Player ratings

Player Ratings: Union 0-2 Revolution

It wasn’t pretty…

Here are PSP’s Player Ratings for the Philadelphia Union’s frustrating 0-2 loss at New England, which John Hackworth described as “our worst performance of the year so far.”

Player Ratings

Zac MacMath-6

Picked a good time to turn in his best performance of the season, as otherwise the scoreline could have been much worse. Commanded his box well and was aggressive to the ball, both in the air and while stopping shots. With his team struggling, MacMath can use this performance to buoy his own confidence and help inspire his teammates going forward.

Sheanon Williams-4

Covered a lot of ground but struggled to make an impact on either end of the pitch. Williams thrives when he can interchange passes quickly with a midfielder before heading off to the races. With Daniel too deep and Cruz too high, Williams was, too frequently, stuck in two minds. Pressing high to try and assist Cruz has left the Union right back exposed defensively.

Amobi Okugo-4

Struggled with his positioning as he forced wider than usual in an effort to support Williams. With the midfield collapsing, Okugo reverted too quickly to his midfield zonal marking instincts, rather than picking the most dangerous player and locking him up.

Jeff Parke-4

The Union’s defensive anchor struggled alongside his teammates in terms of both positioning and sharpness. With Okugo stretched wide right, Parke also drifted wide to support Gaddis, creating too much space in the center of the pitch. Will not be pleased to have been caught ball watching by Lee Nguyen on New England’s second.

Ray Gaddis-2

Discounting the bobbles, mistakes and flat out errors, Gaddis still had a rough night. Even with the extra support offered by Parke and Carroll, Gaddis still couldn’t get the job done. Taken to task by the 18 year old Diego Fagundez, New England neutralized Gaddis’ speed by running straight at him and forcing him to play with the ball at his feet. In 2012, he was an exciting, young prospect to back up Sheanon Williams. In 2013, playing left back, Gaddis appears out of his depth.

Danny Cruz-3

Cruz’s one dimensional play would be more valuable if he was a sharp finisher, or if he was playing a forward position. As it stands, his lack of midfield involvement and poor touch in the final third hurts the Union and has dramatically weakened their right flank.

Brian Carroll-4

Forced to adapt to Keon Daniel’s deep-seated stance, Carroll covered a lot of ground while never looking comfortable. His attempts to advance play never looked like coming off. Whether his passing percentages are high or low, Carroll too frequently puts his teammates in a bad spot with undercooked service. In other words, he is becoming the poster child of the “hospital pass.”

Keon Daniel-2

The entire Union performance was weighed down by Daniel’s poor positioning and lack of attacking drive. While Carroll buzzed around in front of him, Daniel was all too content to set up shop directly in front of the back four, where he was not needed. If he is not the player to run the Union offense, he is of little use in the center of the pitch, especially with Kleberson on the bench waiting to try his hand at the job.

Michael Farfan-6

His best performance by far, and the best by a Union player in this match, which isn’t saying much. Got on the ball more than any other Union player and created the best chances. Did not shirk his defensive responsibilities either, recovering well to try and support Gaddis. Must bury his chances in front of goal.

Conor Casey-4

Looked beat starting in his fourth straight match. Still getting back to full pace from injury, the Union must be more patient with the big man. Didn’t have the legs to go up with Goncalves and McCarthy, while looking less than completely sharp on the ball.

Jack McInerney-4

Could easily have gotten the Union on the scoresheet despite the lack of service, but like the rest of his teammates McInerney was not on song in New England. Moved well into the midfield to get his touches, but the frustration was visible as he was starved for the ball in attacking spots for the majority of the match.


Sebastien Le Toux-2

Clumsy and heavy-footed. Could have made a case for his return to the starting XI with an off-night from Casey, but proved to be even less effective than the man he replaced.


Despite knocking the ball around a bit, Kleberson did little to influence the match. Earned his first booking with a truly clumsy challenge on Rowe. Needs to play from the opening whistle if he is to learn the flow of MLS play.

Antoine Hoppenot-5

Would have grabbed himself a goal if not for a smart save from Shuttlesworth. He remains the supersub, and given Le Toux’s poor form could be promoted to the first attacker off the bench in all occasions.

Geiger Counter

Baldomero Toledo-4

Plenty of homecooking for the Revs may have gotten under the Union’s skin, but considering they barely came to play, it’s hard to fault Toledo. Would prefer to see a referee not put his whistle away in the final 10 minutes when tempers are the highest.

Preferred Lineup for Saturday’s match vs. Seattle


MacMath; Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis; Kleberson, Carroll; G. Farfan, M. Farfan, Daniel; McInerney

Casey needs a break and the Union need the ball.


  1. I want to know which soccer gods Philly angered to be stuck with such incompetent coaching. Every year it seems like we have the “WTF!?” lineup choice. First it was Miglironzi, then Mapp, then Adu, now Cruz. It’s annoying.
    Worst part is this staff seems intent on running the better pieces out of town. They feel in love with Okugo at CB WAAAAAAY too early, and now its clear our best option is Okugo over Carrol and Soumare at CB. We can’t do that, can we?
    They fell in love with Gaddis (for some reason, he was a nice surprise at RB, nothing more!) and skipped over Cochraine in the draft and moved Garfan to the bench. Now we are blessed with Gaddis being targeted by the other team every game.
    And there is no reason to NOT play Garfan/Torres/Kleb in the midfield if they insist on Carrol.

    • The Cruz selection is the most baffling of all my years as a sports fan. He has no soccer ability, he just runs like a maniac for 60 mins then he is usually the first one off.

      • The Black Hand says:

        At times he shows technique. His outside of the foot chip attempt, coming off of Farfan’s through pass, was the right shot selection. He was in too tight. His assist on Casey’s goal, last week, was excellent.
        This just adds to the wonder, that is Danny Cruz. How can a player show fine technique (at times) under pressure, yet play like a stone-footed oaf when he has room?
        If he had ANY finishing ability, he would have 9 goals. Danny Effing Cruz.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        That’s an extremely charitable viewpoint in my eyes. Look at McInerney’s heat map. He has to change his game to accomodate for Cruz being in the wrong place. It negatively impacts Jack’s game to have the right side of the field eliminated by Cruz. Jack also completed more passes than Cruz and in far smarter fashion.

      • Jim Presti says:

        +1 Cruz does 1 or 2 great things a game, and then does 40 horrible ones. His play on the RM/RW is negatively impacting Jack and Williams.

      • I assume that Cruz was brought in last year for 2 reasons:
        1) D.C. saw nothing and figured they were getting the better deal with Pajoy, which is arguably true.
        2) Hackworth wanted him to play Right Wing in a 4-3-3.
        Cruz would be better (not great, but better) in a 4-3-3 as he plays that type of style. But of course Hackworth has abandoned the 4-3-3 it seems and now Cruz is playing a vital position almost entirely wrong. I’ll give him credit because occasionally he gets it right and it works (assist last week), but unless we can get consistent play next to and around him defenses don’t need to bother with him because he is too far up the field for linked passes.
        That and he needs to stop trying to dribble THROUGH defenders, and the goalie.

  2. ^ +1
    Eli, if you’re going to keep rating the poor performances put on by Keon Daniel and Danny Cruz every week, I think it’s only fair that you rate the man who continues to put them on the pitch. Fair’s fair! 🙂

    • We considered it, Eli was about to do it (with my tentative go-ahead), and then Ed and I decided against it. PSP writes enough about the coaching that we determined it doesn’t need a rating.

      On the other hand, player ratings are a widespread tradition in soccer circles. In the end, it’s the players on the field who play the game. They’re the ones who you see. It is easier to rate the players.

      With coaches, you don’t know everything that’s being done behind closed doors, and no matter what kind of access you think you have to the team or how much more transparent Hackworth is than everyone else, they are not going to tell the public everything.

      • Dan, fair point on the players who are the ones who actually play the game, but a coach’s system is only as good as the players he puts into it. If Hackworth wants to play a “free-flowing, possesion-based” game, it’s fairly evident that Daniel and Cruz are not the pieces to the puzzle. He seems to have tunnel vision on this.
        And you’re doing a hell of a job answering all these comments. Keep up the good work!

      • Jim Presti says:

        Daniel is one of our best possession players. Game in and game out. He just has not been getting up in the attack while playing in the Center Mid.

      • The Black Hand says:

        He lacks the creativity to be an effective 10. I like the way he holds possession but without keen forward distribution, he leaves us wanting…every time.

      • Jim Presti says:

        I agree 100%. There is just this misconception out there that he can;t hold possession. But agreed. fix the CM/CAM and the LM/LW, the Union would be much more effective.

      • Jim Presti says:

        I meant RM/RW. it’s already been a long day.

      • The statistics back this up i am sure but possession is less helpful if its in your own half and if the players you pass to become pressured and turn it over. Possession in your opponents half removes pressure form your defense possession in your own half increases the pressure which I believe keon does more of.

      • Jim Presti says:

        The whole midfield plays in the defensive end, with the exception of Cruz who sprints down the wing.

  3. Will someone, ANYONE, who is at the press conferences with Hack do a better job and putting him on the spot and making him explain his personel choices?!?! I’m tired of the canned answers from him. I want someone to ask, directly, about the poor play of Cruz, 600K on the bench, and his tacticle inflexibility.

    • PSP has not always taken part in the press conferences in the past, largely due to the fact that this is a part-time volunteer gig for everyone. We all have full-time jobs (besides this) or graduate school. When we can get guys free to call in via teleconference, we do. Mike Servedo’s done a few. I’ve done a few. (You get a break at work? Well, I get one too. This is how I spend it.)

      That said, a few weeks ago, we began making a conscious effort to take part in every mid-week news conference. So far, so good, and hopefully it will continue.

      • Will someone be able to attend this weeks? And if so would you be willing to ask these “difficult questions”?

      • I’ve interviewed convicted murderers inside a prison without corrections officers present. I got blacklisted by a current U.S. senator because I called him out during filmed news conference on stealing credit for someone else’s work. My questioning of Nick Sakiewiecz during a podcast interview once prompted the Union to temporarily stop sending us guests. Asking John Hackworth to articulate what he sees in Danny Cruz is not a difficult question.

        As for whether we can take part in the news conference, it all depends on whether someone can get free for 25 minutes uninterrupted. We’ll know Wednesday afternoon. We call in rather than attend in person.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        First of all, you guys do an amazing job. This is the best sports page I read and I NEVER read or post comments elsewhere. Secondly, don’t waste your time pressing Hack. All you will get is more bullshit.

      • You guys do a GREAT job! Thank you!

      • A volunteer gig? You guys do first rate work! PSP is a must read for me everyday. Thank you!

      • Hey Dan,
        I understand Duke’s frustration, but I think you should not take it personally and I don’t think it’s meant as an attack on PSP.
        PSP is THE PLACE I go for Union coverage and nobody does it better. I think we all agree on that one. Please please please keep up the great work.

      • Thanks, Osager. True, I did take it as a bit of a challenge. Thou shalt not engage in pissing contests — I shall not. 😉

      • I agree. we all should remember that without the great work done here we would be complaining to ourselves and not with each other and this is much more cathartic and hopefully productive for the fan base. Thanks to everyone at PSP for all the great work.

      • I completely didn’t mean this as a slight to PSP. It was just a general call out to anyone who has the ability to talk to him to get him to make legitmate explainations for his actions. I’m tired of watching his post games and he says the same canned answers everytime.

      • No worries, Duke. Just one of those days over here.

    • I wanted someone to ask why Kleberson didn’t play last week when defending a 1 goal lead, yet according to Hack in the Columbus game he didn’t bring him on because we weren’t defending a 1 goal lead. Then this week (and against Toronto) he brings on a defensive midfielder (because that’s what Kleberson is) when we need attacking creativity. The press need to start asking tough questions of Hack. Not the “is LeToux still part of the plans” tough either. Call him out on inconsistancies in his press conferences. Call him out on his handling of Soumare (he’s fit and ready to play – yet not on the bench, and no actual defenders at all on the bench). Actually ask him about Torres – and why he hasn’t seen a minute since game 1, yet Cruz, LeToux, Daniel, continue to get minutes in his place – all of whom have really been hopeless this year.

    • neck label says:

      agreed. but do you think anybody will ask?

    • The Black Hand says:

      Lemme at him!

  4. Kenso Josh says:

    I thought Casey was the only person, beside Marfan, showing the ball and allowing us to keep position/create chances in the final third. Keon also lost the ball a lot, which was uncharacteristic.

    I’m interested to see Cruz passing stats. I feel like he lost the ball with every touch except for maybe one completed pass.

    I’m bringing the team I coach to the game Saturday. I was planning on telling them to watch how certain players play the position, but maybe I should tell them to ignore the U’s positional play in midfield.

    By the way, some people are trying petitioning the pro teams in Philly to fund HS sports.
    Check it out.

  5. I think 2 is a bit tough on gaddis. bad game yes, but he was hung out to dry by his midfield. They ran down his throat but he was the only one there. If everyone in the stands knows where they are going why was the whole midfield and back line suprised where they went. Remember cochrane has others around him in LA and there is no gaurantee he wouldn’t struggle on this team the same as gaddis.
    Keon should be a 1 because he played CDM when he was supposed to play CAM. Thats like parke playing next to casey for most of a game. that destroyed any traditional forward movement we could have and also sucked marfan into the middle further abandoning gaddis to the pack of wolves.
    Farfan may have played well for himself but he found himself “trying” to support gaddis far too many times instead of being on the wing actually supporting him.
    How could casey not be tired and how could he be successful when instead of marfan taking people on in the corner he was convering that wing and dribbling around when his body really belonged in the box waiting for the cross.
    A player with dangerous runs that end with insufficient crosses, passes to the goal keeper and who gives no defensive support is in my opinion playing for the other team (cruz).
    lastly a team in which players do others jobs and not their own is not a team and only one person carries the blame, the coach. I feel like each week individuals stand out for their play but too often their play stands out at the expense of others not in others benefit.

    • The Black Hand says:

      I am a Gaddis-fan and even I can’t defend the little guy, this week. Carroll an Co. did nothing to help Gaddis out, but that can’t let him off the hook completely. He blew a simple trap, which sent Fagundez (Great name) in all alone. That was his ugliest but not his only. Ray was bad. Parke was the only one busting ass and he was spread too thin, trying to cover for Okugo and Gaddis. Amobi was bad.

      • I am not defending gaddis as much as trying to bring up a point that I have been thinking about and overlooked a little earlier in the season. That is that no one is really playing in their right position for the majority of the game. All I was getting at is if we thought about each positions responsibilities and then evaluated simply on those not on what they did I am not convinced ray was as bad as keon, twice as bad as sheanon, worse than cruz,twice as bad as carroll and okugo.
        We tend to see his mistakes as they leas to goals and shots but not see the effect that sheanon being too far up the field and marfan filling the whole keon left as they are not isolated as easily.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Parke is not above criticism. He was got ball-watching badly on the second goal and struggled at times to find the play and despite being the veteran back there he had similar issues to Okugo when trying to cover wider than he would prefer. That said, the defense got flooded. There were more bodies than they could possibly hope to deal with. I cut Parke and Okugo a little slack for that reason, but there is no way to say that Okugo was bad and Parke wasn’t.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I thought that Parke was overwhelmed by the defensive letdowns of Gaddis and Okugo. Amobi’s marking, in the area, was bad and that is becoming more prevalent.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I agree. No favors were done for the back line. Was Shaenon playing in the midfield? For much of the second half, it looked like we were working with a three-man back line.
        As for Gaddis, I think that he has performed (on the whole) well, at LB. Much of his contributions are terribly unsung. That said, he looked completely lost against NE and Fagundez (I just like saying the name) took him to school.
        I felt that Carroll was as bad as Raymon and that Amobi was, only, slightly better.
        Okugo is beginning to raise some concerns. He has been getting exposed, for his lack of tight play in the area, too often.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        I, honestly, think that the entire backline would be fine given a different midfield. Williams would be Williams, Okugo could stay in place, Parke could lead them and Gaddis could make incremental strides. But all of that hinges on a different midfield. The Union defense has held this team together for so long that I don’t see a need to get too down on any of them. How bout you give Gaddis a left footed midfielder to at least hint at the idea of width, that would ease some pressure. how bout either center midfielder actually step up and play the game like they want to win it. how bout the right midfielder play right midfield. those are the issues. it was an ugly game, but the problems dont lie in the backline.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I agree. Our midfielders provided no resistance to Nguyen. He was able to spray the ball, at will. That kind of performance from our middle, demands excellent play from our back line. They were, simply, overwhelmed. Carroll is the chief culprit.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Not on Saturday. Daniel was the chief culprit. Carroll was defending the ENTIRE center and right midfield. Farfan had 8 tackles and 15 recoveries, pretty darn impressive. Carroll did the rest of the midfield defending. Keon hid from play and Cruz was unavailable to defend.

      • The Black Hand says:

        He was bad. His absence highlighted Carroll’s inefficiencies. Both are not members of the ‘best XI’. Fortunately, for them, Hackworth has no intentions of putting his best on the pitch.

    • Does it occur to anyone that Keon may either:
      A) Be told to drop back to more of an empty bucket
      B) Be forced to cover for Carroll a lot. I remember numerous times early this game where our CBs had the ball and Carroll was nowhere to be found, forcing Keon to drop back to offer an outlet that should already be there.
      It’s far too easy to blame one man than who he is surrounded by. Another example of this would be that you could look at Sheanon this season and say that he is playing worse. Really, I think more than anything, it’s that Cruz is nowhere to be found. This game more than ever Carroll did not fulfill his defensive duties and he also did a very poor job from what I remember of being the outlet that he should be for the back four. This, to me, is mostly the reason why Keon was forced to drop back.
      Regardless of this game, Keon still offered such positive possession rating, passing %, and defensive stats according to that infographic Jim P and Dan S did that he cannot be kept off the field. (Hopefully they will be doing one again for this month…pretty please?)
      That doesn’t even mention his good service and great free kick ability.
      Although, I think many people would agree that Keon belongs out wide left leaving the mid for Kleberson/possibly Marfan since Hack hates Kleberson. The right is a whole other problem. IMO, the best 3 across the mid left to right excluding DMid would be Daniel-Kleberson-Marfan. I’d like to see what the new guy is capable of, and since Mike actually played this last game, he can stay in the 11 now unless he plays like he did earlier this season.

  6. Jim Presti says:

    Keon regressed this game, dropping farther and farther back. I think Daniel and Cruz need a break. Maybe rotate the squad and have Kleberson start. We have the right players and the right tools to be successful, but they aren’t being utilized. Hopefully by June we’ll have all the pieces together and start playing like a playoff contender.

    • I def agree about Daniel and Cruz not playing for a few games. Most people seem to agree about Cruz, but it astonishes me that Daniel’s rating and analysis can be so low and yet fans aren’t calling for him to sit. Yes, he’s responsible for a good deal of our possession, but if he’s not moving the ball forward as well as laterally I say he give someone else a chance to start. Set pieces seem to be Daniel’s only consistent point…not good enough for the Union right now.

      • Jim Presti says:

        He does move the ball forward well. I’m actually fine with him playing on the left. In the CM he often disappears. He isn’t a CAM, or at least not playing a CAM. I’m not sure if that is a result of his natural tendencies or if the tactic has been to play 4-4-2 bucket with two CM/CDM. Possibly a bit of both.
        My reasoning for removing Daniel from the starting XI was based on Marfan’s strong showing there against NE and Garfan’s showing there against Columbus.
        If it was up to me the MID [assuming Carroll is at a DMID] would look something like this:
        With this option you still have Lahoud, Cruz, Torres, and Kleberson remaining on the bench to be swapped situationally.

  7. Southside Johnny says:

    So hard to rate individual performance in a complete breakdown like this…players have little confidence in their mates and everybody tries to do too much. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t give over a five to any of them. Carrol ought to lose at least one more point for failure to captain. Casey wore himself out trying to play the wing but what do forwards do with no decent service and/ or outlets?

  8. The Black Hand says:

    Pretty fair ratings. Deservedly low across the board.
    I agree that Farfan had a better game but still couldn’t overlook his ineffectiveness. I hate him on the left. He looks out of sorts. He needed to put that shot in the goal.
    I would have bumped Amobi down to a three. No way did he show the efforts of Parke, who got a matching 4. Amobi was bad.
    Gaddis was worse.
    Carroll…I don’t even know what to say about that guy, anymore.
    Keon needs to come out of the starting XI.
    Cruz…should be embarrassed…again.
    I thought that Casey was putting in his usual workmanlike shift. No idea why Hackworth decided to bring him out. As he goes, so goes Jack.
    Jack should have made a better play, with his chance at the top pf the area. He had Farfan wide-open to his right.
    Zac was the best player. (That was strange for me to type.) He was vocal and aggressively patrolling his area. Can’t really fault him on either goal.

    • Jim Presti says:

      Pulling Casey ended the game for Philly. Not sure if he was tired or hurt, but that sealed it.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Thats my point. Granted, the big man is tired but pulling him so soon, ended any threat we had of equaling. LeToux might just have no business on the pitch. He has lost it.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Le Toux does a great job warming the bench. This was his chance to show the team/fans/mls that he is still a danger and an asset to the Union. He essentially guaranteed Hoppenot’s spot as the go-to FWD sub.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. The LeToux score, vs SKC, was a great moment at PPL but nothing more has come from the Frenchman. I see him as a situational sub, at the most.

      • I think the only reason he came out was that hack needed someone to get down that side and put in a cross. I like le toux but hes not that guy and neither is klebberson. I could however think of just the person to use his ball skills to get a cross in. his name is roger torres. to me the subs should have been hop, torres and klebberson for carroll, daniel and cruz

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        When the Union need a goal, they put in more strikers. This is rarely a positive move as they just end up with more players frustratedly waiting for the ball. Gabe Farfan would have been a smart addition to this match to help gaddis, provide width and serve in crosses. dropping a striker for a midfielder would have allowed the union to try and wrestle control of the game back and once they started consistently getting New England on the back foot, THEN you bring in the forward.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. Gabe would have been a very good sub, for that match.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I was unimpressed with Kleberson. I’m hoping to chalk it up to lack of time. Please be because of a lack of minutes!!!!

      • It was telling that moreno called out klebberson for a lack of fitness. Is klebberson “fat and lazy”. I hope this was just morenos opinion but it adds another cause for concern as to why he isn’t playing the full 90.

    • Carroll looked good last year, even when the rest of the team did not. This year he has not been playing well, and I’m starting to suspect that there is more to it than meets the eye. I thought he’d find his form after a few poor matches, but he hasn’t. I am officially worried about Brian Carroll.
      Casey came out because he was exhausted.
      Cruz is not embarrassed, because he thinks if he worked hard and ran fast, then he did a good job.

  9. Been saying for a long time that Hoppenot should be sub #1! (Also that you should rate the coach(es)… Glad I missed this game and enjoyed myself a lot with something else on Saturday night!

    • The Black Hand says:

      We’d be diving deep into the negatives for the Hack rating. This might have been his worst (to date) showing.

    • For me, Hoppenot should only be the first sub when we are ahead, and his speed on the break is an asset. Torres should have been first sub on Saturday. Of course that’s never going to happen with Hack. I’d also rather see Aaron Wheeler on the bench as an option over LeToux. When you are bringing off Cruz for LeToux or Hopp – it’s changing identical players for eachother. All pace and hustle, no talent.

      • I also like Wheeler off the bench over Le Toux. I didn’t think bringing him back was a good move ,but he’s a fan fav and in this case, this was a tribute to the fans that were pissed he was traded away.

      • Jim Presti says:

        I echoed those same sentiments since day 1. He is a mediocre FWD. I’m happy to have him on the team, but after being shuffled so much, I wouldn’t be surprised if his pay has increased oonsiderably since 2011.

  10. JediLos117 says:

    The dark side is calling…

  11. As mentioned several times already, what makes this mess 100 times worse isn’t simple that we have bad players playing badly. It’s we have bad players playing so badly its LITERALLY causing other things to go wrong.
    Cruz is so bad its effecting Williams and Jack. Daniel is so bad at being CAM its causing Marfan to drift in isolating Gaddis even more. Gaddis is so bad at LB Parke needs to drift over to cover him, etc etc etc.
    All this points to a larger failure on the part of the coaches to not be able to provide cohesion or tactics to these players.

  12. Preferred starting lineup: (my god how great it would be to see this. 4-4-2
    Williams, Soumare, Parke, Garfan
    Marfan, Kleberson, Okugo, Torres
    Macinerney, Casey
    Perferred lineup taking into account Hackworths idiocy: 4-4-2
    Max math
    Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis
    Marfan, Carrol, Kleberson, Garfan
    Macinerney, Casey

    • The Black Hand says:

      I like the “Dream” lineup. Only change I would make is Garfan for Torres. I would keep Torres as my sub, for Kleberson.

    • Love it. Should of been opening day lineup. If Cruz starts against Seattle I say its time for a new manager.

    • I like this Max math guy…just kidding, hah!

      I agree I do like your preferred lineup, although I agree with The Black Hand about keeping Torres on the bench until 65/70. In that case, I would move Mike to the right. He is much better wide right than on the left, and then Keon would take the left where he belongs. Too bad this may never happen, though :/

    • Your 1st lineup is perfect. Love it. I cannot fathom why Hack doesn’t see it. It’s becoming a sad, sad joke. Hack hates DP’s.

  13. Nailed the preferred lineup, with the lone exception being Daniel. If Kleberson and Carroll are deployed, which I agree with, Daniel should not be in front of them for fear of him dropping back and completely clogging the D-Mid “area.” I would move Marfan back into the middle and deploy Le Toux out wide right, or perhaps switch that around. Daniel seems more interested into dropping into a CM position, not a CAM position, so give Marfan a chance to earn it back, and with TWO holding midfielders behind him, and Kleberson taking the distribution responsibilities off of Carroll, I think he’ll have a strong showing. Garfan can provide cover for Gaddis on the left, and Le Toux can run tirelessly on the right but actually pass the ball and play defense as well. Jack can handle things by himself up top.

    • JediLos117 says:

      It very well may be time to revert to a 4-2-3-1 lineup.
      I think I’d prefer your lineup more so than Eli’s as I’ve never been a fan of Daniel.
      Tactical changes and philosophies are difficult to implement. Transitioning from a counterattacking team to a possession based team dont happen over night.

      • Not sure if the 4-2-3-1 won’t just be more of a bad thing. We’ve tried it before and still couldn’t get the ball up the field. With two strikers, we at least get a few little flicks and through balls from time to time. If Casey needs a rest, I’d play Le Toux with Jack. A 4-2-3-1 can be a very offensively oriented formation, but I don’t really trust even the above “preferred” lineup to make it happen. Neither of those D-mids is going to have the ability to distribute, which is necessary, and I can’t see those attacking midfielders using space all that intelligently. Maybe Marfan, but that’s it. I think you’d have the central attacking midfielder picking up the ball too deep. I’m having Nowak-era flashbacks just thinking about it.

      • Correction: if anyone can distribute from deep on this roster, it’s going to be Kleberson, but I’m really going on reputation there. I’m guessing it’s a moot point, though. I think Hack is going down with the ship at this point, i.e., the good ship Cruz and Daniel.

      • JediLos117 says:

        Let’s not forget that a CDM tandem of Carroll and Migs got us into the playoff during the Nowak era…
        What we are missing now is a solid Paunovic…Daniel just cant do it.
        I’d like to see either one of these two options:
        (4-2-3-1) Carroll, Lahoud, M. Farfan, Kleberson, G. Farfan
        (4-4-2) Carroll, M.Farfan, Kleberson, G. Farfan
        You kinda sum it up though…many of our truths are solely based on reputation…Torres, Soumare, and Kleberson…to a lesser extent Okugo. We really don’t know and may never know.
        What we do know is that Gaddis, Daniel and Cruz (and generally our midfield) aint cutting it.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Funny you mention Paunovic. I was saying a week ago that we need a CAM like we had in Paunovic.

  14. The Black Hand says:

    Maybe we should think of using shock collars, for our attacking mids. Put the threshold somewhere near the 35 yard mark.

  15. Also, I finally took the time to breathe a bit and look at the preferred lineup. Looks good, but I would actually give Torres a start in place of Daniel. Excuses aside, Daniel doesn’t deserve yet another chance to not suck. Give the kid a chance.
    (This really shouldn’t be that drastic since Carrol and Kleb are more then good enough defensively to cover for Torres, but with Hack in charge theres a better chance of playing Lahoud at that CAM spot over Torres).

  16. Philly Cheese says:

    Ratings generally fair. Not sure that Carroll and Cruz shouldn’t have been at the same Gaddis 2 rating. Cruz must have some hold over Hackworth, and the Captain armband must be very heavy on Carroll’s arm, which is making him two,steps slow, missing passes and aimlessly chasing players. Other than walking up to whistle blowers when Union are carded, what exactly are we getting from Brian’s “leadership”?
    Maybe wearing the Boston Strong black armbands had Union convinced they should give win to Revolution!

  17. Why I pay money to watch Cruz and Daniel I’ll never understand. Each week provides more evidence that they are not up to the tasks put before them. Both could be reasonably effective in spot duty off the bench (Daniel moreso than Cruz), but handling the transition from offense to defense and maintaining any possession at all seem to be beyond them. With a blunt instrument like Carroll, I’d want three guys in front of him who can handle the ball a bit. Gabe Farfan is a bit indecisive, but with time, could be a heck of a lot better than a Cruz or a Daniel. Give me Kleberson and two Farfans in midfield, or a Le Toux in a pinch. And let’s unfreeze Roger Torres while we’re at it. Doesn’t have to play 90, but how about someone who can do some things with possession?

  18. I really believe that if we fix the midfield we will fix most of the things going wrong. Put Garfan on the left to help Gaddis and he won’t be exposed as much by the opposition( I’m a Gaddis fan but he still has a lot of learning to do). Put Marfan on the right you help Williams. Bothe of these in turn help the CB stay in position. Give Carroll kleberson or Torres and he falls back to help the D and also allows either to help the forwards. Keon and Cruz are good players to have on the bench, as well as lahoud and hop.

  19. Nova 66-64 says:

    We know what does not work it is time to do something different. Even at PPL they promote BC on the big board.
    Hack may not be right but he is never in doubt!,!

  20. Perhaps one positive that may come out of last game is that it should force Hack to shuffle the deck. I say SHOULD because that seems like the logical conclusion here. We simply can’t go into next game with same starting X1 or can we?

  21. The bitter irony for us Union fans is that when Nowak was coach he NEVER played the same lineup together and we never could gel. Now with Hack we get the consistent lineup BUT it’s the wrong friggin’ starting eleven. Hack is so stubborn that I doubt we’ll ever see the lineups we all know would be more effective.
    I never coached soccer but I know we are not playing our best midfielders. Anyone with eyes can see that!

    • This is the time to try some different options before its too late to right the ship. The season is still young and the issues are fixable. If we don’t try we’ll never know. If we keep putting out the same XI, the results will be predictably poor moving forward.

  22. Bleed Blue and Gold sopped up with Bimbo Bread says:

    I posted the same lineup suggestion using a 4231 formation in the comments of the match review. That formation is the only formation that utilizes the skills of our team. It allows for 2 holding midfielders in Carroll and Kleberson. 2 Wingers which can be a whole list of players. A center forward target man (or CAM) which we have in Casey, Marfan, or Torres (don’t forget that’s exactly where he should play). It still leaves the loan striker to make runs which is what Jack does best. It even allows for our outside backs to push up when they see fit. If they do Carroll drops deeper to support and we avoid the middle of the defense being too wide open.

  23. The sad thing about this team is that I believe it has the talent to be a contender, but the coaching staff will always hold the team back.
    Look no further to FC Dallas, who actually values technical ability and is at the top of the table because of it.
    Also, it’s not like Danny Cruz and Keon Daniel are helping out the defense. It’s amazing that Kleberson and Torres aren’t getting a chance to start.

  24. 1. Eli, I agree with your ratings almost completely, except that I didn’t think Seba was quite that bad, and Kleberson really looked lousy. Every pass he tried was totally forced, and that booking was silly. The opposite of his clever, composed 9 minutes in the last game.

    2. I do not understand the folks promoting the various “Dream” lineups, particularly involving Soumare. None of us have seen the guy on the pitch since pre-season, so none of his have any idea whether or not he would be as good as Okugo in that role. Also, none of us have seen Amobi in the midfield since early last year — when he was OK, not great — so I really think it’s wishful thinking to say that he should be D-mid instead of Carroll at this point. I mean, yeah, these things are plausible, but I would not be so optimistic without a sounder basis.

    3. Also, regarding some of these lineup suggestions — playing Kleberson and Carroll together as D-mids is unlikely to work, because, as we’ve seen many times, whenever Carroll has a partner, he plays less well. That includes this last match, when Keon was his partner (even though he probably wasn’t supposed to be).

    4. I do not agree that we should go with a one-striker set for next match. Our strike force is one of the strong elements of the team. If Casey needs a rest, give Seba a start. He has not played well of late, but people are forgetting the superb goal he scored in Game 1, along with the nice assists on corner kicks. The guy is capable enough to get a chance.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      My concern with Seba and Jack together, as well as the reason I thought the Union should never have brought Seba back in the first place, is that they are just too similar. If Jack is up top, Seba drops underneath or out wide, which he is not good at. If Seba is up top then Jack has to drop in. Though Jack is much better on the ball and can spray it around with increasing quality, he is also better at the up top role. He is just a better player. But neither player helps the Union possess the ball. So if Casey needs a day off, which I believe he does, then pack the midfield and try to control the game. Seattle might run Johnson, Martins and Rosales together on Saturday. The less time they have the ball, the better, in my opinion. That’s why I’m advocating a 4-2-3-1

  25. Americana says:


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