Fantastic Fabinho: A hero rises in New York

For the Philadelphia Union, the opening ten games have been a bit of a rollercoaster. Big names haven’t performed as well as they should have whilst some of the underdogs have exceeded all expectations. None more so than a certain Left Back who spurred on the doopers to a surprising two game win streak.

Fabinho, who assisted on goals in each of the team’s last two victories has erupted onto the scene as of late. The reserve left back has put in some impressive defensive work recently and it’s been noticed by coach Curtin. The results speak for themselves– a 1-0 shutout win over D.C. United on May 17 and a slightly scrappy 2-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls a few days back.

If there was one thing the sons of ben needed, it was a lift on the backline. Starting defenders Gaddis and Vitoria are both out with injury whilst Ethan White had no option but to play through a knee injury.  Maurice Edu served a one-game suspension which made depth even more of an issue, seeing the skeleton crew uniting and somehow trying to stop the forces of arguably one of the most powerful teams in the league.

Their prayers were answered though, Fabinho’s pass and move with Cristian Maidana and perfect pass to C.J. Sapong led to Philly’s second goal against the Red Bulls.

This eccentric vision and sudden improvement not only led to praise from his team and fans but also saw him named in the MLS team of the week.

Fabinho has certainly seen his share of highs and lows in a blue shirt. Just a month before what Curtin called his best game in Philly, the Brazilian had arguably his worst, making a series of ridiculous mistakes in the Union’s 4-1 loss to Columbus Crew SC. However, that performance has now been partially explained. On Wednesday, Fabinho revealed that he had only just returned from an injury before the start in Columbus. He now feels completely healthy and ready to impress further offensively whilst cutting down the defensive errors that plagued his past. His best attribute by far is his versatility. The ability to charge forward and make things happen.

The rapid Gaddis however is set to return from injury before the game this weekend, so does this mean we see the benching of Fabinho? There’s a new war over the left back position, some healthy competition that has been needed for a while now.

Most teams have a star player, Obefemi Martins, Clint Dempsey, Robbie Keane. The Union appear to have an uprising of underdogs. It’s an exciting time to be a Union fan as the team look to extend their winning streak to three this weekend. The question is, which one of these underdogs can emerge as a leader?

We will review the highs and lows of the opening 10 games shortly so be sure to stay tuned!