Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Aaron Wheeler

Photo: Paul Rudderow

This season, Major League Soccer began a program that allowed MLS clubs and lower league teams to affiliate officially, and for the MLS clubs to loan players to the lower league teams for all or portions of the season.

For the Union, already closely linked with Reading United and the Harrisburg City Islanders, it was a no-brainer to send younger and fringe players out for seasoning, getting opportunities to play competitive games and contribute in ways that would have been unavailable to them with the Union first team.

So far, the program has been a real success, with the Harrisburg loanees getting game time, making assists, and scoring goals.

This week, Aaron Wheeler, the 6’6″ forward who played professionally in 2012 for the delightfully named KooTeePee FC in Finland, scored a brace as Harrisburg defeated the Charlotte Eagles 4–0 and moved into second place in the USL PRO standings.

Wheeler was last seen in a Union jersey during the friendly against Pumas UNAM, where he had an assist on Michael Farfan’s goal. Even as the Union have struggled offensively, with talent like Jack McInerney, Conor Casey, Sébastien Le Toux, and Antoine Hoppenot ahead of him in the pecking order, playing for Harrisburg is an excellent chance for the 25-year-old to state his case for playing time in the future, either for the Union or another MLS club.

If Wheeler can continue to score, that chance might come sooner rather than later, and that’s why he’s PSP’s Player of the Week.

Honorable mentions

Christhian Hernandez and Jimmy McLaughlin: Two other Harrisburg loanees starred in the City Islanders big win, with Hernandez opening the scoring, and McLaughlin capping the rout late on. Hernandez, especially, has looked good for much of the season in Harrisburg, with three goals and two assists. McLaughlin’s goal  was his second for Harrisburg.

Jack McInerney: Put simply, without Jack McInerney, the Union would be nowhere. On Saturday, he scored in stoppage time to once again save the Union’s bacon and earn a point on the road. All five of the Union’s wins have come because of McInerney goals, as well as both ties against Toronto. No other player is as important to his team right now than Jack is to the Union.

One Comment

  1. Spot on Jeremy, I think it’s great that these younger guys are getting a chance to play competitive ball rather than setting around on the Union bench or even just the practice field. I just hope they will get their chance if the other forwards (excluding Jack of course) don’t start showing production. Don’t get me wrong I love seeing Conor knocking heads, Seb’s back where he belongs and Antoine’s excitement. I’d just like to see a more distributed scoring front.

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