By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Union did what they had to do on Saturday night, gutting out a 2-0 victory over D.C. United in Chester. Philadelphia is now third in MLS Eastern Conference with 37 points.
This year’s Union squad has an intriguing prospect turning heads at forward in 25-year-old Aaron Wheeler.
Wheeler, signed during the off-season by the Union after spending 2012 with a Finnish team, came off the bench late in Saturday night’s win, and was very active in seven minutes of action, logging two shots, inlcuding a header on goal.
“Was fortunate to get into some good positions,” Wheeler told KYW Newsradio after the match. “Just happy to contribute any way that I can.”
Wheeler hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time as of yet, 89 minutes over six games, but he seems to always be in the middle of the action. He scored his first MLS goal on June 29th against FC Dallas. It gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in the 87th-minute, although they would eventually have to settle for a 2-2 draw. Then on July 27th, he assisted on Antoine Hoppenot’s game-winner in the 85th-minute of a 1-0 victory over Vancouver.
“I’ve learned a lot, especially sitting behind Conor Casey,” Wheeler says. “Just learned a lot as far as hold-up play and just learning your part within the team and whether you want to contribute more or whatever, you have to just be able to do whatever your role is.”
Wheeler is also having fun playing in front of the Union faithful and the Sons of Ben.
“I had no idea the atmosphere that they create here,” Wheeler says. “The fans were great again (Saturday) night. I really wasn’t aware of it until I got here, but it’s phenomenal.”
Wheeler and the Union will visit the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.