Patrick Nyarko, a forward for Virginia Tech (VT), will be a junior in the fall. He was a 2006 CSN pre-season second team All-American and a Soccer America pre-season All-American. In 2006, he scored 16 goals and added 8 assists. As a freshmen in 2005, he tallied 8 goals and 6 assists.
Patrick has a problem staying healthy. I saw Patrick play early in 2006 against UMBC when he was coming back from injury. He was brought in to score a goal and then relegated back to the bench. He has exceptional speed and skill. At that time, Nyarko was gasping for air early in the 2nd half. He reminds me of Dom Oduro (FCD), but a little smaller and significantly more spindly. VT only scored when Nyarko was on the field.
Against UMBC, his first goal was worth the price of admission. At 17:07 in the first half, he took a long pass on the near side, beat a defender with a good first touch, pulled the ball back, moving across the box, faking, driving (leaving defenders on the ground and in his wake), he finished with a sweet touch into the corner of the goal. Minutes later, he stole the ball from a bad pass from a UMBC defender, one move around the gk and calmly buried the ball into the net. The third goal, again, was because of Nyarko. He took a 40 yard pass, air dribbled over the goalie with his first touch, could have been a penalty, but Nyarko stayed up. He regained his balance and took the ball into the corner, leaving the GK trying to cut the angle. Nyarko calmly centered the ball to Vickers for the winning goal. In the ACC tournament, he was unable to lead VT past NCSU despite scoring 2 goals and adding an assist. He is a terror when on the field. The problem is getting him on the field – because of injury and/or fitness. In the spring of 2007, he’s out because of injury, again. He has a world of talent. I will be watching his minutes this year. If he can stay in shape and healthy, he’s a potential first round pick, even as youth international.