Brenden Aaronson was once again one of the main talking points after another Philadelphia Union victory over Inter Miami on Sunday.
Following links with a move to Europe, the 20-year-old kept his composure and sealed all three points with an extra time goal in the 3-0 triumph on a rainy Sunday night in Chester.
Aaronson’s performance was on point as usual; however, his position was changed to a number eight instead of a number 10. In other words, he was playing in a spot usually occupied by suspended captain Alejandra Bedoya with Anthony Fontana taking up the No. 10 role.
Manager Jim Curtin was delighted with the prodigy’s output under the challenging weather, he said:
‘’Versatility is an important part in the modern player,” Curtin said earlier this week. “With Anthony (Fontana) being so good in front of goal, we wanted to see him a little bit forward.’’
With Bedoya suspended, someone had to fill his shoes and Aaronson was the go-to guy, Curtin added:
‘’We gave Brenden a big responsibility as that eight on the right-hand side, a little more running to do,” Curtin said.
Nonetheless, Aaronson’s performance was not flawless as he was lacking support toward right back Oliver Mbaizo, the Union boss continued:
‘’He left Olivier a little bit isolated on the island, one v one,” Curtin noted. “But I told him that it’s a cat and mouse game and you have to do two things sometimes; you’re talking about cutting passing lanes, you’re talking about getting pressure to the ball most importantly. And being there to help Olivier.’’
Curtin insisted on expressing his satisfaction with the midfielder’s game, he highlighted:
‘’I thought overall he did a really good job. Defensively first and foremost, but then with the ball. It was easier to find the ball, he could drop a little deeper. He could go wide where there is less bodies and maybe things aren’t as 360 degrees around you like they are as a number 10.”
Curtin assured though, that the number eight position will not be a permanent move, he said:
‘’Love Brenden at the eight, he’ll be back at the 10 though in the next game, but it’s still good to see his versatility.’’
The Philadelphia gaffer expressed his excitement regarding the new stage of the MLS campaign.
‘’There was a lot in the game; it had the feel and the intensity of a playoff game,” he said. ‘’When the weather starts to shift, that’s when the real games start. It starts this weekend with Toronto.’’
The Union will indeed be paying a visit to the Reds tomorrow night in Connecticut (PHL17/ PhiladelphiaUnion.com/ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m.). An animated contest is expected as both sides are alike in terms of points at 28 for each but also on form as neither has lost a game in their past four outings.