With Henry Kessler joining the United States Men’s National Team at the Gold Cup, Wednesday night was a big night for Jon Bell.
Bell was coming off arguably the worst performance of his career. He made some crucial mistakes against FC Dallas and they ultimately led to New England suffering a loss in Texas.
Since then the center back hadn’t made an appearance. That changed when it was announced he was starting alongside Andrew Farrell against Inter Miami.
The 23-year-old played all 90 minutes on down in Florida and managed to get the first assist of his MLS career on Arnór Traustason’s second goal of the night. Bell also completed 91 percent of his passes.
Now there were some moments when Bell had some poor touches, but overall he recovered from his poor performance down in Dallas. With Kessler gone for a while, this was a crucial performance for the youngster.
After the game, veteran MLS defender A.J. DeLaGarza was asked about Bell’s performance and he thinks that Bell has a bright future ahead of him.
DeLaGarza said, “I thought he was really solid. I think coming into this year, we didn’t know what to expect from Jon Bell, but he has surpassed, I think, what anyone really thought he was going to do. He’s been a very good player for us. He had a mistake in Dallas, but he recovered. I think he hasn’t played since then and he recovered tonight very well. It’s still a learning process for him. He’s still learning and I’m trying to teach him. I think he has a very bright future and he’s from Maryland, so I have to help him out.”
But now Bell will have to prove that he can maintain this level of play. If he wants to be a starting MLS center back he will need to continue to improve as the 2021 season progresses.
Wednesday night was a quality first step for Bell, hopefully Sunday night will be another solid performance for the center back against CF Montreal.