Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Cristian Maidana

Photo: Courtesy of Shayna Gosney/Prost Amerika

Cristian “Chaco” Maidana again failed to complete the full 90 on Saturday night in Seattle, but don’t let the substitution fool you into thinking he wasn’t playing well. On a night when the Union came agonizingly close to taking a point off the hottest team in MLS (not to mention having chances to win all three), Maidana was the Union’s star performer.

Freed by a subtle formation shift, Maidana played beneath the Union’s two strikers, given the keys to create offense from wherever he found himself, and did not disappoint. Not only was it his dangerous free kick that led to the Union’s goal, bamboozling Brad Evans into heading into his own net, but Maidana had four key passes on the night. (Key passes are passes that lead to a scoring opportunity/shot.) All on his own, he enlivened what had been a dormant Union offense.

In previous games, Maidana has looked uneven, flitting in and out of games, but on Saturday he was consistently dangerous, dovetailing with the continually excellent Vincent Nogueira and putting both Andrew Wenger and Sebastien Le Toux into dangerous positions.

It’s not his fault that his strikers didn’t manage to finish any of those chances.

If the Union are going to pull themselves out of this slump, and start scoring goals again, it will be down to players like Maidana to find the passes that unlock defenses. It will be on players like Maidana to ensure that the Union are unpredictable. It will be on players like Maidana to give the Union a cutting edge.

Against Seattle, Maidana did all of those things. That’s why he’s our Player of the Week.

Honorable mentions: Zac MacMath has now saved the last three penalty kicks he has faced. Let me say that again: Zac MacMath has now saved the last three penalty kicks he has faced! That’s incredible. Many keepers will go years without saving any, and yet, at this point, other teams hardly want a penalty attempt against him. Not only that, but his all-around game was excellent, again. Neither goal was on him. Ray Gaddis also continued his fine form, shutting down the left side of the field defensively, and continuing to improve offensively, on his non-dominant side. It says something when one of the best left backs in the league is actually a right back playing out of position, but that’s exactly what Gaddis is right now.

10 Comments

  1. I agree Chaco played well, the team fell off when he was subbed. But Nogueira is the best player on the field every week. He made a guy fall in the box this week. He better be a starter at the MLS all star game this year.

  2. Nah… I love me some Chaco but this week was all Macmath. He saved this game from being a blowout.

  3. I was relieved to see Maidana start the game, but I agree with Mike Servedio’s point in the game summary that Maidana was fading when he was subbed out. It would be great to see Maidana play a full game. If a player needs to be subbed out because he is gassed, and the team suffers because of it, can that player truly be the Player of the Week? I thought that he played well, but Noguiera was at least as effective, and MacMath is showing more confidence in the box. I thought that the punchout of that restart was great, and a tremendous improvement over the indecision on a similar play last year. I say Nogs, not Maidana

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    I just have a bad feeling Noguiera is getting frustrated with this team. I agree that he is, week in and week out, the best player (for the Union ) on the field.
    .
    With that said, I’d give it to Zac again over Chaco, who was very good Saturday himself. But come on… who saves three PKs in a row?!? Saves… Not misses, or luck, etc. He’s been great.

  5. The Realist Brian says:

    Nogueira. Breaking ankles like no one else. Make him captain, sign him for a contract extension for 10yrs and hand over the Academy to him. The guy is that good.
    .
    And sign another player from France.

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