Dembakwi "Boxi" Yomba was one of seven players added to the Orlando City B roster on Jan. 13. Yomba, a 5-foot-7, 145-pounder from Lithonia, Ga., is a United States youth international who has also featured as a youth player for one of Europe's more notable clubs, Atlético Madrid.
Our Michael Citro provided some nice background information on Yomba last week (full story linked above):
Yomba is a 19-year-old attacking midfielder/forward, who has appeared in the UEFA Youth League with Atletico Madrid's U-19 team. Yomba, a dual citizen of both the United States and Sierra Leone, has international experience with the U.S. national youth teams, including U-17, U-18 and U-20. He joined the Atletico Madrid program in 2014 and has been in and out of the U.S. youth national teams over the last few years. At just 19, Yomba has a lot of upside and could potentially grow into a spot on Orlando City's senior team in a year or two.
Boxi's time with the U.S. youth program got off to a fast start when he netted two goals in his first two youth matches against Russia and Ireland, respectively.
In March of 2015, Yomba was one of 20 players called in for a week-long camp in England ahead of the U-20 World Cup that took place last summer. But following the camp, which featured closed-door matches against the England U-21 team and Tottenham Hotspur's U-21 side, Boxi was not selected for the U-20 World Cup team.
Yomba is not one to be deterred by that, however, as he evidenced after being dropped from the U.S. U-17 team before the 2013 CONCACAF Championship only to work his way back into the program by August of that year. Couple that resilience with the experience he garnered in Spain, and OCB will like what Boxi brings to the table as a hard-working young player.
In addition to his playing experience with Atlético Madrid, Yomba learned what it takes to excel as a player not only in matches, but also on a daily basis in training. Boxi's comments in a 2014 interview with American Soccer Now illustrate how the stint with the La Liga side helped shape his work ethic.
"The hardest thing [at Atlético] would be the mentality of the training," Yomba told ASN. "Training is just as big as a game. You could be a player that scores five, six, or seven goals in a match but if you aren't playing well in training, there is someone just as good as you who is training well and the coach, without hesitation, will put that person in."
If Yomba approaches his training with OCB with this same intensity, he will have ample opportunity to earn valuable playing time in Melbourne. His primary competition at forward will be Pierre da Silva and Michael Cox, and he could also slot in as an attacking midfielder. The hope for Boxi is that a couple of years working under Tony Pulis can see him develop into a first-team player.