Week 19 Recap: Paxten Deserved Better

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By Siobhan Nolan, Contributing Writer

It’s wholly disappointing, if not all that surprising, that the Union fell to the New England Revolution. While by no means were the Union dominated, a number of foolish mistakes cost them the chance to gain any points this week.

The Union had some good looks on goal early on in the first half, most notably when Sergio Santos took a shot that only the admittedly brilliant Matt Turner could have kicked away. Not long after, the Revolution’s Matt Polster would team up with Tommy McNamara to put a goal past Andre Blake, putting the Revs up 1-0 after just 10 minutes.

However, staying true to the trend of Union Homegrowns scoring unbelievable debut goals, Paxten Aaronson made his first goal one for the highlight reel. After collecting a ball in from Jakob Glesnes, Aaronson rocketed his shot into the top corner, leaving Turner no chance of even getting a hand on it.

The Union couldn’t enjoy the tied scoreline for too long, as Leon Flach fouled Tajon Buchanan right at the edge of the 18-yard box, and referee Armando Villarreal somewhat controversially awarded New England a penalty. Gustavo Bou would take the penalty kick, and while Blake dived the right way to block the initial shot, he couldn’t keep a hand on the ball, and Bou was able to capitalize on the rebound.

The 56th minute saw Glesnes feeding a good ball to another Homegrown, this time to Quinn Sullivan, but Sullivan wasn’t able to maneuver past Turner. Kai Wagner pounced on the rebound, but his attempt ended up over the crossbar. Wagner almost salvaged a point for the Union in stoppage time, but his one-timer from an Alejandro Bedoya cross went off the post.

The Main Takeaway: Oddly enough, there aren’t many criticisms to make about the Union in this game. Jim Curtin made an ambitious decision in starting three teenagers (Aaronson, Sullivan, and Jack McGlynn) and 20-year-old Flach against the best team in MLS right now, but they showed up immensely in this game. The team played well, and it was only by sheer luck and circumstance (not particularly any sort of skill) that the Revolution ended up with the three points. The B team got beat tonight, but there’s no time to wallow in any sort of self-pity. The CONCACAF Champions League semifinals begin on Thursday, and worrying about the road to lifting that CCL trophy is more important than agonizing over a loss to a team whose only silverware are the forks and knives in their training facility.