Player ratings

Player ratings and analysis: Philadelphia Union 0-2 New York Red Bulls

Photo: Earl Gardner

I’m covering for Adam this week with this piece as he inches closer to finishing graduate school. I’m not going to pretend that I can break down the game in the same manner as he does, and I’m not sure Sunday’s match even warrants that kind of analysis to tell the truth.

The Red Bulls goals

You can find fault with all four players on the Union backline for the two Red Bulls goals. On Bradley Wright-Phillips opener, Ken Tribbett fails to track the run of the Golden Boot winner as he finds space between the center back and Fabinho. It looks like Tribbett steps up hoping to pull Wright-Phillips offside, but Fabinho isn’t on the same page and is already retreating as Aurelien Collin lofts the ball over the top for the big striker to run onto. Wright-Phillips still has plenty to do with the bouncing ball and does ever so well to loft it over the helpless Andre Blake and finish into the empty net.

The Union defense won’t want to watch the replay of Alex Muyl’s second half goal many times. Starting with a throw in just above the 18 yard box, Keegan Rosenberry lazily tries to tackle the ball off of Mike Grella who receives the throw, and then fails to stop the midfielder from playing the ball into the box for Dax McCarty. Tribbett tries to close McCarty down but a clever backheel takes him out of the play completely. Rosenberry is then too far away from Sacha Kljestan, who has plenty of time to pass across the Union six yard box, and past Richie Marquez as well as Fabinho to Muyl, who only has to beat Blake from close range. Ugly stuff all around.

Keegan Rosenberry playing every minute is an amazing achievement

Yes, I know that I just criticized his play in the paragraph above. And I’d agree that he’s maybe looked a little tired down the stretch, but the rookie’s achievement is an impressive one. Coming into the season not even assured of a starting job, the rookie grabbed his opportunity and never looked back. He didn’t look out of place in the MLS All-Star game and has been one of the team’s most consistent performers all season. It’s exciting to think about what the future might hold.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 5

Can’t blame Blake on either of the Red Bulls goals.

Keegan Rosenberry – 4

Poor play on the second New York goal. Did well to get forward, particularly in the first half. Alberg should have turned in his really nice cross in the second half.

Ken Tribbett – 4

Caught in no man’s land on the first New York goal.

Richie Marquez – 4

Has to find a way to get a touch on the cross that leads to the second New York goal.

Fabinho – 2

Poor play on both New York goals. Failed to get forward much, but was behind Eric Ayuk, who he hasn’t played with all season. A slip in the box almost gifted Muyl a first half goal as well.

Warren Creavalle – 5

Standard fare from the holding midfielder until his withdrawal at halftime.

Alejandro Bedoya – 3

Was a step behind the Red Bulls midfield all match. Not sure if the DP signing isn’t quite healthy or hasn’t quite settled in with the Union/MLS, but he hasn’t looked like the same player we’ve seen for the USMNT since he joined.

Roland Alberg – 4

Had the nice turn and shot just wide early in the first half, but failed to make much of a mark on the rest of the match.

Eric Ayuk – 3

Failed to get involved for most of the match. Had one nice shot in the second half that Robles was forced to palm over the bar.

Ilsinho – 4

A couple of his trademark moves on the ball, but not much end product. That flop after the coming together with Grella was silly.

Fabian Herbers – 4

Did a ton of running without finding much of the ball, particularly in the danger areas.


Brian Carroll – 5

He certainly played 45 minutes.

Tranquillo Barnetta – 5

Came on for the final 3o minutes in what could be his last action in Chester, but failed to see much of the ball and didn’t assert himself on the match.

C.J. Sapong – n/a


  1. Sunday was a waste.

    Would rather have seen Jones in there than watch Warren Crapvelle be overwhelmed again.

    Would rather have seen Trusty back there than watch Tribbet yet again prove he is a MLS backup at best.

    It’s rare to have truly worthless games like these during a season. Even early cup games you are (usually) trying to win. To not take advantage of this game to see some of the young guys was a waste.

    And in addition to my Jones point, why the hell was Bedoya out there at all? Dude has been run ragged already and we have a game on Wednesday. What a perplexing player choice that Curtin completely fumbled.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Jones has not be a professional player for one full calendar year, yet.
      Who needs to be rested more for the snow ball’s chance that is tomorrow to exist at all, Bedoya or Barnetta?

      • Both.

        Jones can still play. Isn’t ES the “we gotta play our kids to see what we have guy”?

        Hell I’d rather have seen Jones at 8 and Leo at 10.

  2. Fabinho, I think, gets buried too often in player ratings. He starts two to three points behind just because his name is Fabinho. Yes. He’s good for about one stupid move per game, but he may be the most creative player moving forward in half of the games I watch. He beats guys one on one, he connects passes and is a reliable attacking threat. I think I’d give him a 5. At least a 4. He’s no worse than Marquez or Tribett on the day.

    • But all he does is cross once he gets up the field which kind kills a lot of his offensive effort for me. And it seemed to me he was more at fault than Tribbett on that goal. Why was he the deep man there?

      • Better question is why did the centerbacks let BWP do the same damn thing he did to them two weeks ago? I just think he doesn’t get any credit for what he does well. Hell. If Sapong was a decent center forward, Fabi might be leading the league in assists.

      • Fair enough. I don’t have a ton of Fabinho hate and agree he doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves for the improvements he has made.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        In a word Pete, pace.
        Why is David Accam still employed? Darren Madducks? Jamie Vardy?

    • Agree that there is definitely some anti-Fabi bias here. He was 2nd on the team in assists and Pontius scored 12 goals playing mostly in front of him, so Fabi must be doing something right.

    • +1. He actually had a rather old game, especially in the first half, when Tommy Smythe (rightly) called him out for his effectiveness up the wing. Overall he’s had a good season, in fact.

  3. Rosenberry playing every minute is impressive, for him. It is not impressive for Curtin or Stewart that they wore down a rookie that way. I would say the same applies to Marquez, he was overused and needed more rest as well. What happened to “we are 2 deep at every position” that Curtin was preaching at the beginning of the year?

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I started to say “they” referring Jim and Earnie, but I am not certain where responsibility lies, nor whether it lies entirely with decision-makers.
      Anderson turns out to be inadequate as a center back in North America because of pace. Had he been adequate, he would have been the answer to your Marquez relief question.
      Speaking of Anderson, he is physically still present in Philly and practicing in the Union. He was part of the practice last Saturday. I assume he is in for Yaro.
      I would have loved to see what Anderson could have done as a defensive central midfielder.

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    Fours and threes. A spattering of fives.
    Good grief what happened to play well.


    jk. I definitely disagree with your assessment of Brian Carroll though.

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