“I love that the group’s pissed off that we just tied in Atlanta,” Jim Curtin said after his team earned a point against Atlanta United. “Everybody that stepped on the field contributed in a big way. I like that they’re dissastisfied that we didn’t kill that game off and get the second goal.”
The Union held Atlanta without a shot on goal for the entire first half, and limited the home side’s opportunities throughout the second frame after losing Warren Creavalle at the interval.
Homegrown debutante Brenden Aaronson’s goal, the team’s first from open play in 2019, gave the club a lift that they will attempt to continue against Columbus next weekend at home.
“Kai dribbled up a little bit, and the guys didn’t understand the movement,” Aaronson said post-game. “It came through to me and they dropped off a little bit and I decided to take a shot and it deflected off one of the defender’s legs and messed up Guzan and went right in the corner.”
Curtin was impressed with Aaronson, and believes he still has a lot of room to grow. “For any young kid, I think you have to believe in them,” the head coach said. “I think you have to put them on the field, otherwise you’ll never know. Some kids certainly step up and rise to the occasion. We had full confidence in Brenden… he was ready.
“It’s interesting to make your debut in front of 60,000 people cheering against you. Not an easy thing but something he’ll remember forever.”
The 18-year old homegrown was happy to score but admitted he had some butterflies coming into the match. “Of course I’m going to be nervous at my first start!” he said. “Honestly, it kind of settled in and then getting here was kind of bad, but I’m always nervous before games.
“Walking out, I don’t know if anybody saw me but I was probably so pale looking at everybody. But it was definitely an awesome experience.”
To close his comments, Curtin argued that Aaronson is an attacking midfielder, and can be a great one. “He’s a modern no. 10 in that he can run on defense and press the ball, and create turnovers,” the head coach clarified. “He’s willing to do the dirty running. I couldn’t be prouder for him and his family - they’ve done a great job. There’s a lot more in the kid. If we’re doing our job here correctly.”
Aaronson and the Union return to action next Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium when they take on Columbus Crew.