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Global Mar 02, 2012

Korrio Player to Watch for March 2012: Sebastian Joly for VA Rush and Western Branch HS

By Jimmy LaRoue

Sebastian Joly and his Virginia Rush Under-15/16 Development Academy team had a rough start to the season, but the team captain’s strong, evolving play has helped put it atop the South Conference’s Atlantic Division standings.

Joly, a steadying influence in defense, has started every match as a center back in Rush’s 4-3-3, holding his own against older players.

He’s had this kind of impact with his other teams – as a starter for Western Branch High School as a freshman, the Region I Olympic Development Player teams for four events in 2010-2011 and for district, state and Region I ODP teams since 2007.

He also was a team captain on his previous Beach FC Red team, which won the Virginia Youth Soccer Association State Cup in 2011, a Region I ODP champion in 2011 with the Virginia state ODP team as its starting center back and was a standout player in younger age groups with Churchland United Junkyard Dawgs.

Joly’s recent and long-term play has earned him Korrio’s Player to Watch honor for March.

“I think one of the main things that he brings is that he’s a very good organizer,” said Rush coach Darren Warham of Joly. “Along with those organizational skills, he learned pretty quickly that playing in the academy program is completely different than anything that he’s played in before.”

Warham said the week-to-week quality of play in the Development Academy has allowed Joly to take a big step up in his development.

“He once told me, ‘I have to play for 80 minutes. I can’t take plays off. I have to focus,’” Warham said. “That’s one of the biggest changes he probably had to make in his game.”

With Rush following U.S. Soccer guidelines and aiming to play out of the back, Warham said Joly has a good sense of the game.

“I think he’s deceptively quick,” Warham said. “You look at him and he doesn’t look very fast over five, 10 yards, but he covers ground very quickly. He reads the game very well. Having been burned a few times, he’s figured out what he needs to do, which is what the game is about.”

With the team’s style of trying to play out of the back, Joly has done well in that system and has grown over the course of the academy season. Warham, at times, has also pushed him into a defensive holding midfielder role.

He said Joly and the rest of the back four have become a cohesive unit, with all of them having gained valuable experience in their first year of the academy program.”

The biggest step for Joly is that he has, as Warham said, been going up against bigger, faster and stronger players on a more frequent basis.

“He’s the captain of the team, and we’re very comfortable with him being in there and doing what he does,” Warham said.