CHESTER, Pa. – When reporters hovered around Brian Brown in the PPL Park home locker room following the Philadelphia Union’s 3-3 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, Philly’s newest acquisition looked uneasy.
But when the 21-year-old Jamaican forward was asked what he thinks he can contribute to the Union, that uneasiness quickly gave way to a quiet confidence.
“I score,” said Brown, who was acquired on loan from Jamaica’s Harbour View FC on Saturday for the remainder of the MLS season. “That’s what I do best: I score goals. I may not play much but I like to score. So if I get my chance, I’ll put my chance away.”
It certainly seems like Brown will get that chance soon.
Union interim manager Jim Curtin inserted Brown into the 18-man lineup on Saturday – the same day the young striker was officially acquired – and said afterwards that the Jamaican might have gotten into the game had it played out differently.
And with the Union continuing a grueling stretch with a home game against the Red Bulls on Wednesday (6:55 pm ET, ESPN2) and a road tilt with the Chicago Fire on Saturday (8:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), it seems likely Brown will make his MLS debut before the end of the week.
“Brian is a player who is very good around the goal,” Curtin said. “He has quality on finishing inside of the box with both feet and he can strike the ball well – and you can see that in practice pretty quick. He has got a bit of speed. He’s a handful.
“He’s a big guy too. He’s about 6-1, so he’s got an MLS body on him. He can handle the punishment you get up there. He’s a guy we’re high on.”
Brown certainly has a promising pedigree, winning the Jamaican National Premier League Golden Boot last season with 20 goals and making an appearance with the Jamaican senior national team.
Perhaps the toughest part for him has been adjusting to his new life in the United States. But luckily, he’s had Union rookie goalkeeper Andre Blake – a fellow Jamaican who Brown called a “brother” – to lean on.
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“I’m trying to get used to the city,” Brown said. “Jamaica is a small country, so the area here is much bigger. But it’s good to be here and I like it so far.”
Brown said other Union teammates have welcomed him warmly to Philly, too. And after a successful trial last month during which he poured in goals in training, he’s seemed to have already made a big impression on those players.
“I’ve been impressed,” said center back Ethan White, who made his Union debut Saturday. “He’s a left-footed, dangerous finisher. He’s athletic. He’s another guy that’s hard to deal with the entire time.
“I think a lot of teams will be surprised when he steps on the field.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at email@example.com.