WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange Mountaineers boys soccer team is off to a good start this year after last year's championship season, and the efforts of junior Dan Romain have been important part of the Mountaineers success so far.
In his first varsity season, Romain is playing well. He made an immediate impact on the scoreboard for the Mountaineers, scoring a hat trick on September 5 against Nutley in West Orange’s first game. Romain then added a goal and an assist in the game against Newark Academy on September 8th. Romain increased his goal total to seven with two goals against MKA on October 2. He leads the team in goals and his four assists tie him with Rory Stello for second on the team. His coach noted the significance of his play this year.
“Dan has been a great spark off the bench. He is very strong and dangerous in the box. He works really hard and has scored some big goals for us so far,” says West Orange Coach Doug Nevins.
Though his success this year would suggest he has always played, Romain did not always play organized soccer. He knew he liked soccer when he was nine years old, but only played in pickup games. Romain grew up in Orange and came to West Orange for his freshman year of high school. This was the first time that he played organized soccer and with it came challenges and a new style of play.
“When I played pickup I wasn’t under pressure,” said Romain. He also added that “You have to have a good soccer IQ, know when to pass, and work for the team.”
Developing a soccer IQ was one of the most important focuses for Romain in developing his game. “I knew that I was a good athlete but if I wanted to be better, I needed to have a good soccer IQ.”
Romain says he tries to play like Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo, who was always one of his role models on the soccer field, whether when playing for West Orange or for fun in the park.
Though only a junior, Romain already has an idea of what he wants to do after he graduates. He hopes to play in college, major in history, and if possible play professionally. For now, you can see him walking around the halls of West Orange High School, dribbling on the soccer field, hanging out with friends, or watching Real Madrid.
Nevins sees more potential for development in Romain. “If he continues to develop, he could become an even better all-around forward.”
Dan Romain, Christian “Pancho” Pozzoli, Kamsi Udodi, Rory Stello and the rest of the Mountaineers will try to improve their 7-2 on at Lincoln Field on October 6 against 8-1 Seton Hall Prep team, currently ranked second in the state, at 4pm.