AFC Ann Arbor are pleased to announce the second member of the 2019 roster will be Jordan Montoya. Montoya will join AFCAA for his second consecutive season with the club following the 2018 campaign. The twenty-year-old attacker previously spent time within the Toronto FC youth academy and the Ontario native has previously played a role for both the Jamaican and Canadian U17 sides as well.
On returning to The Mighty Oak for season number two, Montoya said, “I’m looking forward to [coming] back stronger and wanting to have a bigger role on the team. I’m excited to get myself more exposure and opportunities for a professional route, and also open more eyes to anyone who’s watching.” Indeed, Montoya started the season outside the starting eleven, but as the season continued the attack-minded player forced himself into a role for the side. Montoya finished the season second-high goal scorer for AFC with an impressive six goals in all competitions, five of those coming in NPSL play.
As the season is approaching, another aspect Montoya has his eyes in is returning under the guidance of the AFCAA staff, saying, “I’m also looking forward [to] being coached by Eric and the rest of the coaching staff as I like how they run the sessions and their style of play.” He had high praise for the staff as a whole as he mentioned how a staff he could turn to and talk with made the 2018 season go smoothly. That, in turn, resulted in the level of performance that one could see out of the Canadian.
Eric Rudland is looking forward to the return of a man who played an integral role in the set-up for The Mighty Oak. The head coach said on what to expect from the player, “Jordan is versatile attacking player. He has loads of physical and technical traits that bode well for him in our league.” Indeed, both Rudland and Montoya share similar ideas of just what sort of player he is. Montoya said about himself and the game he plays, “I think I’m a very sneaky, agile player with quick, technical feet that allow me to get around players with pace, breaking lines of defense and [creating] opportunities in the attacking third to help with scoring chances.”
These sorts of aspects that Montoya possesses helped make a player that has had a spotlight shone on him by Rudland for his successful results. Rudland said, “Last year he made huge strides in his game without the ball. He developed a high tempo pressing mentality that really helped our team success, so we have high expectations for his impact in 2019.” Whenever a player returns, there is an understanding on what can be assumed about what the player brings forth to the table. With Montoya, though, the improvement he showed as the season continued points to positive signs that he will continue to grow as the NPSL season goes deeper and deeper.
One fact many may not know about Montoya is that, like Mike Novotny, he was scouted by AFCAA and subsequently signed for the 2018 season following a successful two days in Brighton, Michigan. On how that came to happen, Montoya said, “In 2017, I took part in the Midwest Pro Soccer Combine, and from there Coach Eric communicated with me and my agent to discuss an opportunity to play under him in summer 2018. From seeing me play in the combine is how I got noticed.” Indeed, Montoya’s stellar combine back now just about a year-and-a-quarter ago has helped him open up the door in the first place, and once again he returns to Ann Arbor for the season to come.
The season that was gave Montoya plenty of things to reflect upon. When asked for some, Montoya had plenty to say. “My favorite memories from last year are definitely the relationships I’ve created and interaction I had on and off the pitch.” The familial nature of the club is always raved about by past the present players alike, and Montoya is no exception. He continues, “During games and training, although staying focused at task, being with the team, and making jokes, made the experience unreal.” The positive environment surrounding the club at all times certainly makes players feel warm and welcomed. As for the fans, surely they will be excited upon hearing that Jordan Montoya is back for season number two in Ann Arbor.