Player ratings

Player ratings: Chicago Fire 3-2 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Earl Gardner

Let’s start with the good news.

The Union finally ended their 2017 woes away from home. Of course, that has a lot to do with Sunday’s clash in Chicago being Philadelphia’s final road match of the season.

It’s almost surprising the Union didn’t win. This was Philadelphia’s first match since being officially being eliminated from the postseason. They have only won a single game away from Talen Energy Stadium this year. Beating Chicago Fire at Toyota Park seemed like the Union thing to do.

Instead, Philadelphia fell 3-2 despite not playing terribly.

If the Union play with this freedom in 2018, maybe they can win two road games. Who knows?

Player ratings

Andre Blake – 4

Maybe Blake could have come out quicker to challenge Nemanja Nikolic’s first goal. Maybe he could have gotten a bit more of the penalty. Either way, the loss isn’t on Blake nor did he really do much to earn a win.

Raymon Gaddis – 4

It’s easy to see why head coach Jim Curtin chose Gaddis over Keegan Rosenberry in a meaningless game. Gaddis is just dynamic going forward, easily adding the creativity a team needs from its fullbacks. He also definitely did not get burned by left back Brandon Vincent on Chicago’s game winning goal.

Jack Elliott – 2

Harsh? No, it’s not. You cannot make crippling mistakes as a center back. Elliott did it twice. He allowed the league’s most prolific scorer to get behind him in the opening five minutes. Then, Elliott clipped an attacker not only as he was leaving the box, but also who had his back to the net. On Sunday, only those two moments mattered.

Richie Marquez – 5

For most of the night, Marquez was a steadying presence at the back as the Union limited the Fire’s attack. On the deciding goal, however, Marquez was a little late in closing out Nikolic who punished Philadelphia.

Fabinho – 6

The Brazilian was the Union’s best overall defender on the night. He was effective pushing upfield, creating chances from the flank and defended well against Chicago’s attack. Fabinho is often maligned, but games like this show he can still have effective nights in this league.

Haris Medunjanin – 6

Solid if not spectacular night for the Bosnian. His pass to Alejandro Bedoya was magnificent, and his deliveries from set pieces threatened. Medunjanin, though, couldn’t really grab control of the midfield and dictate the terms of the match. He did record four tackles, helping prevent the Fire from attacking down the middle.

Alejandro Bedoya – 8

It’s tempting to go with a nine. How pretty was that finish? How about the pass to C.J. Sapong on the first goal? Maybe it was that sliding tackle on Dax McCarty at the edge of the box that did it for you. Either way, Bedoya was once again a dominant presence in every facet of this game. A few loose passes were the only negative.

Ilsinho – 4

Ilsinho just can’t do it. He cannot  consistently influence a match from the center of the pitch. On Sunday he was hustling, but couldn’t connect the team. There was a vacuum of space in front of Bedoya and Medunjanin.

Fafà Picault – 5

Picault was a danger in the first half, racing up and down the flank. He couldn’t quite produce a final product, though. He drifted out of the action in the second half, operating in the peripherals until his exit in the 83rd minute.

Chris Pontius – 4

Pontius won some headers and players some defense. Once again, though, he was disconnected from his teammates in the final third. In other words, it was exactly the type of match we’ve come to expect from the winger this season.

C.J. Sapong – 4

Sapong  was once again active in front of goal, but poor distribution in front of goal stalled too many Union attacks. Philadelphia also struggled to get the forward the ball in dangerous areas, as well.

Substitutes

Marcus Epps (75′ for Pontius) – n/a

Didn’t have much to do, but did try and take on five Fire defenders as his teammates waited for a pass.

Roland Alberg (83′ for Picault) – n/a

Are we sure he played in this game?

Jay Simpson (90′ + 1′ for Elliott) – n/a

You should see the photos from the International Space Station. Seeing Simpson’s shot in orbit is truly magnificent.

Geiger counter

Allen Chapman – 8

Elliott’s foul was in the box, and Chapman did well to recognize it. Overall, the referee did well to allow a physical game to develop while managing the edge effectively with his whistle.

Player of the game

Nemanja Nikolic

The likely Golden Boot winner was fast and clinical. Nikolic’s hat trick fueled the fire, and the striker is the biggest reason Chicago is a strong title contender this year.

8 Comments

  1. “Gaddis is just dynamic going forward, easily adding the creativity a team needs from its fullbacks.”

    wait wat

  2. Good spread on the ratings. A shame that Elliott’s worst performance of the year came on the night when the TV Loyalty Point code was ELLIOTT4ROY.

  3. Just a thought… Elliott may be getting a bit tired. Seems like the same trouble KR had at the end of last season.

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