MONTREAL – Jeb Brovsky, Hassoun Camara and Sanna Nyassi, among others, have given Jesse Marsch a hand this season by playing a number of games in unfamiliar positions. A few weeks ago, they were joined by none other than Marsch’s “little gem,” Felipe.
At some point in three of the Montreal Impact’s last four games, the 21-year-old moved from his usual central spot, from where he has delivered the majority of his team-high nine assists, to a left midfield position.
WATCH: Di Viao buries Felipe cross
In one of those tilts, a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, Felipe worked on the left for 70 minutes in a 10-vs.-10 scenario. And while it is not a natural role for him, he was his typical self, displaying clever movement and extraordinary work rate.
It's all emblematic of a guy who just wants to be on the field.
“I prefer … playing,” Felipe told reporters on Tuesday. “For me, it’s the same if I play on the left or in the middle, defensive or offensive. It’s the same.”
Looking at Felipe’s play through the coach’s eyes, the verdict is the same.
“With the ball, it's not that different than what he does when he plays underneath,” Marsch said, “just in terms of being able to move ahead of the ball and find little gaps, catch it and make the next play – and, often, the next final play.”
Felipe, Marsch explains, enjoys cutting inside, where he can control the ball with his left foot and then deliver passes with his right. Feeling at ease on the left therefore comes naturally to him, and, coupled with Marsch’s utmost faith in him, this is why that side was identified as a potential spot for him in the first place.
“When we put him on the left, more than anything, it’s that I trust him to understand what the role is when he plays out there,” Marsch stated. “I trust him to do the work, to have the discipline.”