Brian Wright has only played three games as a professional but that didn’t stop him from scoring one of the most important goals of the year for the New England Revolution.
In the 48th minute of Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup win over D.C. United, Wright got on the end of a Diego Fagundez feed to beat goalkeeper Travis Worra. It was a satisfying moment for the rookie, who had a similar opportunity hit the crossbar just three minutes earlier.
“We had a couple of opportunities. I missed the first one—I hit the crossbar—but I was happy to get that second one,” Wright assessed.
As is often the case, Wright has experienced some growing pains while transitioning to life as a professional.
The University of Vermont product stated he was more of a “stretch forward” in college, using his speed to get behind the back line. Now, he’s being asked to keep the ball at his feet as a way of welcoming more players into the attack. This is an area where Wright has already shown a lot of growth.
“We talked about it after the first Open Cup game where the coach told me to hold the ball up and bring our attack into it,” Wright noted. “We really focused on it the past week-and-a-half in training; I was really focusing on my body position. I thought I did a better job today with holding the ball up.”
Wright, who played one game with the Tulsa Roughnecks before making his Revolution debut against the Rochester Rhinos in the U.S. Open Cup, has shown a lot of progress during practice. He’s done everything you would want, including taking advice from veterans and watching practice tapes, with the aim of getting better.
The next step in his development is proving that he can make a difference during games. This is why Wednesday’s outing was so important to the 22-year-old.
“It’s a good thing, being a young guy, to be able to get my minutes here [in the Open Cup],” Wright said. “They always say just keep working hard in practice, and when your opportunity comes, try to make the most of it. I thought I did that tonight.”
With the Revs dealing with a host of injuries and international call-ups, Wright could hear his name called sooner rather than later.
For now, however, the rookie can hold onto the fact that he’s scored his first professional, a memory that lead to a special moment where the fans cheered his name in unison.
“It was a pretty good feeling to be honest,” Wright said of the chants. “I hope there’s many more of those.”