Myles Jones and Sergio Perkovic have been staples of the Redwoods offense over the past few seasons, but this year they have yet to perform to the level we are used to. With all the PLL rule changes, the two midfielders were expected still to be a massive part of Redwood’s success. Is this a slow start for the duo, or does the new system not fit their play style?
The Redwoods hired John Grant Jr. as offensive coordinator during the off-season, and the team has employed a more fast-paced movement-style offense. Nat St. Laurent mentioned they were looking for box-style skill sets; with the signings of Wes Berg and Eli McLaughlin and the return of Ryan Lee, it was apparent the Redwoods would be using more motion and have more two-man offensive sets.
So far this season, the new offensive style is proving effective. Even though the Redwoods still score similar points per game, they have yet to score beyond the 2-point arch. It’s all been inside, partly due to Ryder Garnsey’s resurgence. While the Woods have been rolling, its two biggest stars have yet to have the same success.
This season, Myles Jones has only put up three points (1G,2A) and has yet to look like his usual dominant self. In the past, Jones has been able to create offense up top and facilitate or punish his defender and create shots by using his body to get separation. With the added ball movement in Grant Jr.’s offense, Jones has had fewer opportunities to create offense for the Woods. Myles Jones is an outstanding player but doesn’t seem to have a significant role right now.
Sergio Perkovic has been known for his two bombs and for being dangerous in transition. Through three games, not only is Perkovic 0-11 shooting, but he already has four turnovers (he only had seven last season) and has only had two shots that have been on goal. It’s not just that Perkovic is scoreless; he needs to be more accurate and has been hurting the offense’s efficiency. Perkovic’s presence still affects opposing defenses, so he’s not entirely hurting the Redwoods. Perkovic has always been known for a solid two-way game, but offensively he’s on pace for his worst offensive season in his career.
With how stacked teams are in the PLL and that seven of the eight teams make the playoffs, it takes a lot of work to make in-season trades. Even though Jones and Perkovic have been key pieces for the Redwoods in the past, it might be best for Nat St. Laurent to look at moving one or both of them to upgrade this current squad or trade them in the off-season and add draft picks to bolster the team for the future. Jones and Perkovic are still high-level talents in the PLL and should be for many seasons to come, but unfortunately, their skill sets might not mesh well with the Redwoods going forward.
Whether it’s the system or something else, it might be best for the Redwoods to let Jones and Perkovic go somewhere where their talents can be utilized better.