Versatility is a strength for New England Revolution draft pick Joshua Bolma.
Bolma, who came to the United States from Ghana, played in the middle during his time at South Kent High School in Connecticut. It’s a position of comfort as he’s played there the most.
But Bolma had no problem adjusting when asked to play a different role at the University of Maryland.
“I can really fit into different roles,” Bolma told media on Wednesday. “As I moved on from high school to college, coach [Sasho Cirovski of Maryland] saw me as more fast-paced and everything else. He tried me on the wing and that went well. I was able to do that as well. I played as a wing and that is when I had my breakout year in Maryland.”
Bolma was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2021 after collecting four goals and four assists in 1,278 minutes. Three of those goals were game-winners.
Bolma returned to the middle during his sophomore campaign and was just as successful. He notched two goals and eight assists in 2022.
“The following year [coach] tried me in a different spot, like in the central area where I’ve played most of my life,” Bolma explained. “It felt great being back in there and I feel like that’s where I’m most productive.
“However, everywhere else I’ve played, with the help of the team and everyone else on the field, I feel like I should be able to thrive and be able to do well.”
Bolma is open to the idea of playing outside back, a position he played while growing up in Ghana. He also lined up as a wingback while in Maryland.
“Being able to be versatile is one of my strengths,” Bolma said. “I like to be dynamic. I like to move around a lot. I like to go into different spots, just try to be unpredictable, and that’s how I thrive.”
A creative player who puts fear into defenders, Bolma has already been compared to former Revs player Tajon Buchanan. Bolma has followed Buchanan’s career and he’s honored by the comparison.
“He’s certainly a really, really talented guy,” Bolma said of Buchanan while answering Sam Minton’s question. “People making that comparison, I’m just really humbled that people see what I’m capable of and my potential.”
Of course, the transition from college to MLS is difficult. Bolma’s versatility will likely help as he can play a variety of positions. Head coach Bruce Arena said that he’s “going to try him as a No. 8 in the central midfield.”
“One area that we lacked speed was in the central part of midfield,” Arena told Jeff Lemieux. “We wanted to get a player who could offer us a little more quickness and Joshua certainly does that.”
Bolma is excited for the road ahead and he’s ready to do whatever he can to help the Revs be successful.
“Coming to New England, this is a very big step for me,” Bolma said. “Obviously, I’m just humbled and focused and ready to come and do whatever is required to help the team.”