Here’s how you know you had a good week. Your club puts four people into the MLS Team of the Week and none of them are the guy that broke the longest win streak in the modern era of the league with a goal on the road in extra time.
The players that did make it into the team of the week, however, all richly deserve the honor. Jay Simpson pressed Seattle into a late mistake on Wednesday evening and powered Philly to victory over Western Conference leading Sporting KC on Sunday. Auston Trusty led the back line to a pair of shutouts against two of the best in the west even though he was the only member of the back line (including goalie!) to start both games.
John McCarthy? He just stepped in at the absolute last minute and backstopped his team to a vital win over the top team in the west, notching six saves including two of the diving variety.
The Union are also represented in the league’s team of the week by their head coach, Jim Curtin. After watching his squad stumble through a home loss to playoff chasers Montreal Impact, Curtin put faith in his players — including homegrown Derrick Jones, who started both on the road in Seattle and at home against KC’s excellent midfield and Jay Simpson — and watched them pull off a pair of victories that stunned anyone that hasn’t watched the club’s progress this season.
Curtin, who went 9-2-4 in his first 15 games in charge of the Union leading up to the 2014 US Open Cup final, has now gone 10-4-1 in the 15 leading up to this year’s final.
In Trusty, the Union head coach has a young player that has shown an intense desire to fight for the badge every time he steps on the pitch. Despite playing every minute this season, Trusty has watched as both his partners, Mark McKenzie and Jack Elliott, have received TotW honors while he has not.
And in Simpson and McCarthy, Curtin has guys that put the team first with such discipline and patience that they can put in the work each week in practice knowing their name is unlikely to be called on the weekend.
But when the bell rang? Simpson and McCarthy answered in a big way.
Three Philadelphia Union players in the Team of the Week? And the coach?
Not what many expected, but exactly what they all deserved.