Union forward Casey continues to strike at the perfect time putting him "in a pretty good place"

Conor Casey's strike rate puts him among the best in MLS

Casey celebrates vs. Chivas

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

He's the man Union color analyst Alejandro Moreno calls "Big Country."

Based on recent form, Conor Casey is certainly worthy of the nickname that was once reserved for former NBA center Bryant Reeves.

Philadelphia's stout target man put in a stellar two-goal performance on Saturday night, guiding the Union to a 2-0 shutout win against rival D.C. United at PPL Park.

"He scores two goals, fantastic," manager John Hackworth told reporters postgame. "But what he did early in that game, he changed a little bit of it by dropping deep into the midfield and giving us the ability to play into him and off of him. It changed things for us at the start of that game. So we're really happy for him. He continues to do those things and I've said it all along, we're really glad we have him."

Casey's brace, his second of the season, gives him nine total goals and four assist on the season.

He's now tied with Dominic Oduro and Claudio Bieler in MLS' Golden Boot standings, with just four players out in front: Mike Magee, Marco Di Vaio, Camilo, and teammate Jack McInerney.

That's phenomenal return for a player who was picked up in the second round of the re-entry draft.

"It’s been good," said Casey of his first Union season. "I’m in a pretty good place with 10 games left. As a forward, you’re always wanting to score as many as you can. It’s good to have a lot of guys scoring – Jack, myself. It’s something to build on for the rest of the season."

You have to take into account Casey's goals per minute ratio.

He's bagged nine in 1,351 total minutes for a strike rate of one goal every 150.1 minutes.

Among players who have logged more than 1,000 minutes this season, Casey's strike rate is fifth best in the entire league.

"It feels great (to be healthy)," the forward explained. "I put in a lot of work this year and in the preseason to get the base fitness. And it’s been great to have the minutes this year to keep it. It’s been awesome. Routine minutes and getting the confidence of your teammates and being able to put the ball away, that all leads to (having confidence)."

Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at k.kinkead@hotmail.com