Player ratings / Union

Player Ratings: Toronto FC 3 – 0 Philadelphia Union

Photo by Paul Rudderow

As the scoreline suggests, this was not a good game for Philadelphia Union or its fans. While a few exceeded expectations, many players failed to have a positive impact on the game over 90 minutes. In fact, several of them had a particularly negative influence.

Reminder, our ratings start from a score of “5” as an average and points are added or subtracted from there.

Player ratings 

Andre Blake — 4

Letting in three goals out of four total shots on target isn’t good news. Not that Blake or anyone else should worry about it, because there’s every reason to expect he’ll be back to form soon. Hopefully by Saturday when Atlanta comes to Chester.

Ray Gaddis — 3

Formerly known for his surprising speed, Gaddis seems to have lost a step or two. Multiple times on Wednesday night he was caught out of position and failed to get back into it on time. Even with what has to be at least a foot advantage in length of stride over Giovinco, the Italian dribbled away from him in the 19th minute. It’s hard to imagine that whatever is keeping Ray on the field over Keegan Rosenberry is justified at this point.

Jack Elliott — 4

Multiple instances of sloppy marking, many of them leading to goals or dangerous attempts on goal. He did snap out of it long enough to delicately tap the ball out of reach for the oncoming Toronto offense in the 51st minute, but overall a poor performance from someone who’s been something of a bright spot in the Union’s season.

Oguchi Onyewu — 3

It’s honestly surprising that Onyewu made it through the game without a yellow, let alone getting sent off. While his old-school American physicality can be an asset and even refreshing when up against the right opposition, it’s an absolute liability at other times. A sloppy challenge at the top of the box gave up the free kick that lead to Toronto’s first goal, and he plowed through or wrapped himself around Toronto players a few more times after that.

Fabinho — 4

He allowed Jozy Altidore too much space a few times and had some real sloppy passing that caused turnovers in very dangerous spots for the Union. This would be more frustrating if it wasn’t exactly the type of performance we’ve seen from him so many times before.

Haris Medunjanin — 5

Another player playing exactly like we’ve come to expect but this time in a positive way. The Bosnian contributed to nearly every Union venture into the Toronto half, with several through balls and more than his fair share of simple passes to spread the defense and make space for other Union players. As is often the case for Medunjanin, it wasn’t highlight reel stuff, but still a good enough game for him to not bear the blame for the team’s overall performance.

Alejandro Bedoya — 7

This might be the player Union fans hoped for when it was announced that Bedoya was finally coming to Philly. He was dynamic, showing the end-to-end involvement you need from someone playing the No. 8 role. If this performance had happened earlier in the season when there was more left to play for this season, the playoffs wouldn’t be the outrageous longshot they are now.

Fafa Picault — 3

A really disappointing performance from Picault, he failed to make any real impact on the game before getting subbed off in the 62nd minute.

Ilsinho — 6

The winger-turned-No. 10 gave another quality performance even if he did tend to drift to the right in the exact same way he drifts to the center when out on the wing. He took one of only two Union shots on target, and if not for a Blake-esque save by Toronto’s Alexander Bono, he could have given Philly fans at least one goal as a consolation prize. He took on defenders, worked his possession-under-pressure magic, and had several creative passes that no one else on the team delivered. He’s not everything you want in a No. 10, but Earnie Stewart might not be crazy for thinking Ilsinho can do the job until the offseason brings new opportunities.

Marcus Epps — 5

Were he a more experienced player, Epps probably would have received a lower score. But as it is, developing young players feels like a more achievable goal than anything else, so we’ll give the young man the benefit of the doubt. Not that he needs much of that benefit. He seemed to have a better read on Toronto’s defense than any other Union player. He just didn’t have the skill to take advantage. It’s still too early to tell if that skill is coming, but the only way to find out is to give him some minutes and see what happens.

C.J. Sapong — 4

A very quiet game from Sapong, he only had one shot on goal, a blocked attempt in the 33rd minute. More significant though was his passing game. He’s rightfully valued for his hold up play, but nearly all of his successful passes were back into the Union’s defensive half. Credit where credit is due, Toronto did a good job pressuring him any time he got somewhere even remotely dangerous, but getting past that is key to Sapong’s success as well as the Union’s.


Chris Pontius (on in the 62nd for Picault) — 5

It is beginning to look like Pontius might be cursed. He had a very good chance on goal immediately after getting subbed on, followed immediately by a rebound that several Union players could have capitalized on had Jonathan Osorio not fallen exactly where he did. At this point Pontius’ goal-scoring drought can only be explained by witchcraft.

Jay Simpson (on in the 71st for Sapong)— 4

In his defense, he scored just as many goals this game as players who do fit in the system the Union insist on playing.

Warren Creavalle (on in the seventy ninth for Bedoya) — 5

The only way this substitution makes sense is if Curtin was trying to save Bedoya’s legs for Saturday.

Geiger Counter

Armando Villarreal — 4

There were no standout bad calls, which counts as a positive for any ref. But Villarreal seemed very inconsistent with what was and wasn’t considered a foul. Even taking team bias out, it seems odd that Fabinho received a (deserved) yellow on his first offense while Oguchi Onyewu did much worse without ever seeing a card, or even giving up a foul in a few instances.

Player of the Game

Alejandro Bedoya

Intercepting passes is one of the most satisfying things a midfielder can do, and Bedoya cut off Toronto passes more than a few times on Wednesday night. Pair that with plenty of hustle in front of goal, and lackluster competition, and this was an easy selection.


  1. Hate to say it, but at this point I’m rooting for last place, which is not impossible. No more BS like if a few things broke our way and the regular BS coach-speak. You are what you are! It’s time for the SOB to send a message Saturday night.

  2. If Najem and Jones and Rosenberry isn’t staring the next game Curtin needs to be fired.

    • Jones I’m ok with. I want to see him progress, but Harris & Ale are one of the few bright spots.
      Najem should probably be out there at this point.
      Rosenberry absolutely should!

      • Haris has had like no rest in the last year. We haven othing to play for. It is more than ok to go “lets give him a rest” and play Jones for 2-3 games there.

        Seriously, Curtin is an idiot. ITs like he doesnt understand the concept of rotation. He doesn’t realize its a normal concept to go “This guy is my starter but he needs a rest so I’ll sit him for a game or two”

  3. Bedoya is a very high level complementary player who is completely wasted on this team.

  4. What was notable to me on Gio’s free kick goal was that the Union had a six man wall and then TFC added two players to it, Blake couldn’t see it until really late. I know that Gio is deadly with his free kicks (and this one was brilliantly placed), but a six man defensive wall for that is way too many players.

    • That was an inch perfect free kick. I don’t think it would have mattered how many people were in the wall, Blake wasn’t getting to that one unless he was cheating over to that side – but that then exposes the near post.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        It was perfect, but Blake was standing on that side of the goal while Gio took the kick so no cheating was needed. Watch the replay.

      • Oooh… yeah, Blake lost that behind the wall. That was definitely within reach.

      • Looked to me like Blake was cheating to his right, expecting Gio to go over the wall.

      • I also think that Giovivinco faked towards the wall side with his eyes and body language. Amazing work.

  5. I agree about Marcus Epps. He made some mistakes, but he’s still learning Once he learns that he can’t get away with doing some of the things he did in college as he plays in MLS, he should become a very good player.

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