The stages keep getting bigger for Auston Trusty, and Trusty keeps growing to meet them.
Trusty has played every minute of every game for the Union in his first season in MLS. That includes the team's recent stretch of three road games in nine days. The 19-year-old Media native didn't seem troubled by the games or the travel, delivering a strong performance in Saturday's 2-0 win at Montreal.
The Montreal game was highlighted not just by the goals, but also by what went into them. The first goal came after a 35-pass build-up led to a Union throw-in, and after five more passes, the ball was in the net. Every Union player except Andre Blake touched the ball along the way, and Trusty had a front-row view.
"It shows a lot of confidence in the play, and also in ourselves, that we can connect passes and play our style of game and control the tempo," he said.
He also knows the importance of finishing spells of possession with goals. Some teams are happy to give opponents the ball and dare them to do something with it. Trusty accepts the challenge.
"They want to give us the ball? Sure, give us the ball, then. I'm glad to take it," he said. "If we're going to have it, we're going to wait for our moment and then we're going to attack. … That's a good thing. We want the ball."
Trusty got to rest a bit this week as the Union prepared for Saturday's home game against Real Salt Lake (7:30 p.m., PHL17), when his appearance streak is almost certain to continue.
He also got to spend some time at home. He still lives with his family, and doesn't mind it. He even does his own laundry.
"Honestly, I love it. I think it's better than living in an apartment or a place by myself just being bored," Trusty said. "I do my own thing in my house, but it's good seeing my family and taking care of them, and doing anything I can do to help out."
Trusty knows there has been talk about his potentially getting called up to the U.S. national team for its Memorial Day game against Bolivia in Chester. The roster will be announced Sunday.
Whether or not Trusty gets the call this time, there's little doubt that it will come soon.
"It would mean the world," he said. "I'm working every single day towards being part of that team."
His humility also came through as he reflected on the subject. He described the national team as "just another task — another goal of mine in the future" and added, "I don't really think too much of it. I just go out every single day and do my job and play my game."
For now, that's all he needs to do. Everyone else can take care of the hype.
Union vs. Real Salt Lake
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Talen Energy Stadium, Chester
Union's record: 3-5-2, 11 points (8th in the East); 2-1-2 at home
Real Salt Lake's record: 4-5-1, 13 points (6th in the West); 0-4-1 on the road
Series history: Real Salt Lake 4 wins, Union 0 wins, 6 ties
At Talen Energy Stadium: Real Salt Lake 1 win, Union 0 wins, 4 ties
Real Salt Lake players to watch
GK Nick Rimando: The 38-year-old stalwart earned his 200th career win earlier this month. His stats this year aren't vintage — a 2.1 goals-against average and 61.0 save percentage — but he's still one of MLS' best netminders.
M Albert Rusnák: He isn't one of MLS' big-name playmakers, but the Slovakia native is just as effective. His average of 3.5 chances created per game is the highest in the league.
F Jefferson Savarino: Every team in MLS should have a player like him. A 21-year-old Venezuelan, he has speed, skill and creativity. RSL's decision to buy him outright after having him on loan last year was smart.