Looking back on his 2019 season, Auston Trusty is understandably frustrated with how he lost his starting job in late July and didn’t see the field the rest of the season.
But talking to reporters after a training session on Tuesday, the 21-year-old homegrown defender hinted that there is more to the story of his demotion in late July than a simple dip in form.
“I feel like the first three-fourths of the season was good and then some stuff happened the last fourth of the season; I can’t really get into it right now, but I’ll get into it at some point in the future, you guys will find out the truth,” he said.
Trusty played every minute of the 2018 season and started 22 of the first 24 games of the season this season before being demoted after a 4-0 loss at Montreal on July 27.
“It’s kind of a lonely point,” the Media native said of being benched. “I’m sure everyone’s been through it in a career, but when you’re not playing, kind of pushed out of the team, kind of exed out of the team, for me all of a sudden, it’s a lonely point. But you bounce back and you get strong.”
Trusty and several other players from the team are back this week in Chester for post-season training. He was joined on Tuesday by a group of players that included first teamers Andre Blake, Matt Freese, Michee Ngalina, Jack Elliott, Jack de Vries, Anthony Fontana and Matthew Real and several players from the Bethlehem Steel FC squad.
“It’s the same focus I have every offseason,” Trusty said. “It’s not really an offseason. As a young player, you don’t really have an offseason. But no difference in my mindset of how I’m anticipating next year. I’m just going to do my job and whatever happens, happens.”
Trusty has an option year left on his contract for next season, which would be his fifth his hometown team. He was signed to a first team contract in August of 2016.
“I think the last fourth of the season, I developed my personal self more,” he said. “I think learning more about how soccer goes, the business of soccer and how everything goes in the soccer realm. I was naïve and I didn’t know much about it, but I think I learned a lot and became a better person and bigger player, smarter player.”
When asked about Trusty during his end-of-season press conference last week, head coach Jim Curtin noted that Trusty still hit a lot of “positive benchmarks” as a young center back in the league.
“When you talk about Auston you still have to mention he started 20 plus games on a first place team this year,” Curtin said. “He’s still a great player. He has an important offseason in front of him. I know he’ll work hard to get back at it. His goals are obviously to be part of the (United States) U23s and from there come back and win back his starting job.”
Trusty was with the United States U23s in their last camp and replaced teammate Mark McKenzie in the second half of a 6-1 win over El Salvador in a friendly.
“That’s the goal for every person that’s eligible to be part of that group,” Trusty said. “Having the experience with them, it’s good. I love Jason (Kreis) as a coach. I love all the coaches there and I like their mindset and how they approach the game, technically, kind of like Gregg Berhalter.”