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Arnor Traustason proving unreliable

The Icelandic midfielder has to be in Bruce Arena’s doghouse after Friday night

MLS: D.C. United at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Arnor Traustason has had an interesting 2021 season.

Looking at his stats, fans would likely not complain about the Icelander’s output. He has two goals and six assists. The midfielder is only behind Carles Gil when it comes to helpers.

But for a player with European experience including representing his nation at the World Cup, Traustason has been way too inconsistent. In some games he will look like he is worth all the money in the world and others he will be an absolute ghost.

The most troubling area of his game has been his decision making. Traustason has been ejected from two out of the last three games. Both ejections came after receiving his second yellow card.

Especially on Friday night, the second yellow’s were terrible decisions from Traustason. He didn’t need to commit those fouls and he needs to be smarter when having a yellow card.

Particularly against the Union, the ball was at midfield and New England had defenders tracking back. There was no reason to commit that foul.

Bruce Arena was asked about Traustason’s decision making and he did admit that he is concerned.

“Yes, it was a poor decision on [Arnor Traustason’s] part,” said Arena. “He’s got to learn from this. He’s an experienced player, he shouldn’t be getting caught like that. We had a concern and we discussed taking him out of the game once he got the yellow card. We felt that he would be smart and be able to play the game out and obviously he did not.”

Moving forward it wouldn’t be surprising to see Traustason spend some time on the bench. With Gil and even Luis Caicedo getting healthier they can afford to relegate him to a bench role. He will have to earn Arena’s trust and that could prove to be quite difficult.

It might take European players some time to adjust to MLS, but a player of Traustason’s caliber shouldn’t be making these dumb mistakes once, never mind on multiple occasions.