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Fall Sports Player Preview: Get to know transfer defender Nick Forrester

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Just how good is the man "widely regarded as New Zealand's top soccer prospect," and how much can he help the Bulls in 2015?

UB Athletics

Among UB's incoming transfers, I've devoted more time to Joseph Kuta and Scott Doney. Among the Kiwis on the roster, I've devoted more time among kiwis to Fox Slotemaker and Cameron Hogg. But Men's Soccer's third transfer for 2015 also has international and NCAA experience and looks to play a big role in Amherst this year.

Riddle didn't announce Nick Forrester's transfer until late in the spring semester, alongside incoming freshman Pablo Fernandez-Paniagua Juez but Forrester's resume could easily stand on its own as he joins UB.

"Nick comes to us with a season of college soccer under his belt and with incredible international experience having played in the U17 World Cup prior to that. He's a hard working destroyer type central defender/midfielder that recently was widely regarded as the New Zealand's top soccer prospect and I cannot wait to get him on the field with his new team"

Like several others among Riddle's imports from New Zealand, Forrester has experience on his country's youth national teams, but perhaps stands above the others given his performance among the Kiwi defense in the 2013 U17 World Cup - while others have been on the U17 and U20 teams at times I'm not sure they were on the actual World Cup Rosters. Forrester also brings experience from his freshman year at Butler in 2014, where he made five starts over six appearances. Not the broadest selection of games, but that does include a 2-0 victory over Canisius early in the season.

Tactically, Forrester is an absolute bulldog in defense who doesn't shy away from a challenge. Riddle references it in the quote above and you can see it in the highlight video at the end, here. As much as I've talked about UB's growing chemistry among the back four, all returning from 2014, it wouldn't be surprising to see Forrester fit in next to Slotemaker at centerback and help lock down the middle. Given his range, it seems more likely than working him out to the side.

Alternatively, if Forrester's range is good enough - and I think this is what I'd most like to see - maybe he slots in as a defensive midfield type given the freedom to range in all directions. I've referenced at times this summer UB's improving scoring depth and how that could bolster the midfield from up front, but unless Buffalo suddenly becomes proficient at the high-possession style that Caleb Porter used to build a powerhouse at Akron and move up to MLS, they'll need some defensive presence in the middle, as well. If Forrester is good enough to merit playing time from the get-go, that might be a spot in the lineup that presents fewer obstacles to the sophomore.

Go Bulls