Looking back on the 2019 season, 26-year-old Philadelphia Union striker Kacper Przybylko considers it his best season as a pro. It’s not hard to see why.
Not expected to be anything more than a roll player this season, Przybylko came back from a broken toe picked up playing for Bethlehem Steel in early March and after working his way into the first team starting lineup in late April went on to lead the team with 15 goals in 26 games.
“It was my most successful season this year so I just put it on the top,” Przybylko said when asked to rank his season. “This is giving me a lot of confidence for next year.”
The former Polish youth international who spent his first nine years as a pro in the lower divisions in Germany also has unfinished business going into next year since a foot injury picked up in training before the season finale against NYCFC ended up sidelining him for that game and both playoff games.
“I just felt unlucky because it was the worst time to have an injury like that,” he said. “You play the whole season for the playoffs and then suddenly have something small. It wasn’t that bad but it was painful and you want to play and just help the team on the field and you have pain and you can’t do stuff 100 percent.”
Przybylko said on Tuesday that he’s 100 percent now and that the injury was not to the same foot that plagued him prior to his arrival in Chester last fall.
“It was a short period of time to come back to be fit for the next game,” he said. “I was trying my best but most of the time when I just went back on the pitch doing, giving more pressure on the foot, it just hurt, and I won’t want to help the team just with 60 percent because everyone would just look bad.”
Przybylko’s contract was extended through 2020 in late August and while Andrew Wooten and Sergio Santos are also under contract for next season, some uncertainty remains across the squad with the likely departure of Fafa Picault, Marco Fabian and Jamiro Monteiro.
“That’s not my part to think about,” he said about the attacking corps for next season. “My part is to go back on the pitch and prove the quality that I showed this season, just to bring the competition for all the strikers and push the level for them.”
Przybylko did say he hoped there wouldn’t be too much turnover in the off-season, for the sake of chemistry and continuity.
“I just hope that most of the guys who played this season so well will stay here,” he said. “Because it’s always difficult to build up a new team. It’s like new chemistry or new members. It’s going to be difficult again so I just hope that most of the guys will stay here.”
Przybylko called his goal against Atlanta his favorite of the 15 he scored for the Union in 2019.