Considered one of the veteran players on the Philadelphia Union, 32-year-old Stefani Miglioranzi has seen a lot in his playing career.
Miglioranzi spent four seasons at Portsmouth before four more at Swindon Town, where the Brazilian midfielder scored nine goals in 123 appearances for the club.
Moving to Major League Soccer after his stay in England, Miglioranzi never got to play with an expansion team until being selected by the Philadelphia Union in the expansion draft in November.
“We’re getting the chance to play with each other more often,” Miglioranzi told MLSsoccer.com following his team’s 3-2 defeat of D.C. United on Saturday. “It’s always going to be a matter of time before everyone gels and I think little by little we’re getting that. As you saw, even in the first half against Seattle, we have great players who can play.”
After previously playing with established MLS franchises in Los Angeles and Columbus, Miglioranzi didn’t expect the impressive turnout at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday, who saw the Union show their first real signs of cohesion.
“I was pleasantly surprised and am excited about the prospect of this season,” he said. “You come to a new city and you think about what it’s going to be like and you hear things, and until you’re out on the field and seeing what it’s like, it’s tough to gauge in reality what it’s going to be like. Hats off to the fans, they made a great atmosphere for us tonight and we can’t do anything else but thank them for their support.”
The man of the night, though, was Union striker Sébastien Le Toux, who managed to net an impressive hat trick to save the win for the Union. Miglioranzi lavished the praise on the man who on Monday was named the MLS Player of the Week.
“You can have a terrible game, score three goals and it becomes a great game,” Miglioranzi said of the influence a hat trick has. “Seb had an all-around great game. Found himself in a great position for the first goal, and Roger [Torres] put in a great ball. Second goal was a great counter and Alejandro [Moreno] put in a great ball. He played his first touch well and his second one was in the back of the net. For the third, their wall was a bit badly placed and Seb obviously saw it.
“I’m especially thankful for the third one," he continued, "because we were in a little bit of a rut at that point in the game. All three goals were well taken and Seb deserves it for all the hard work he’s put in.”