Philadelphia Union's Jim Curtin praises Brenden Aaronson's versatility: I know some coaches were watching

Brenden Aaronson - Philadelphia Union - Celebrates

Without suspended captain Alejandro Bedoya, the Philadelphia Union made a change to their midfield in which Brenden Aaronson dropped deeper to more of a box-to-box roll to allow Anthony Fontana to play as an attacking midfielder.

The end result was a 3-0 Union win over Inter Miami, with Aaronson picking up plaudits for his exploits in a different role than he has typically played since breaking into the first team in 2019. Aaronson scored the Union's third goal, putting him at four goals and three assists over 14 matches this season. 

“Versatility is an important part of the modern player," Curtin told media on a virtual press conference. "I know a couple of coaches that were watching the game, curious to see how he looked in a different position.” reported last week that the Union and RB Salzburg reached a verbal agreement over a potential transfer of Aaronson.

"I think some people saw the game and liked it as well, which is good," Curtin said. "Brenden showed his versatility and did his job for the team, it’s not easy. To switch positions for the betterment of the group. … I love Brenden at the No. 8, but he’ll be back at No. 10 next game.”

The Union next face Toronto FC, another team that has begun to separate themselves atop the Eastern Conference. Columbus Crew SC, Philly, Toronto and Orlando City SC have all opened breathing room from 5th place and below in the East, as the clubs begin jockeying for Audi MLS Cup Playoff position. Curtin praised Toronto for their longevity around the top of the Eastern Conference, as a club that has made MLS Cup in three of the last four seasons. 

“Toronto have a ton of talent, they’re very well-coached," Curtin said. "It starts with [Alejandro] Pozuelo who, for me, alongside Jordan Morris, has been the MVP of the league. Jozy Altidore is still the best striker we have for our country, so we’ll have our hands full."'s Andrew Wiebe agrees with Curtin, putting Pozuelo in his top tier in the Landon Donovan 2020 MLS MVP race. Pozuelo has five goals and eight assists in 13 matches this season, while Altidore is returning to full fitness and started the club's last three matches.

“The table tells the truth, the games tell the truth," Curtin said. "There is still a lot more to play, for sure, but you’re starting to see some teams separate themselves. … It’ll be a big test for us.”