Player ratings / Union

Player Ratings: San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Paul Rudderow

It all looked so good.

The Union were definitely soaking up some late game pressure from San Jose but seemed destined to escape with a 2-1 victory and a crucial three points. Then Joshua Yaro conceded a clear penalty in the box, which Chris Wondolowski converted.

Prior to the game, a road draw would’ve seemed like a good result, but to lose in that fashion is disappointing. Still, some players stepped up big time, and will hopefully carry the momentum into Toronto.

Player Ratings 

John McCarthy- 6

McCarthy has performed admirably in place of Andre Blake and has to be considered one of the more reliable backups in MLS. The first goal conceded was due more to the soft challenges than poor goalkeeping, and the penalty was against, historically, one of the best finishers in MLS. He stopped Vako Qazaishvili twice in the second half to preserve the lead.

Ray Gaddis- 5

Nothing spectacular from Gaddis tonight, but he wasn’t terrible either. He always tried to play the safe pass, and overlapped when given the opportunity.

Jack Elliott- 9

Elliott started slow, but boy did he redeem himself in a big way. He scored his first MLS goal, got the flick on for Roland Alberg’s goal, and made a number of crucial clearances while the Union were trying to preserve their 2-1 lead.

Joshua Yaro- 4

Yaro was having a nice game, his passing was excellent, as was his positioning, for the most part. Then he conceded a clear penalty, which ultimately cost Philly the three points.

Giliano Wijnaldum- 4

Wijnaldum didn’t improve over last week’s outing, and turned in another “so-so” performance. His passing accuracy was similar to Gaddis’, but he wasn’t nearly as involved.

Haris Medunjanin- 5

Another solid game for Medunjanin. He didn’t seem to push higher into the midfield much this game, which I believe benefits the team in the long run. Solid passing from a more deep-lying role, plus added cover for the defense.

Alejandro Bedoya- 5

Bedoya didn’t quite get on the ball as much as I’d like, but he made up for it by barely playing a bad pass all game. Prior to the penalty, he had what looked to be the game winning challenge, forcing a corner after San Jose had a clear crossing opportunity with numbers forward.

Chris Pontius- 7

Pontius had a very nice bounce back game after last weeks performance. His passing could’ve been a bit better, but he won every 50/50 ball and was a lot more involved than he was against Montreal. He also had the long throw-in that lead to the Alberg goal.

Roland Alberg- 7

Alberg put on the type of performance that fans want to see from him week in and week out. You’re never going to get a high defensive work rate from him, nor will you see him buzzing around the attacking third really. But he absolutely has to take his chances when the opportunity comes, and he did tonight. All three shots on target, solid passing and a goal to cap it off.

Fafà Picault- 4

Picault had a rough go of it. He wasn’t able to get involved much, and when he did, he often squandered possession or wasn’t in an attacking position. He also skied a clear chance for at least a shot on target after a setup from Alberg.

C.J. Sapong- 5

Sapong had one of those games where nothing stood out, which often happens when you’re the lone man up front. His passing left a lot to be desired, but to his credit, he did get involved more than last week and forced a big save from Andrew Tarbell which could’ve put the game away.


Adam Najem- 5

Najem came on for Alberg with the Union trying to protect a 2-1 lead. It was nice to see him coming on in a big spot, but he didn’t make a real impact during his time on the pitch.

Keegan Rosenberry- 5

Like Najem, it was nice to see Rosenberry get a run out, even if it was due to a Wijnaldum injury. He also didn’t provide much of a spark from the bench

Marcus Epps- N/A

Epps didn’t have much time to make an impact, and seemed to be brought on simply for some fresh legs.

Geiger Counter 

Ted Unkel- 6

Not a bad game for the man in charge, considering there was a combined 28 fouls, and six yellow cards. Unkel did well controlling the game down the stretch with the Quakes pressing for the equalizer.

Player of the Game 

Jack Elliott

It has to be Elliott right? He started the game a little shaky, but ended up scoring his first MLS goal, and made a number of big clearances throughout the game. He seems to be right back on track after a poor performance against Montreal.


  1. Adam Schorr says:

    I think a 5 for Rosenberry might be 5 too high. He was truly abysmal. On that last goal, Yaro obviously committed the stupid penalty, but Najem, Rosenberry, and Epps combined to flail helplessly at Shea Salinas as he dribbled through them, with Rosenberry in particular making one of the least effective challenge attempts I’ve ever seen from a professional. Rosenberry also got burned a couple other times. Just a miserable, miserable outing which proved why he’s been nailed to the bench.

    • What happened to him? Is this management? Coaching? I struggle to figure how he fell so badly from one year to the next.

      • how could it be coaching? in general it wouldn’t make sense to blame an individual player’s performance on coaching (unless they are played out of position), but it especially doesn’t make sense here when he played last year under the same coach

      • How is it not? He had some bad games early and was instantly banished to the bench. He hasn’t even been able to play in BSFC to keep fresh. And now he gets a random 10 minute run out and he is supposed to be super fresh and alert and ready to ball?

        Curtin is an idiot. You don’t put someone like this in the dog house. I can’t believe he is ruining this kids career instead of letting him play and learn and earn his bumps.

        It reeks of a stupid mano-a-mano spat over “practice”.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        6 starts is good amount of time, seems to me.
        And we have no idea what is going on in daily practice. Do recall the sporting director has said he wants to watch someone practice before he makes any decisions.

      • 6 starts is nothing for a second year player who still has a lot to learn, and a lot to get better at.

        I was all for giving him a rest for 2-3 games.

        What Curtin did to him is a crime.

      • I’m not sure what it is. It’s just strange that there would be such a massive dropoff. I would tend to want him to play through some issues. It will be such a shame if this is the end for him and where he remains for the foreseeable future.

      • It’s coaching. Rosenberry stopped trusting his instincts, and started trying to do what he’s been coached to do. At one time, Gaddis had the same spark. But he adapted to (or, got broken by) Curtinball, and he gets the starts because, as the article above says, “He always tried to play the safe pass”.

      • It’s Rosenberry’s head. He’s been a totally different player since being called into the USMNT camp … and who knows what happened there, but it couldn’t have been good. It was his first personal failure and he has yet to move on from it. And he is now probably overthinking every single thing he does instead of just playing the game he loves.

      • @cszack4 that doesn’t make any sense. so last year when he played every minute of every game he was grappling with curtin and not following instructions and then this year he did what he was told and started playing poorly and was benched?

  2. Ratings needs to be lowered due to the goals against. Adam has already made some good points regarding the second goal but it seems to me that either Bedoya, Alberg, or Elliott (or some combination) needs to do something to prevent the goal. I blame Elliott the least because even though it was his side of the field, he saw that the other two were in front of him and closer to the ball carrier and expected them to make some sort of play. Personally, I thought the bigger fault was on Alberg so I would knock him down at least 2 points (even though he scored, no way was he the second best player on the Union) and probably knock Bedoya one for his responsibility on the goal as well as the poor challenge where he gave up a card and is now back to one away from suspension.

  3. My favorite parts of every match is when you see the cartoon bubble pop up over Alberg’s head when he realizes that “hey, I probably need to hustle a little bit here because people are gonna notice that I’m dogging it”. It’s usually followed by an accelerated pace from him, but never with any intent or purpose…just purely for show.

    • Well put. I’ve noticed it too, but, on the other hand, goal.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Yes, that can’t be overlooked. I could live with it if he just didn’t defend, but this really hurts us in building an attack.

        Although to be fair to him, he served up a chance to Fafa in the first half which really should have been a goal.

      • Usually the result of this burst of interest is “goal”. Other times, it’s “red-card-worthy challenge.”

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