It’s probably fair to describe Josh Dolling as a big addition to New Mexico United’s roster.
The 24-year-old English forward hasn’t yet established himself in USL Championship competition and has just one professional season under his belt.
But Dolling will bring two important attributes along when he arrives in New Mexico: a physical, 6-foot-2 frame and an impressive knack for helping teams win.
Dolling played for St. Louis City SC II of MLS Next Pro last season, scoring nine goals. Four of those were game-winners, including a decisive tally in the league’s Western Conference final.
Prior to that, Dolling played collegiate soccer at Missouri State and amassed 26 goals over his career. Of those, 17 were game-winners, a program record.
“Try to win the whole thing, that’s what it’s about,” Dolling said in an introductory Zoom media conference Friday. “I’m sure the boys on this club feel the same way. I haven’t played USL Championship but I’ve heard it’s a very difficult league and a physical league, which I feel like suits my game. I want to help this club be successful.”
Both Dolling and NMU coach Zach Prince used the term “target” when referring to his presence around the net. The additions of Dolling and 6-1 forward Greg Hurst this offseason figure to give United scoring opportunities on crosses and set pieces, a threat it sometimes lacked with a relatively short front line in 2022.
Still, Dolling considers himself as much a distributor as he is a finisher.
“At 6-2 and with my size, people probably see me as a target player,” he said, “and I can be. But I’m not just a one-trick pony. I can other players into the game and set them up to score goals. I feel like that’s just having a winner’s mentality.”
Dolling was quick to admit he has much to learn when it comes to New Mexico and his new club. He’s never been to the state, does not know anyone on United’s roster and had just one conversation with Prince before opting to sign.
“Well, my mom was looking at the roster and told me there’s another English boy (Daniel Bruce) on the team,” Dolling said. “I don’t know much about New Mexico but everything I’ve heard is good. I think this will be good experience for me.”
Prince believes Dolling’s skill set will be a good fit with United’s pressing style.
“Josh has a real instinct for bringing others into the game,” Prince said. “His ability to lead the line defensively with his pressing is top end. His physical size and ability to be a target mixed with his ability to make plays around the box make him a consistent threat to score or set the table for others.”