WALLINGFORD, Pa. – When he found out he was called offside a whopping nine times during the Philadelphia Union’s first MLS Reserve League game, Chris Agorsor could only laugh.
Luckily for Philly, the 20-year-old speedster also had the last laugh, netting the game-winning goal in the Union’s 2-1 win over the New York Red Bull reserves Sunday at Chester Park.
“It’s literally one of those things where I have to slow down,” said Agorsor, who came to Philly via a weighted lottery in February. “But I’d rather be offsides nine times than zero if I’m being perfectly honest, because it shows I’m involved. As long as I’m running around, being dangerous, I’ll take that.”
[inline_node:328741]Agorsor showed how dangerous he could be in the 81st minute when he pounced on a rebound of a Jack McInerney shot and broke a 1-1 deadlock.
McInerney, one of Philly’s top offensive substitutes, scored the first goal of the game on a header after receiving a pass from Roger Torres, who had a goal of his own just a night earlier in the Union’s 1-0 win over the Red Bulls at PPL Park.
The Red Bull reserves got a second-half goal from John Rooney, but the Union’s defense – anchored by veteran Juan Diego Gonzalez in the center, as well as converted fullbacks Ryan Richter and Michael Farfan – didn’t allow too many other New York chances.
16-year-old rookie Zach Pfeffer was also confident and crafty in the central midfield for the Philly reserves, and academy player Jimmy McLaughlin, a senior at nearby at Great Valley High School, was aggressive on the wing while playing a full 90.
“We have some really talented young guys,” Agorsor said. “We’re all learning together and I think that’s a lot of fun. Collective learning is better than trying to figure it out on your own.”
While some members of Philly’s Reserve League roster are already established first-teamers (like McInerney, Torres and Danny Mwanga) and others are academy players trying to sign homegrown deals (like McLaughlin, Christian Hernandez and Christiana Francois), most, like Agorsor, are signed players hoping to work their way into the rotation.
Agorsor has yet to log any MLS minutes, although manager Peter Nowak told him he was going to come in vs. the Red Bulls on Saturday – a plan that was abandoned when Brian Carroll left in the sixth minute and Philly had to burn an early sub.
“I’m a pretty positive person,” Agorsor said. “When things happen, they’re meant to happen. There’s a lot of competition but I think my time will definitely come. I’ve just got to be prepared. With these reserve games, it’s a really good opportunity for me to showcase my ability.”
All he has to do now is stay onside.
“He has so much pace that he doesn’t have to cheat the line,” said the Union’s Reserve Team coach, Brendan Burke. “He has to be a little more patient. He’s definitely a threat. He’s got a rocket tied to the back of him.”