New York Atlas bolster midfield with Ronan Jacoby and Reid Bowering signings

By Lauren Merola | Mar 7, 2024

The New York Atlas signed free-agent midfielders Ronan Jacoby and Reid Bowering to one-year contracts, keeping them in New York through the 2024 season. 

Both prove-it deals are unsurprising.

Jacoby, the 2021 Division III Wesleyan grad, is fresh on the scene, having played professionally for the first time with the Utah Archers in February’s 2024 Championship Series. The 25-year-old had people talking quickly, nabbing seven goals in his first two games. He ended the Championship Series with 20 points (15G, 3T, 2A).

Bowering made his PLL debut for the Archers in, fun enough, the 2023 Cash App Championship after lefty attackman Connor Fields was ruled out with a shoulder injury. Why activate a guy who’s never played in the PLL before?

If you watch him play, Reid knows how to play. He’s a consummate professional,” Archers coach Chris Bates told the PLL’s Zach Carey ahead of the title game. “He doesn’t need the ball, so he’s a facilitator and a finisher that just does everything well.”

In his lone PLL game, Bowering notched one goal.

Jacoby and Bowering will seemingly step in for Marc O’Rourke and Justin Guterding, two left-handed midfielders who ran out of the box in 2023 and have not yet re-signed in free agency. The additions of Jacoby and Bowering likely mean O’Rourke and Guterding’s days in Atlas blue are over.

So far in free agency, New York has extended Jeff Teat, Bryan Costabile, Dylan Molloy, Drake Porter and John Geppert. Along with Jacoby and Bowering, it signed goalie Tim Troutner and lost 2023 captain Jake Richard, who signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Waterdogs.

What Jacoby brings to the Atlas

It’s hard to look away when watching Jacoby’s highlights, and that means a lot in the age of shortening attention spans (which is not a hyperbolic add, according to the American Psychological Association). 

Jacoby’s eyes say one thing while his stick does another. His shot placement is precise and his footwork trips defenders up. Sound like anyone? Jeff Teat or Chris Gray? It’ll be fun to watch Jacoby work with those two down low, so long as the former collegiate attackman can get out of the box fast enough. 

The substitution game was a detriment to the Atlas last season. It’s why cementing the linchpin of their midfield, Bryan Costabile, who they re-signed, was so important in free agency. Costabile provides stability in transition as one of Atlas’ only true two-way midfielders.

Only time will truly tell if Jacoby can duplicate his Sixes success on a regulation-length field, but the thought of him crafting alongside Teat and Gray is exciting.

What Bowering brings

Good off-ball movement and a knack for the two-man game on the left wing.

Though the same concern with Jacoby applies to Bowering when it comes to substitution. He was an attackman at Drexel, so expect him too to run out of the box. Substituting players in transition is a balancing act of speed and strategy, and Atlas didn’t seem to have either last year. At times like this a 40-yard PLL dash, akin to that of the NFL’s, would come in handy and be an interesting stat to assess if players could at least bring the former.

But if a professional lacrosse coach calling up a fresh prospect to play, and deliver, in the championship game isn’t enough of a reason to give him a real chance, what is?