We continue our look at some of the draft prospects coming out of college for the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and who Orlando City might select, as well as which players might fit well with the organization.
Today’s player, Nazeem Bartman, is someone that has had a very similar career path as one-time Orlando City striker and fan favorite Dom Dwyer. Top Drawer Soccer even dubbed him the “next Dom Dwyer” and compared him in many aspects to the Sporting Kansas City forward.
Who is Nazeem Bartman?
The similarities between Nazeem Bartman and Dom Dwyer run deep. Bartman emigrated from South Africa to the U.S. and ended up at Tyler Junior College, the same JuCo where Dwyer started his U.S. career. Bartman scored 34 goals and had 19 assists in two years at the NJCAA school. His second year at TJC saw the team win the national title, which earned Bartman National Player of the Year honors.
Once his two years at Tyler were complete, Bartman once again followed in the footsteps of Dwyer and enrolled at the University of South Florida. Over the last two years, Bartman has led the Bulls in scoring, notching 14 goals and nine assists. This past season, the forward only had six goals and three assists, but is still considered a top-50 prospect coming into the 2017 draft.
What the Numbers Say
Through his college career, Bartman has scored a total of 48 goals and added 28 assists. In 2015, he was named to the AAC All-Conference first team and All-Tournament Team, and was also named an NSCAA All-American. This past season, he was named preseason Hermann Trophy candidate and made the NSCAA All-East Region second team.
Speed and Finishing
Bartman’s skill set is extremely attractive to teams. He not only has great foot speed with the ball, but has the ability to burn past defenders and get into the box. His off-ball runs into the box make him a nightmare to mark and he has excellent awareness for not only where the ball is on the pitch, but where his teammates are.
The forward’s finishing has also been a big complement to his overall game. He’s adept with both feet and can bang shots in from outside the box. Mainly a right-footed player, he’s shown the ability to finish with either his left or right foot and is accurate with his shooting.
Where Does He Fit?
Currently, Orlando only has Cyle Larin, Carlos Rivas, Hadji Barry, and Bryan Rochez — who spent all of last season on loan — on the roster as forwards. Rochez’s future is still uncertain, Rivas is still trying to become consistent, and Barry is still developing everything but his raw speed. Having a talented player that can come off the bench who is comfortable with the ball, and one who will keep his head up to find the open man, can create space for himself, and can finish from outside the box sounds like a pretty good deal. Orlando right now doesn’t have a pick until the third round but, due to his down year, Bartman is projected to be late second- or early third-round pick by some mock drafts. So, with some luck, Orlando may be able to snag him.
To see Bartman’s “Dwyer-esque” ability, check out his 2015 highlights below.