Ethan Kutler, making his first career MLS start Wednesday night, picked up two assists in a 2-1 home win over Seattle Sounders FC. The assists were his first career points of his MLS career.
His seamless transition into the first team, after being signed from New York Red Bulls II last month, has caught no one by surprise, including himself.
“It’s definitely a transition getting back to right back, but the system makes it easy,” Kutler said. “It’s very straightforward where you have to play the ball, where you run, where you’re required to be defensively. You just have to keep the shape and play simple and that’s pretty much it.”
Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch spoke about the former college forward and the offensive talents Kutler put on display throughout the win.
“You know, he's a very gifted player, passer, on the ball and we're continuing to try to build in more defensive sophistication and more of a defensive edge with him,” Marsch said. “He does provide us with that ease to be able to pass, put plays together, see the next play and on certain days, that's really valuable, and we knew that.”
Stepping into an MLS match, in place of a World Cup caliber player in Michael Amir Murillo, is no easy feat but one that Kutler’s welcomed the challenge.
“It’s a pretty big adjustment. Tempo wise, pace wise, physicality wise. But it’s something I feel that I’m up for the challenge,” Kutler said. “The guys are making it easy for me. They have my back, I have theirs type mentality. It’s a good environment for everybody on the field. You work hard for other people, they’ll work hard for you.”
That continued mentality and mindset should continue to pay dividends for the rookie as the season rolls along.