6 min read
19th Oct 2023
Steve Davis has praised Yerson Mosquera’s ‘brilliant’ loan to FC Cincinnati after seeing the Colombian develop into an excellent centre-back during the nine months he’s spent in the MLS.
Now a key part of Wolves’ loan set-up in his role of pathways manager – where he oversees the development of young players coming into Gary O’Neil’s squad as he bridges the gap between the under-21s and first team – Davis recently headed stateside to watch Mosquera as well as meet with the defender in person to ensure the connection between loan player and parent club remains strong.
And during the visit to Ohio, Davis saw a 22-year-old who is loving life as a vital part of a Cincinnati side which have already claimed the MLS Supporters’ Shield – the award given to the team which tops the regular season standings ahead of the play-offs to determine the overall MLS champion.
On visiting Mosquera in Cincinnati
“We’ve tracked every game he’s played and watched every game he’s played on iScout, but I managed to go over a couple of weeks ago to watch him against Charlotte in a live game. I was able to be around the stadium to see what the atmosphere and the environment was like and it was great.
“I only went for three nights but was also able to take in some of the culture around there, watch the baseball, but mainly to see Yerson and speak to him, tell him what our plans might look for him going forward – although that can always change.
“It was good to see him live, watch how he played, see how he fitted in socially as well, because that’s important, how they go over there and embrace the area and the players around them. It was a really good trip and I enjoyed it.”
Best of luck, Yerson
— Wolves (@Wolves) February 2, 2023
On developing on and off the pitch
“He’s done really well. He’s playing every week, scored a couple of goals, got a couple of assists, and he has been one of the outstanding defenders in the MLS, so it’s been a brilliant loan for him.
“Even from the 45-minute conversation I had with him you could see how happy he was being out there. I know they’ve got six or seven Spanish speaking boys in the squad, so that ability to be able to communicate and tell people how you are and how you feel is important.
“But then he’s got American coaches, staff and players, so he’s also been able to improve his English, and I was actually able to have a conversation with him and understand him! He’s always smiling and he’s a superb character. He’s only 22, so he’s still a young boy, but you can see that he’s grown and he’s growing up being out there and making new friends has given him that opportunity to really establish himself.”
On getting a run of games
“He hadn’t had that here, and he’d only had 15 or 16 games at his previous club before we brought him to Wolves, so he’d had a run of games, but not at the level that the MLS has given him.
“It’s a good standard with lots of good, international players, and lots of quality in the players he’s playing with and against, different tactics, and he’s fitted into a back five as one of those three centre-backs, in all positions as he’s played right, central and left.
“From the point of view of playing every week, having to recover, play again, recover and play, it’s been a real challenge for him because when you’ve not done that, you realise how tough it is for your body to recover and the professionalism that goes with recovery and having to go again.”
— S – FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) October 5, 2023
On being a key player for his side
“His standards of performance and his level of performance have been very high – he’s set high standards and he’s improved. We’ve sent him analysis of his game, we’ve looked at the development points which he could improve on, and he seems to have taken them on board without problem.
“His heading has improved no end. He’s a super athlete, he can leap, he can jump, but he just wasn’t timing things right, but now he’s got his timing right, he’s been superb at winning aerial duels. He’s also had a lot of the ball because Cincinnati have been one of the best teams in the league, so they’ve had a lot of possession, 60 to 70 per cent of the ball, so he’s been playing out from the back a lot, with a variety of passes, but what he hasn’t had to do a lot of is defending, which is what he’s there for!
“Maybe in January we look at another loan, something that’s going to challenge him in a defensive mindset rather than being at a team which has a lot of the ball. I think that would be great variety for him. But he’s changed so much and he’s growing up.”
On what the future holds
“They’ve won the Eastern Division comfortably, but they still have a play-off system there, so he’ll play one more game against Atlanta on the 21st, and then the play-offs start on the 25th, so depending how far they go in the play-offs, that could go into November and beyond. Then he’ll come back here and we’ll have to look at what’s next for him in January.
“We’ve been talking about these things with him a month or two ago and making sure we are getting him out there for another opportunity. It might be that he comes back, and Gary likes him and the staff like him and he stays and becomes an option for us in the first-team, because I think he’s getting very close to that now.
“The experience he’s had over there have been invaluable and he’ll come back a much better player than he went. We need to give them an opportunity to look at him first, he’ll have that in December leading up to the January window and then a decision will be made about his next steps.”