West Virginia midfielder Dyon Dromers is returning to the Mountaineers’ squad on Thursday against Georgia State after missing significant time, according to head coach Daniel Stratford.
Dromers has missed time since the Mountaineers’ Sept. 3 victory over Penn State in Morgantown, in which he sustained an injury, which forced him to miss the Mountaineers’ next 11 matches.
A redshirt junior from Steensel, Netherlands, Dromers is a key piece to the Mountaineer midfield as the team’s primary free kick taker. Plus, standing 6-3 and weighing 199 pounds, his physicality brings a unique wrinkle to the squad’s makeup, adding a big body to defensive set pieces as well.
Even as a defensive midfielder, Stratford looks forward to what Dromers can offer on the attacking end of the pitch. The gaffer says that the coaching staff feels best about his ability among the midfielders to take chances at goal from outside the penalty box, an aspect to the game the Mountaineers could have utilized in their 3-1 victory over Elon on Friday.
However, as one of the starting pieces to the midfield returns, Stratford anticipates mostly what he can bring to his team’s ball possession.
“Specific to his role as a central midfielder, I think he possesses the best range of passing from that position of our group of midfielders,” “So the ability to switch the play and hit that longer diagonal to potentially unlock a number 10 or a wing-back for us, he has the best quality in those moments.”
Stratford has called on a committee of midfielders to fill the role, and he has been pleased with what he’s seen in Dromers’s absence. All season, he has preached about his team’s quality in depth, and he says it showed itself in this 11-game span.
“I think Otto [Ollikainen] has really stepped up and had a great season through this period, once he got himself that opportunity and kind of worked his way into the starting lineup he really hasn’t looked back,” “And similarly, Ryan Baer and Pau Jimenez [Albelda] have done a great job. We’ve had Kasimir [Lauber] obviously fill a role for us just in the last game, and he’s continued to improve in training and really make his case for why he should play.”
In fact, Stratford is confident enough in his staff that he jokingly calls Dromers’s return a “headache for the staff” as they figure out the team’s new rotations. He did add, however, that Dromers’s extended absence will likely factor into his playing time.
Dromers started all three of his appearances this season, and scored WVU’s first goal of the campaign in the season opener at Robert Morris.