Cristian Maidana can see things before they happen.
The No. 10 for the Philadelphia Union is having a terrific season and his lone assist in a 3-3 draw on Saturday against Colorado saw him tied for the league lead. He currently has eight assists on the season and has continued to perfrom on a world-class level.
What makes Maidana special is his ability to create from nothing. With the ball at his feet he is dynamic -- and more importantly fluid.
He does things effortlessly; his head is always up and is looking to create. This type of play has been a shining part of the Union this season, as Maidana, a native Argentinian, has brought the South American flair of the game to PPL Park.
Chaco is a humble man, who values the opportunity to play in the States. Playing a league like the MLS is perfect for him because he is able to play with the freedom that makes him such a fun player to watch.
On the world stage the No. 10 shirt means everything. Typically worn by the best player on the team, some notable number 10’s include the likes of Ronaldinho, Zidane, Messi and the great Pele. All of these players were special and also charismatic on the field with their play.
- Watch: Maidana: Home away from home
Maidana does the number justice as he formulates plays throughout the field for the Union.
Looking forward it’s a very real possibility that Maidana could finish the season as the league leader in assists, especially if the Union keep scoring the way they have been. When asked about his current place atop the assist leaderboard Maidana said: “I knew I was up there for the lead. That’s my job, to take chances and hopefully I can keep doing that and create chances for our team.”
It’s this type of selfless understanding that makes Chaco respected throughout the locker room and the league. With talent like his it would easy for him to be a me first guy. But he is just the opposite, he is driven by helping the team succeed rather than by how many personal accolades he can account for.
Wednesday against the Red Bulls (7 p.m., purchase tickets), will be a big test for the Union coming off of Saturday’s difficult result. As the Union want to keep their playoffs aspirations afloat Maidana will have to continue his string of excellent play. With 16 more games left in the 2014 season wins are going to have to start happening, and happening frequently.
If this is going to occur Maidana will be responsible for it, as a true number 10 should be. In a season that has had ups and downs Maidana has been a consistent bright spot for the club. His fine play should be a good representation of what’s possible when the Union are firing on all cylinders. It takes a collective effort to win a soccer game but it always helps when you have someone like Maidana pulling the strings, and making everyone around him better.
Read about Cristian Maidana and much more on philadelphiaunion.com