For a second straight game, Andreas Ivan has seized the opportunity.
With upcoming Concacaf Champions League commitments forcing Chris Armas to rest some regulars, Ivan scored the opener in the New York Red Bulls' match against Columbus Crew SC on Saturday, making it two goals in two games for the relatively unknown Romanian.
"So far yeah, it's a very great week," Ivan said after the match. "Columbus for me is one of the top teams in the league and it was a great game."
Ivan, 24, joined the Red Bulls last summer after spending all of his previous career in the lower divisions of Germany's football pyramid, most recently with Waldhof Mannheim.
With New York enjoying a commanding lead on aggregate in Leg 2 of their first-round CCL series against Atletico Pantoja Wednesday night, he came on for the final 23 minutes and scored his first goal in a Red Bulls shirt.
Now he has his first goal in league play, in just his second MLS start and 10th league appearance.
"I think I feel comfortable from the first day here because the team accepted me very well. But it's different to start a new season and it's good," Ivan explained.
"All the guys did a very great job," Ivan said of the squad fielded for the opening week of the MLS regular season. "If the coach needs us, we are ready. We are a team. Everybody is running and helping each other. The players who are outside [the field] coach us and help us. And it's really a great team."
The player's manager, Chris Armas, was happy to see the contributions.
"Andy Ivan. We were waiting to see him show us what's inside of himself. And he showed that. And this is how you gain respect from your teammates," he said after Saturday's draw.