Jay Simpson was ready for his moment. He had been patient, and he had earned his chance with hard work in training. In the weeks leading up to the Union’s brutal end of September run of matches, Simpson was one of the top performers in training day after day. He was quick, aware, and — most important — deadly in front of goal.
When Simpson arrived in Philly, he was described as someone who could finish chances in the box. After putting his body on the line to score against Toronto early in his Union tenure, the English striker rarely got the chance to show that he could fulfill that promise. But on the practice field, he worked. Playing the role of the sitting striker or attacking midfielder in training, Simpson showed his willingness to put the team first every single day. Still, he was always looking for that route back to the starting eleven, another opportunity to show that when he was in the box on gameday, he had what it takes to change a game.
A hard run of games left legs tired, and Jim Curtin turned to Simpson. First against a Seattle side on a record breaking winning streak: Work until the final whistle, just make something happen.
Simpson did it.
Then against the Western Conference leaders, on national television, Simpson’s moment.
Auston Trusty’s long ball was perfect, and Ale Bedoya set it on a platter for Simpson. But then the rock just hung there, unwilling to drop as the defense closed in. But Jay Simpson knew how to be patient, so he waited.
And then he scored. And that goal was voted the September Goal of the Month.