayton. He’s never out of position, and he is continuously creating opportunities for his teammates. Dutch Lions fans need to hope that the team has found a way to improve upon finishing the chances that he creates.
Hertsenberg and Cheeseman are question marks at this point. Both are coming off injuries that prevented them from seeing much action in their previous seasons with the Dutch Lions. I’m anxious to see how they’ll make their marks in 2013.