Eduardo “Chacho” Coudet meshed in quite nicely in his first MLS game with the Philadelphia Union.
The 35-year-old Argentinean midfielder from Club Atletico Colon in the Argentinean First Division was immediately thrust into the starting lineup in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the New England Revolution.
Before Coudet signed, Stefani Miglioranzi was the oldest player on the club at 32.
“I’m a young man now by three years,” Miglioranzi quipped.
Adding more experience can only help.
“It’s a very competitive league, and I’m happy to be here to contribute,” Coudet said. “It’s a very strong league and I like to play. I feel very comfortable.”
“When you sign a veteran player like ‘Chacho,’ you’re improving your club,” Miglioranzi added. “That’s huge. He is going to be a big addition.”
The former River Plate player, who won three titles with the club, made his first appearance with the Union in an international friendly against Celtic F.C. on July 14, registering an assist on Sebastien Le Toux's game-winning goal. A week later, Coudet stepped back on the pitch for the Union for 45 minutes against the Red Devils at Lincoln Financial Field.
There are friendlies and then there are MLS matches.
“You prepare for friendlies very differently,” Coudet said. “League matches have a different feel. You could see against New England. Everything matters more when you’re trying to get three points.”
Coudet hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he has played in some of the world’s most recognizable leagues, including Argentina’s First Division (Atlético Platense, ’93-’95; Rosario Central, ’95-’98, ’06; San Lorenzo, ’98-’99, ’04-’05; River Plate, ’99-’04 and Club Atlético Colón, ‘10), the Spanish First Division La Liga (Celta de Vigo, ’02), and the Mexican First Division (San Luis, ’07-.’09; Necaxa, ’09). A long ball specialist with strong possession skills, “Chacho” spent the majority of his career in Argentina, amassing 56 goals in 400 games.
Now, he has landed in Philadelphia where the passionate Union fans have come out in large numbers to support this franchise.
“The fans were loud and excited,” Coudet said. “I’m used to playing in front of loud fans, so this was just as great.”
With 15 matches left, starting with Thursday’s game against the Columbus Crew at PPL Park, Coudet should be in the middle of the action.
He had shown the technical staff enough to warrant a start in his first game, which perhaps shouldn't be too surprising considering his pedigree.
Fellow newcomer Justin Mapp also liked what he saw.
“I was impressed with him,” said Mapp, who also made his first appearance in a league match on Saturday. “He was solid with the ball and moved very well. He’s a very good player and I hope he and I can help this club to a great second half.”