'He shut down every attack'; Andrew Gutman was a stand-out performer in MLS this week

By John McGinley

July 24, 2020

Andrew Gutman has been a Celtic player since January 2019 but is still something of a mystery to supporters.

Having not yet played for the club in a competitive fixture, the left-back has been continuing his development in the USA ever since putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.

He initially joined Charlotte Independence in the USL Championship on loan but has since has taken a step up to the big time, featuring for FC Cincinnati in this year’s MLS campaign.

The ongoing pandemic has played havoc with the usual lengthy summer season across the Atlantic.

A new tournament has been arranged that consists of an initial three-game group stage that also counts towards traditional league standings, before knockout rounds that will determine a qualifier for the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.

The plan is for the normal MLS season to then resume.

Gutman has played in all three of FC Cincinnati’s fixtures, helping them progress to face Portland Timbers in the next round.

His latest match occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning, Celtic Park time, against New York Red Bulls, in which he produced a stand-out performance.

As shown by WhoScored, only goalscorer Yuya Kubo was rated higher in the match, with Gutman performing exceptionally well on the left flank.

Making three successful tackles, six clearances and three interceptions, he was a thorn in the opposition’s side all evening, shutting down their attempts to get into the match.

The 23-year-old showed a bit of attacking ambition too, completing two of three attempted dribbles and making more touches of the ball than any of his teammates.

The busy performance was exciting for supporters of Cincinnati, who rushed to social media to praise his display.

Celtic player Andrew Gutman in action for FC Cincinnati / (Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

If he can maintain consistency at MLS level it would suggest he could return to Glasgow at some point next year and compete for a place in Neil Lennon’s squad.

With his contract not expiring until 2022, he has plenty of time to make an impact at his parent club.

These Cincinnati fans took to Twitter this week to share their thoughts on his recent performance…