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Giacomo Vrioni Stakes His Claim With Leagues Cup Hat Trick
With his performance on Wednesday, it will be hard to keep thje 24-year-old on the bench much longer
Wednesday night couldn't have gone any better for the New England Revolution and the same could be said for striker Giacomo Vrioni.
New England coasted to a 5-1 win over Atletico De San Luis to clinch a spot in the knockout stages of Leagues Cup. The 24-year-old secured three of those goals which made him the first Revolution player to secure a hat trick in an international competition.
For a striker, scoring goals is your most important job. Captain Carles Gil was happy to see Vrioni score in bunches and hopes it will bring more confidence to his game.
“The best thing for a striker is to score goals and [Vrioni] had three,” the midfielder stated. “We are very happy. We can see him playing better, and better, and better now, and being more confidence. He’s a very good striker and I’m sure he will continue to score goals.”
While selecting a favorite goal can sometimes be like selecting a favorite child (Vrioni said postgame that they were all beautiful), head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena had a clear favorite.
“He [Vrioni] played very well. Gustavo [Bou] and Carles [Gil] played well with him, and he finished his chances,” Arena said. “The third goal was something we've been working on with him since he got here. He didn't end up believing that was his job as striker. It was just great to see. The third goal was the one that I liked the best actually.”
Brandon Bye whipped a low cross into the box and Vrioni slid to connect with the ball to secure the hatty. It was a gritty goal and a perfect conclusion to his night.
DeJuan Jones mentioned that the striker is always working on his finishing in training.
“In training he’s always working on getting balls swept in and finishing first time so to see him get the hat trick tonight, hopefully that can give him some more confidence moving forward,” the left back said of Vrioni.
Vrioni has also impressed his new teammate, Mark-Anthony Kaye, who just joined the club.
“He’s a strong powerful striker,” Kaye said of the striker. “He makes good runs, attacks the ball hard in the box which is important when you play with fullbacks like Brandon and DeJuan. But he found himself in the right spots at the right time and capitalized. He knows that he could have had more than three goals but three goals is amazing.”
As mentioned by Arena, all three Designated Players had great games. The DP’s played well off of one another and combined on multiple occasions (including for some of Vrioni’s goals).
Prior to Wednesday’s match, the trio had only played 326 minutes since New England brought in Vrioni as its third Designated Player. With Vrioni struggling to break into the starting XI, Gil and Bou were left to do a lot of the heavy lifting.
But after a hat trick, it seems like Vrioni more than deserves a run of starts. This will allow New England to see what they truly have in their DP’s and also allows for the offense to truly flourish. While Bobby Wood has exceeded expectations this season, it is time to see what Vrioni is truly capable of with the Revolution.
And while I mentioned that Vrioni thought all of his goals were beautiful, they did hold a special meaning to the striker. The 24-year-old dedicated the hat trick and the win to Olivia Knighton, the daughter of Brad Knighton who recently passed away.
I'm happy that we win and I want just to dedicate this win to Olivia [Knighton], she passed away a few days ago so these three goals and this win are for her,” Vrioni stated.