A day before celebrating his 35th birthday, Ilsinho was the player of the game in the Union’s 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact.
That’s where we start this review of top performances Sunday night at Subaru Park.
The Brazilian made just his second start of the year, in order to give Sergio Santos and Anthony Fontana some rest. He went 72 minutes, his longest outing since June 13 of last year.
Ilsinho usually makes a difference through individual battles against defenders, especially with his dribbling wizardry. But in this game, he made his biggest impact with a simple pass on the ground.
Nothing was simple for the Union early on as they struggled to break down Montreal’s five-back defense. When he saw an opening from his position on the right wing, he sent the ball straight through it. The pass split four Impact players and left a fifth flat-footed while Jamiro Monteiro ran to where the ball was going. Monteiro went on from there to score the night’s opening goal.
It’s no secret that Ilsinho will call time on his playing career one of these days. The Union will have a long list of clips to choose from for his highlight reel, and that pass might end up as one of them.
You can’t ask for much more than what he delivered in his second start in five days: 68 touches, five clearances, three tackles, three interceptions, and 47-of-53 passing.
If you’re going to play every minute of nine straight games, it helps to be just 21 years old. McKenzie has had just one night off all season, on Aug. 30, and his streak since then includes three midweek contests.
So far, he shows no signs of wear. Sunday’s game was especially good. Though he had just 49 touches, he registered three interceptions, three clearances and one tackle, won one aerial duel, and completed 31 of 40 passes.
The 19-year-old Medford native had another strong performance. Though he wasn’t officially credited with any chances created, he had a big role in the Union’s second goal, and took two shots that forced major saves from Montreal goalkeeper Clément Diop. Aaronson completed 19 of 22 passes, and pitched in defensively with one tackle.