Philadelphia Union Homegrown midfielder Anthony Fontana has turned a number of heads so far at the club’s preseason training in Clearwater, Florida.
Luckily for Fontana, those heads have been Jim Curtin and the rest of the Union coaching staff.
Fontana has been determined this past offseason on bringing his game to another level, and in Curtin’s opinion, it has certainly paid off.
Along with impressing Curtin, Fontana has stood out to the Union’s new assistant coach, Pat Noonan.
“Fontana has impressed the staff that has already been here previously,” Curtin said. “I’ll use Pat Noonan as a guy who comes in with new ideas and no real opinions on anybody. But Anthony has stood out to Pat and reaffirms the staff that has previously been here has seen from him this preseason.”
Fontana has come into training this year in remarkable shape and is at the top when covering ground in training. Not to mention, the midfielder has also looked top notch in front of the net and is creating several chances.
“He’s in very good shape and he’s at the top towards covering ground in a session. His quality in front of the goal has been good,” Curtin said.
Fontana made seven starts last season in 11 appearances with Bethlehem Steel FC. He later appeared for the first team in a friendly against Swansea City on July 14.
Fontana’s development this past offseason has been excellent in being able to play both sides of the ball. According to Curtin, Fontana has also taking his defensive ability to the next level.
“Anthony is an example of a guy who has taken that next step, taken more ownership in an offseason, come in in good shape, come in sharp on the ball,” Curtin said. “Now he’s shown a real ability to play both sides of the ball, with the ball is obviously his strength, but at the same time I think he’s really improved his awareness defensively.”
Two other players who are happy for Fontana’s growth are midfielders Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin.
Bedoya, who is currently Fontana’s roommate on the trip, as well as Medunjanin have taken Fontana under their wing, and are helping him along the way throughout preseason.
“I think we have a good environment for him to grow and have a lot of people in his ear helping him a lot,” Curtin said. “Whether it be Haris (Medunjanin) or Ale (Bedoya) who he’s rooming with on this trip, things are set up and the environment’s been created for Anthony. He’s done very well with it and he’s taking that next step.”
Fans will get the opportunity to see the new and improved Fontana, as well as the rest of the Union on March 3, as they host New England Revolution at the home opener, presented by Oliver Heating and Cooling. Tickets for the match can be found here.