DC United: Moses Nyeman is easily a star in the making

DC United, Moses Nyeman. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
DC United, Moses Nyeman. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /

While at 17, I was trying to figure out how to stop the bottles in my backpack from making noise; Moses Nyeman is grabbing the world’s attention. Featured in The Guardian’s Next Generation 2020 among the 60 best young talents in the world, the midfielder is on the path to stardom.

Born in Liberia, Nyeman joined D.C United in 2015; two years after moving to the U.S. Quickly, the young Liberian garnered a name for himself.

Nyeman became the second-youngest Homegrown signing in club history in 2019. Since then, the midfielder has trained with Borussia Dortmund’s U-19 team and made 16 appearances for D.C. United USL affiliate, Loudon United F.C. Internationally, Nyeman has appeared five times for the U.S U-16 side.

While many may not have expected a debut in 2020 for the potential star, that is precisely what happened. Nyeman made his MLS debut in August against the Philadelphia Union, making 11 appearances for the first team, becoming one of the few bright spots in a horrendous season.

Heading into 2021, D.C. will hope Moses will take another leap and lead the way.

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The Goods

Often used as a box-to-box midfielder, Nyeman can play a variety of midfield roles. On or off the ball, the academy product is moving and scanning the field for an opportunity.

The standout quality possessed by the teen is his on-ball presence. Cool, calm, and collected on the ball, the 17-year old has a natural gift for keeping the ball, which makes him tough to dispossess.

His 5’5 stature gives him a low center of gravity, which shows in his excellent balance. With this elite ball control, the United standout can recycle possession or carry the ball up the pitch.

An aggressive defender and presser, Nyeman can already be as tough to face as anyone in MLS. Nyeman can harras his opponents into mistakes or into forcing a pass. His strong defensive awareness makes him a consistent turnovers source, whether by dispossessing through his tackling or sweeping up passes.

His already notable vision is still growing; a similarly evolving passing range compliments that ability.

The (Not so) Goods

Like many of his peers who are just finishing the extraordinary puberty journey, Nyeman has much room to grow. A few years and his frame should match the natural aggression. As his strength improves, his natural defensive talents should only become heightened, as they will need to perform at the next level and in part to his stature.

Beyond his size, his inexperience shows when the field is condensed. Nyeman seems more creatively comfortable playing deeper. When the midfielder finds himself in advanced roles, he tends to play much more conservatively, leading to wasteful passing and stagnate attacks.

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Looking Ahead

Nyeman has all the qualities to play in one of Europe’s premier leagues. Dortmund and the Bundesliga would seem to have the inside track considering his time abroad. Regardless of the league, Nyeman has the potential to become a mainstay. Soon Europe will come calling with the D.C United player capable of suiting nearly every style of play. Expect to see Nyeman playing in the Champions League and have a valuable role for the USMNT by the end of the decade.