Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Andrew Wenger

At least when the Union play defense with the enthusiasm of a teenager doing household chores they do it against a local product that PSP can somewhat sorrowfully call the Player of the Week.

Philly fans have raved about Conor Casey’s ability to create space and opportunities for Jack McInerney, and Andrew Wenger showed that it doesn’t take years of experience to learn that supporting role. Moving across the back line, interchanging with Italian finisher Marco Di Vaio at the tip of the Montreal spear, and generally showing all the muscle, skill and intelligence expected of a Hermann Trophy winner, Wenger topped it off with the Impact’s first headed goal of the season.

Wenger now has one goal and three assists in eight appearances this season, only four of them starts.

Beyond his goal and assist against the Union, the Lancaster, Pennsylvania native completed 22 of 27 passes and put two of his three shots on net. Wenger’s consistent play has essentially forced Montreal to adopt a two-striker system by performing at a consistent level and opening spaces for Di Vaio, who rarely needs more than a yard to get off his accurate strikes.

At only 22 years old, Wenger appears poised to break out as the Impact look to take pressure off of the 37 year old Di Vaio up top. The Reading United alum’s movement continually drew the Union defense deep on Saturday, allowing his Italian partner to step into open spaces and complete a first half hat trick.

The late goal Wenger scored was his second against Philadelphia, and both have been somewhat awkward headers. This aerial ability offers Montreal a needed alternative avenue of attack. The Impact have relied heavily on Di Vaio’s Inzaghi-esque approach this season and have looked impotent when the Italian steps deep to help create offensively.

Wenger’s emergence will be critical as the Canadian newcomers look to follow in the Union’s footsteps and secure a playoff berth in their second MLS season.

 

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