Omar Holness is an impressive combination of size, nibble of feet, and downright speed. The Jamaican international is another one of those "Swiss army-knife" kind of players that Jeff Cassar and Craig Wiabel seem to covet. With questions about Holness’ best position, professionally, he demonstrates incredible athleticism that can provide Cassar and Co. just the right amount of flexibility.
Holness spent the last three years with the North Carolina Tarheels. As a freshman, he was neamed to the ACC All-Freshman team as well as the Soccer America All-Freshman team. Holness made 20 appearances, scoring two goals and tallying three assists. The next year he scored two goals and added seven assists in 22 caps earning a nod on the All-Atlantic Coast’s first team. The academic junior’s numbers fell-off in 2015 (one goal and one assist) but his move to a box-to-box No. 8 showed that he can cover ground, which is something that has been missing in Real Salt Lake’s aging legs.
With his talents at the No. 8 role, Holness would look good between a defensive midfielder and an attacking maestro, something RSL already has in Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales. His ability to cover ground fills a specific need that the Claret-and-Cobalt has had the entire offseason. Moreover, adding depth in the midfield will definitely contribute to the overall health of a squad that struggled over the past year.
Providing depth in the box-to-box role currently filled on the first team by Luke Mulholland, Holness will be able to influence the match at both ends of the pitch. Not only does he possess high stamina and energy to make cutting runs through the middle of the park, but Holness also has the quality to become an important player in the RSL midfield.
Omar Holness has already begun cultivating an international persona after being called into the Jamaican national team for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Adding yet another aspect to his game, Holness makes a great addition to various national team call-ups from RSL that includes Abdoulie Mansally and Joao Plata, to name a few.
With time Holness could prove to be a valuable asset to the squad and a potential corner stone to build upon.