I asked Evan Villella (Brotherly Game’s Bethlehem Steel FC corresepondent) and Matt Ralph (Brotherly Game’s Philadelphia Union Academy correspondent) to talk a bit about the Philadelphia Union’s newest Homegrown Player - center back Auston Trusty.
Evan Villella - Trusty is strong, tall and physical. He offers a good amount of composure at the back for his age, and if it means anything I prefer him over just about any other center back that Steel have. I think he could partner well with Josh Yaro as he's more of a physical presence, but still has pace unlike a Ken Tribbett. I wouldn't mind seeing how he would work with Richie Marquez, but I don’t think that’s the best fit for either guy. Last week he showed that he's still prone to mistakes, but for an 18 year old there's a lot of one on one talent and vision to love.
Matt Ralph - I would echo Evan's comments and add that he has a knack for winning balls in the air and an incredible aptitude for picking the right times to come forward and bust up a play in the middle of the park. He also offers some versatility, having also played as an outside back and is a great competitor who doesn't put on the airs you might expect from a young phenom of his caliber. He is definitely the center back of the future for the Union, and seems to pair well with Yaro.
His play with the U19s in Spain may have been his best performance yet in a U.S. youth team jersey. He was literally everywhere (in a John Brooks kind of way) cutting down attacks, clearing dangerous crosses and perfectly timing tackles in the box in a historic win for the U.S. over an uber-talented Spain team.
While I'm sad that he won't be spending a season trying to win a national championship with a loaded North Carolina team, I'm super excited to see what the future holds for a local kid who has been an absolute joy to watch develop.