Philadelphia Union hail Anthony Fontana for turning hero in rare opportunity

Philadelphia Union midfielder Anthony Fontana had only played 74 minutes in the 2020 MLS season before subbing into the Week 11 match against the New England Revolution in the 65th minute. 

By the time Fontana came on, the Revs were down to 10 men and the Union were hungry for a goal. Fontana obliged, opening the scoring with a chip over New England goalkeeper Matt Turner.

"Certain players have a knack around the goal," said Union head coach Jim Curtin after the game. "The first finish [by Fontana] is a next level-type of finish—to have the awareness there. Turner gets on him really fast and makes a good play to almost give him no angle to shoot. To elevate the ball and stay composed in that moment was clinical. But we see that from Anthony in training every week."

Watch: Fontana's brace vs. Revs

With six minutes of stoppage time winding down at the end of the game, it looked as if both the Union and Revs were going to take a point away from the night, but Fontana cracked a shot out of nowhere to give his side all three points. 

"I've been working on that shot a lot," the 20-year-old homegrown player confessed. "I've been putting in a lot of work and honestly, I just set it up as fast as I could and hit it as fast as I could. I know there's pressure coming out to me, but there was just that clear pathway and, again, luckily it's in the back of the net. And yeah, couldn't be happier."

Curtin wasn't surprised that Fontana had a great night. "There was a stretch of games where we did not go to Anthony, and those are moments in your career where you can do one of two things," Curtin explained. "You can sulk and be upset and be a bad teammate, or you can do what Anthony did, which was come to training every day, work hard, stay after in the weight room, watch more film... It's not coincidental that you get rewarded in moments like that. Like tonight, where he scores two incredible goals for himself. This game of soccer tends to tell the truth."

Union captain Alejandro Bedoya added, "I couldn't be happier for him to come in and make a difference like that. He did that against the Red Bulls and kept it going this week—well, every week actually, even though he hasn't really gotten a chance—and couldn't be prouder of him for taking opportunities tonight."


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