After lauding midfielder Keon Daniel for having his best game of the year in Saturday’s 1-0 Major League Soccer win over the New England Revolution, Union team manager John Hackworth gave some insight into while there haven’t been more of these performances.
“He did a lot of work to get back (defensively) and his intensity was right,” Hackworth said. “That has been something Keon has struggled with a little bit, the intensity of our league. He is certainly stepping up in that regard.”
While MLS isn’t the most skilled league in the world, the players are known for their fire.
That’s not to say that the 25-year-old Daniel hasn’t hustled in the past, but there is a difference between showing intensity in spurts and doing it for an entire game.
“I am getting more comfortable,” said Daniel, in his second year with the team.
He said that a performance such as this was a true confidence builder.
Not only did he earn the assist on Jack McInerney’s goal with a service off a free kick, but Daniel also played a strong defensive game.
“I am glad it is going in the right direction,” Daniel said. “I think from here, for me it will be good and I will keep working hard and doing the things I can do to help my teammates.”
Hackworth feels that Daniel has put together consecutive strong games, which included Wednesday’s 3-1 win in Bridgeview, Illinois against the Chicago Fire.
“Keon is a fantastic player and he always has been a fantastic player,” Hackworth said. “Keon has shown in the last two games why everybody in the locker room and coaching staff feel that way.”
Hackworth said that Daniel has contributed in every possible way during the last two games.
The Union obviously need a bigger sample size to see if Daniel will be a prominent part of the Union’s future, but he’s certainly making a favorable late impression as this season winds down.