Player of the Week

Players of the Week: Auston Trusty and Anthony Fontana

Photo: 215pix

If you score the game-deciding goal in your first MLS game, you’re probably PSP’s Player of the Week.

And if you pitch a shutout as a center back and play like a veteran, you’re probably PSP’s Player of the Week.

So rather than just pick one, we’re handing out this award to a pair of Philadelphia Union teenagers who made a big impact in their MLS debuts, Anthony Fontana and Auston Trusty.

Anthony Fontana: Finding the space

Let’s start with Fontana.

Fontana put himself in good positions to score throughout the match. On his goal, it was right place, right time clean-up because he understood the opening of space and hit it right on time to bury a deflected Alejandro Bedoya low cross (which itself was a nice piece of work). Earlier, Fontana headed a perfect cross from David Accam wide of goal in the 19th minute, a move that drove both players to frustration but still underscores Fontana’s ability to find space in the box. Union head coach Jim Curtin said Fontana’s style was similar to how former Chelsea great Frank Lampard played, making late runs into the box to bury goal-scoring opportunities, and it was a good comparison. (Nobody’s saying they’re equal levels of achievement yet. Take a deep breath.)

Then there was that sick move in the 15th minute, when Fontana dribbled through two defenders inside the penalty area to nearly create a goal. In two years, that play will be a goal.

It wasn’t a perfect outing, mind you. Fontana was not a significant part of the Union’s possession game, which is the opposite of what you want from a No. 10. He completed 31 passes. In comparison, Haris Medunjanin completed 99 and Bedoya 73.

But it was pretty impressive from a teen in his first start.

Auston Trusty: Playing like a veteran

Did Auston Trusty look like a player playing in his first MLS match?


Throughout the game, the center back rarely got flustered.

In possession, he looked as good as any left center back the Union have ever played. His passing was excellent, rarely rushed, and rarely off target, save for a few ill-advised long balls.

In defense, there were a few flighty moments, but he showed he could clean them up, most notably with his great open field tackle of Juan Agudelo just short of goal. It’s a classic example of a rookie mistake covered by rookie talent.

We may not see a ton of Fontana this year, as the Union just brought in a veteran No. 10 to man that job.

But the left center back role is Trusty’s to lose, particularly after this outing. Was the job easier for the Union’s defense because New England played most of the match down a man? Undoubtedly. But Trusty passed the eye test just the same. He can play on this level.

Honorable mention

C.J. Sapong. He netted a goal and an assist, and drew the pivotal red card that changed the match. If not for him missing a few sitters early on, he could have had a hat trick (or more). It was an imperfect outing, but he made a huge impact.


  1. trusty’s amazing tackle on agudelo was great on two levels. in the moment it was great that he saved a goal but also there was the meta relief that we will still get to see amazing last second inch perfect tackles from behind even though marquez probably isnt playing much this season

  2. Pragmatist says:

    I really hope MLS revises the rules on keeping more money from transfers, because Trusty will not be in the US for long…

    • I think they already did

      • Kyle is correct.
        Refer today’s Daily News Roundup from Steve Whisler in the segment headed MLS, the last link listed, about the salary cap passing $4 million.
        The story, a run through of the 2018 MLS Rules and Regulations, reports that now a club keeps 100% of the proceeds from selling a homegrown player.

      • Pragmatist says:

        Great! And…crap…
        Auston, we barely knew ye…

  3. Nick Fishman says:

    Three local boys to add to honorable mention:
    LAFC GK- Tyler Miller
    Columbus GK- Zack Steffen
    Houston W- Andrew Wenger

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