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Homegrowns key to Union’s recent success

As September winds down Philadelphia Union finds itself three points back from not only the top spot in the Eastern Conference but all of Major League Soccer. With wins in five of its last six contest the Union’s homegrowns have played key roles in the club’s success with brilliant performances all over the pitch.

Midfielder Brenden Aaronson was the media darling during the MLS is Back Tournament and hasn’t allowed the speculation of his next steps affect at all his performances on the pitch. The 19-year-old is second on the squad with three goals and three assists with some of his best plays coming over the last month. Head Coach Jim Curtin said the only area the Medford, New Jersey native needed to improve upon after a stellar rookie campaign was his bite in the final third and its paying dividends with a memorable goal against New York Red Bulls.

While Anthony Fontana hasn’t started any matches in 2020, he’s quickly taken a page from Ilsinho’s 2019 campaign with instant offense when appearing as a substitute the last two contests. Fontana had only scored twice in 217 minutes BEFORE this season but he’s scored three goals in his last 70 minutes.

Fontana’s best friend on and off the pitch is Matt Real with the duo truly enjoying each other’s success since they joined the MLS sides. While Real has been battling to earn starts, he’s continued to mature and show his capabilities in the attack in 2020. Confidence breeds success and it couldn’t be higher for the Drexel Hill native as he’s scored his first MLS goal against Red Bulls on September 6th and had a pair of assists against the Montreal Impact.

Another well known name for his defensive abilities, Mark McKenzie picked his first MLS assists on Sunday evening against the Impact and did so displaying his passing abilities that has caught the attention of clubs overseas as well. Head Coach Jim Curtin called the Bear, Delaware native “one of the best center backs in this league” and there couldn’t be any more truth in a single statement.


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