Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Brandon Allen

Photo: Bethlehem Steel

Brandon Allen has received his fair share of awards. The 24-year-old striker was a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist during his time at Georgetown, became the 2016 USL Rookie of the Year with New York Red Bulls II, and was named the USL Cup Final MVP with the same club. This week, Allen was named to the USL Team of the Week after his debut with Bethlehem Steel FC in their 4-1 victory over Richmond Kickers.

Add the highly prestigious “PSP Player of the Week” to the trophy case, Brandon.

After the second shut out of his young career, Auston Trusty looked like a favorite for this week’s award. Then Allen netted a brace in Bethlehem Steel FC’s season opener. In a largely one-sided, high scoring affair for the Steel, Allen’s two goals really sealed the match for his club.

Allen consistently put himself in the right position to score, and his teammates clearly look to him as their first target to finish play. With several threatening opportunities in the first and early second halves, it looked like only a matter of time until Allen would put the ball in the back of the net. And it was.

Allen’s first goal came after a tripped up Derrick Jones lost the ball in the box. Allen collected it and managed to maneuver his way between three Richmond defenders. With his back to the net, Allen pivoted with a trademark quick turn and wove the ball through two Richmond backs, past the keeper, and into the net. It was a beautiful goal, and it was entirely Allen’s.

Allen’s second goal came off a brilliant through-ball from midfielder Mike Catalano. After that, however, Allen finished the opportunity on his own again. Briefly losing control, Allen tapped the ball past the Richmond keeper to maintain position, albeit at a poor, lateral angle to goal. Nevertheless, Allen gave it a go, and the angle proved to be wide enough for the striker, netting a late fourth goal for his club.

To be sure, Allen’s brace earned him this week’s Player of the Week award, but his overall play should not go unnoticed. The 6-foot-1 forward plays exactly the type of powerful, quick game that the Union and Steel both look for in their lone-striker. On defense, Allen hustles to press high, cutting off lanes and forcing the play to one side of the pitch or another. On offense, the striker stays on the move, either drawing defenders away from player or running into space to receive the ball himself. On the ball, Allen can turn well and create space with his footwork. The result of all of these is multiple chances and a very entertained fan-base. Allen did well to finish two goals, but between hard-fought opportunities in the box and quick break-aways, he could have had more.

Brandon Allen’s chance creating and finishing prowess all create an electric presence on the pitch, and it showed on Sunday. That’s why he PSP’s Player of the Week.

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Great choice. Can’t wait to see him play for the Union

  2. He is five years younger than C. J. Sapong and Jay Simpson, and two years younger than Cory Burke.
    .
    We have no idea of the length of his contract with the Steel, of course, save that the USl maximum is 2 years with an option for a third.

    • Really hoping he works out and can replace Simpson on the Union as part of our 3 man ST corps. Looks like he should be a solid MLS backup at least.

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