At the start of the 2023 Major League Soccer season, Jesus Bueno was a name that Union supporters knew, but many did not see him play much, if at all. Philly signed Bueno from Venezuelan side Deportivo Lara in 2021, but he had just started to play a lot for the first team this season. Prior to this season, the 24-year-old Venezuelan appeared in only eight matches for the main squad, while also appearing in 14 matches for the Union 2 of the MLS Next Pro.
With the Union 2, Bueno had six goals and two assists, showing the type of player that the Philadelphia could have on their hands. Fast forward to the current point of the 2023 season, and Bueno has shown that he can be a dominant player for this team in the future. He has appeared in 26 matches through all competitions, scoring a total of two goals and contributing four assists to the team.
Dominant Leagues Cup for Union
While Jesus Bueno has been dominant through all competitions this season, he really made a name for himself during the Union’s run in the 2023 Leagues Cup. The young midfielder appeared in seven matches during the tournament, starting in six of them. He ended the Leagues Cup scoring two goals and assisting on four, proving to be one of, if not the top player on the entire Union squad. He also converted both of his penalties in the two penalty kick shootouts that the Union was a part of, even scoring the winner against the New York Red Bulls.
Both of the goals that Bueno scored in the tournament were important for the Union, as they were early on in the match, and were able to provide a fast impact for the squad. His goal against Queretaro was in the 10th minute, and his goal against Monterrey was early on as well in the 1st minute. Both these goals gave the Union an early lead, establishing the dominance that the club wanted to provide.
Overall, Jesus Bueno had a really impressive Leagues Cup for the Union, showing the club the talents that he has, and that he could be a current starter for Jim Curtin’s midfield. He had an average rating of 7.6 for the tournament (according to the Fotmob ratings), which is a number that is extremely impressive. Bueno has for sure made the starting lineup a difficult choice for Jim Curtin, as there is a large number of high-quality midfielders on this Philly squad. Curtin can now choose between Jesus Bueno, Jack McGlynn, Alejandro Bedoya, Leon Flach, Jose Martinez, Daniel Gazdag, Joaquin Torres, and more.
First International Call Up
With the season that Jesus Bueno has had so far for the Union, it should come as no surprise that the Venezuelan national team has called him up for the first time. He will be taking part in the September international camp where Venezuela will be starting their World Cup Qualification against Colombia and Paraguay. Bueno will not be the only Philadlphia player that Venezuela has called up, as teammate and fellow midfielder Jose Martinez has also got the call to the national team.
When asked about the call-up, Bueno had the following to say, “I feel very happy for that. I think I worked so hard my whole career for this moment. I’m very happy and I cannot wait to play for my national team, to get my first game with them.” This is a big moment for Bueno’s career, and he will look to impress both the manager and the federation during these matches to receive more potential call-ups in the future.
All in all, Jesus Bueno has grown as a player for this Union squad this season, which is something that Jim Curtin and Ernst Tanner will love to see. He will continue to grow in all aspects of the game, proving to be even more important for Philadelphia than he is at the moment.
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union