By Dillon Friday, Communications Manager, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer
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Nearly a decade after he last coached him, Miguel Nuila recalls the characteristic that defined Daniel Lovitz in his youth soccer days: joy.
“I saw a documentary on (Christian) Pulisic recently, where they talked about how much fun he has,” says Nuila. “I can tell you that’s the one thing I can say for certainty about Danny: Danny loved to play for fun, and he had fun playing. That was his thing.”
Nuila saw it when Lovitz was a winger for his Lower Merion Soccer Club Velez team in the mid- to late 2000’s. He sees it now as Lovitz has solidified the starting left back position for Montreal Impact.
“All those years dribbling paid off,” Nuila says. “He’s found himself a nice niche.”
In his days with Velez, Lovitz, a Wyndmoor native, was one of a group of talented youngsters. A natural left-footer, he primarily found time on the left wing, swinging in crosses and beating defenders to the outside. The rise of Lionel Messi changed that, however. Nuila saw the benefits of placing attackers on their “off” wings, where they could attack the middle of an opponent’s defense rather than the flank. Lovitz quickly thrived in this role.
“He was always concerned about the craftiness of the move or the pass,” remembers Nuila. “’I wonder if I can put this ball right in that spot, over the defenders.’ It was an intellectual challenge for him.”