Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Brian Brown

Photo: Earl Gardner

It would be easy to forget that Friday night’s game against Sporting Kansas City was not Brian Brown’s first in Union blue. He came on a couple weeks earlier, against Chicago, for nine uneventful minutes. That game ended in a 1–1 draw, just like against Kansas City, but Brown didn’t have much to do with that.

Against the Eastern Conference leaders and reigning MLS Cup Champions, however, Brown made all the difference.

Prior to Jim Curtin’s assumption of head coaching duties, one of the primary problems fans and critics alike had with the Union was a lack of goal scoring. Brown was acquired shortly after Curtin took over, presumably with that dearth of goals in mind. Of course, since that fateful coaching change, the Union have barely stopped scoring, leaping up the goals-scored charts to become one of the most prolific teams in the league.

And yet, against a powerful SKC side, the Union, while playing well and executing their gameplan to a tee, found themselves down a goal midway through the second half and needing a spark. Cue Brian Brown.

It took the Jamaican hardly a minute, literally, to put his stamp on the match, losing his marker with deft movement and stooping to power in a snap header from a Ray Gaddis cross, swiftly silencing the stadium of so-called Soccer City, USA.

Brown continued to make himself a thorn in the side of the Kansas City defense as the game wound down, going down in the box on more than one occasion, though never getting the call. He failed to get the winner that the Union’s play seemed to have deserved, but his movement provided something the Union has lacked since the departure of one Jack McInerney.

While it is unlikely Brown will dislodge Conor Casey from the starting birth just yet, his play bodes well for continued contributions down the stretch toward what is looking more and more like an unlikely playoff birth for the Union. That’s why he’s PSP’s Player of the Week.

Honorable Mention: Zac MacMath. MacMath has spent the better part of the last two seasons being one of the best performers on the Union roster, all while fending off a No. 1 draft pick and dealing with the ever-shifting sands of the defense in front of him. And, in thanks for all that, he’s being demoted in slow-motion, knowing that the starting spot will go to Rais M’Bolhi whenever the World Cup veteran is fit to play. There was a late surge in favor of giving MacMath this Player of the Week award outright, as a token of PSP’s admiration for MacMath’s performances and professionalism, but Brown won out, so here’s our small nod to him. Here’s to you, Zac.

7 Comments

  1. Atomic spartan says:

    Well deserved kudos to Brian Brown. Now, please stay on your feet and fight the thuggery endemic to MLS defenses instead of falling for it.

    Re Zac: please note that as long as we have 2 GK’s who get called for international duty, we need a proven, starting-caliber keeper if we are to have a shot at ANY trophy. Zac has the experience and the MLS track record. He deserves better, and may get his starting chance elsewhere. But for now, and even the foreseeable future, he is a more valuable asset than many seem to realize.

    • old soccer coach says:

      If I were guessing about whom the Union will protect in the expansion draft, I would suspect that they will not protect each starter. I would bet that all three keepers are excluded from exposure, Blake because in past drafts Generation Adidas players have been exempted and MacMath because he’s too valuable an asset to lose for nothing. Good teams in other leagues have three quality keepers on their rosters. Why not us?

      • the salary cap isn’t high enough to pay for three starting caliber keepers. at least one of them tends to be a glaring third stringer. maybe that will change when the cap goes up after this offseason

  2. I saw someone lay out how many games MBohli is going to be out for international duty over the rest of the season, and it looked like Zack is still going to get some decent playing time this season. Can you look into this?

    Definitely hoping that BB hits a rhythm!!!!

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