Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Fernando Aristeguieta

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

It was a difficult match at Real Salt Lake that saw the Philadelphia Union get largely outplayed for long stretches.

And despite conceding nearly seventy percent of the possession, Philadelphia Union were able to pull out a result in one of Major League Soccer’s toughest venues. They did so through a combination of blind luck and the inspired play of their newest acquisition, Fernando Aristeguieta.

Against Colorado in his first MLS, Fernando (Beardnando, El Colorado, Hank Scorpio, etc) showed spurts of quality in his physicality, hold up play, and running ability. While he did a great deal to contribute to his team’s chances for a win, a combination of sloppy attacking play, formation choices, and the stingy defensive efforts of Paulo Mastroeni’s team served to keep him off the score sheet.

Fortunately, the same wouldn’t be the case against Real Salt Lake.

As noted in our player ratings, Aristeguieta did a great deal of damage while receiving very little in the way of service or attacking support from his teammates. A look at his statistics shows that he fought for a team-high 23 50/50 balls while completing 13 passes and taking 5 shots, 3 of which were on target.

While very impressive, these statistics only represent a portion of what Fernando brought to the team, as it’s impossible to quantify how his running ability and physical presence opened up space for his teammates to run into, or how his good play with his back to goal gave them the time to move into this space.

And while that ability is all well and good, it doesn’t necessarily amount to much if it doesn’t yield goals. Against RSL, it did. There’s no questioning that his opening goal involved a great deal of luck, but it was a just reward for his constant movement in dangerous spots around the box.

While he didn’t necessarily wow us with his first goal, his second strike was an absolute masterpiece. He had the presence of mind to attack off of a quick throw in from Christian Maidana (who also received votes for Player of the Week) and strike a first time volley across his body into the bottom corner of Nick Rimando’s net. It was everything you’d want in a center forward’s goal, and served as an exclamation point for all that he has done with the Union thus far.

At times, Fernando Aristeguieta’s play was so excellent and so inspiring that he made us all forget that the Union may not have truly deserved a win. In the end, it was Alan Chapman who robbed the Philadelphia of all three points, but he can’t rob Fernando Aristeguieta of his first PSP Player of the Week award.


  1. Did the club really surrender nearly 70% of possession? Is that an accurate statistic?
    Holy shit that is, I thought— a near impossibility. Even Barcelona let the other team touch the ball more than 30%.

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    Hank Scorpio. This needs to turn into a thing. Whoever coined that is a genius. LOVE IT!

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