MLS is Back: Philadelphia's confidence -- and that of Brenden Aaronson -- is high

The Philadelphia Union became the first team to advance to the semifinals of the MLS is Back Tournament and set a marker as a title contender with an emphatic 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City on Thursday night.

The Union's three goals came in the space of 15 minutes in the first half, the first by Jamiro Monteiro and the next two by Sergio Santos. It overwhelmed the Sporting KC with its passing from the top of the penalty area and on the counterattack.

“Our commitment to get out on the break and run is there,” said Union coach Jim Curtin. “It would be great to see from that nice blimp view that ESPN has, just to see the commitment from guys – off of two of their corners, that was some of our most dangerous attacks, off of going 120 yards from their corner kick to our goal."

Santos, who streaked away from the Sporting KC defense on his first goal, also assisted on Monteiro's goal. Injuries limited him to just 622 minutes in 2019 after arriving from Audax in Chile, but he has been outstanding at MLS is Back.

"Sergio Santos is a very unique player," Curtin said. "We were joking about how much he impacted the team last year and only started five games when you go back and look at it. Part of that was injuries and part of that was fitness, but tonight you saw just how much he can change a game.”

The Union, which will face Portland or New York City FC on Wednesday in the semifinals, also got another strong game from 19-year-old Brenden Aaronson, who has been hyped as one of the top targets of European clubs looking at players at MLS is Back. Aaronson set up the second Santos goal with an angled pass that cut out the shaky Sporting KC backline.

"The ball he plays on the third goal is a top ball in any league," said Curtin. "In the leagues in Europe, that's a pass that not many people see. His confidence is very high right now."
2 comments about "MLS is Back: Philadelphia's confidence -- and that of Brenden Aaronson -- is high".
  1. beautiful game, July 31, 2020 at 8:48 a.m.

    Aaronson's performance would catch a Euro-scout's eye within a blink.

  2. Valerie Metzler, July 31, 2020 at 9:55 a.m.


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