The Seton Hall men’s soccer team has taken steps forward this season, and a lot of it comes down to the midfield partnership of Alex Pozesky and Matheus Miranda.
The two are different in many ways off the field; Pozesky, a 5-foot, 10-inch sophomore from Columbia, P.A., Miranda a 6-foot, 1-inch senior from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. But when the two step foot onto the field, they combine to solidify the Seton Hall midfield.
“They are the link between the defenders and the attacking players,” said head coach Gerson Echeverry. “I think the two of them together make a good partnership. They’re two hard working guys that are also good with the ball, so they not only break up plays but start our attack a lot of the time.”
Pozesky is coming off a freshman season in which he emerged as a starter, appearing in all 16 games for the Pirates last season. Miranda on the other hand, a transfer from Graceland University, was forced to sit out all of last season with a torn ACL.
When asked about the importance of their central partnership, Miranda said, “It is a key thing for us.”
“When we started to understand each other on the field, things started to get better,” Miranda said. “The beginning of the season we struggled a little bit, but now we’re getting used to playing with each other and understanding where we move in the field.”
Pozesky added that “having a good understanding of the other person and their style of play” has been crucial in helping the team improve.
But the two have different roles in the center of the pitch. Miranda plays a more disciplined role of holding midfielder, in which he is tasked to stay home more and break up attacks with his physicality. Pozesky has a longer leash, covering more ground by moving vertically up and down the field to push the play from one end of the field to the other.
Pozesky acknowledged how “life is easier” with a player like Miranda in the midfield.
“It’s so much better [this year],” Pozesky said. “Last year it was kind of just me against three other players or two other players in the midfield. Now, if it’s not just me, it’s me and him, so it makes my job easier.”
Miranda has had to push his body to be available for the Pirates, as coming off ACL recovery is no easy task, saying, “It is a struggle to be 100 percent for every game.”
“There is always something bothering me, but I am pushing through it, and hopefully, I can contribute to the team,” Miranda said.
Together, Pozesky and Miranda are helping Seton Hall men’s soccer get back to where it needs to be as a mainstay in the Big East.
James Justice can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MLSTakeover.