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Ryan Spaulding on Brandon Bye: “He's One of the Better Outside Backs in the League
“He's [Bye] one of the better outside backs in the league, so just kind of watching him on a daily basis you learn a lot. You see a lot of tendencies that he has that I try to translate into my game."
New England Revolution fans are used to seeing Brandon Bye dart up the right flank and whip crosses into the box but as of late, his performance in his own third has been standing out.
Against Atlanta United on Wednesday night, Bye continued to cause headaches for opposing attackers. He was constantly blocking shots and passes along with causing turnovers. He ended the night with seven recoveries, three clearances, and an interception.
Head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena commented on Bye’s performance after the 2-1 win.
“He's [Bye’s] been good. He had a good first half and he was dangerous in the attack,” Arena said. “Defensively, he's been pretty good. He got beat on a couple plays in the second half, but he's been good. He’s getting better. He had a little bit of a downside to his game maybe around the middle of the season, but he's picked up again and he's playing well.”
When it comes to defending, it isn’t something that Bye is typically known for. On occasion, he has been caught ball-watching and opponents have been able to slip behind him. But in the last two matches, Bye has performed well in his own third.
At 27 years old, Bye isn’t a grizzled veteran but he has some experience. This makes him someone that younger players can learn from when trying to better their game.
“He's [Bye] one of the better outside backs in the league, so just kind of watching him on a daily basis you learn a lot,” left back Ryan Spaulding said. “You see a lot of tendencies that he has that I try to translate into my game. Even just him talking to me and just giving me advice and talking about his experience and kind of what to do in certain situations. He's a great help.”
Hopefully, Bye will be able to maintain his form in his own third while continuing to get forward and be a threat on the attack. If so his prominence around the league will grow and instead of being one of the better outside backs, he could become the best.