Jack Elliott has been the Union’s best defender this season, immediately making an impact when he first entered the starting XI in April.
Elliott, the fourth-round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, is one of the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year because of how strong of a rookie campaign he’s had. While his stats certainly show he’s been one of the top defenders in MLS, what really separates Elliott is his soccer IQ.
Take the most recent game against New York Red Bulls this past weekend. Elliott was defending Gonzalo Veron for a majority of the match, and in the 74th minute, the two engaged in a footrace. Elliott maintained his positioning, keeping pace with Veron while not allowing him to cut into the middle of the pitch with the ball. Elliott forced Veron to take a no-angle shot, which Andre Blake easily made after coming off his line.