Player ratings / Union

Player Ratings: Colorado Rapids 3 – 0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Corbin Elliott/Prost Amerika

After suffering a shutout at the hand of a Dominique Badji hat trick Saturday night, there’s not a whole lot to like about Philadelphia Union’s performance. Yet, in their loss to Colorado, the Union players weren’t individually horrible either. Certain systematic problems need to be fixed, and everyone needs to step their game up a bit for this team to succeed.

Here are our player ratings from that match.

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

Player ratings

Andre Blake – 5

I can’t give Andre Blake a high grade when the opposing team scores three goals, especially through one single player. I just can’t. At the same time, I really don’t think Blake played poorly. He had a #SavesByDre-worthy stop towards the end of the first half, and was generally his All-Star self. His delivery seems to have moderately improved since last season as well.

Keegan Rosenberry – 5

Rosenberry got stuck chasing Badji down on that last goal. It’s tempting to place a large part of the blame on him, but honestly it was just a great delivery from Johan Blomberg. With three goals against them, it’s tough to give defenders any sort of high marks, and Rosenberry got beat once or twice in the box to allow a dangerous opportunity. But he was also brilliant moving up the field. The Keegan Rosenberry-of-old seemed to return in this match, taking advantage of space given to him with the ball at his feet and delivering the ball well, whether it was up the field, across the pitch, or into the box.

Jack Elliott – 4

Last season’s runner up for Rookie of the Year allowed three goals this match. In all likelihood he couldn’t have stopped any of them from happening, but his below-average grade isn’t just for that. Elliott rarely ever moved the ball up the pitch. Yes, he was trying to break Colorado’s press, playing the ball laterally, but obviously that didn’t work out all that well. Plus, any attempt to play the ball long was unsuccessful and resulted at play coming right back towards his defense.

Auston Trusty – 4

I voted for Auston Trusty in PSP’s first Player of the Week award this season, primarily because the 19-year-old demonstrated he could play out of the back – a trait most center backs in this league severely lack regardless of age. Trusty demonstrated that skill in part this game as well, but a center back’s primary objective is to keep the ball out of the back of the net. In that regard, Trusty failed.

Matt Real — 4

It’s nice to see such a young left back be so willing to be aggressive up the field, and his clutch block after Andre Blake’s save in the first half helped the Union head into their locker room with a clean sheet. At the same time, Real often got caught too far up, and you could argue that his lack of positioning was largely responsible for Colorado’s second goal. There’s a lot to look forward to with this young Homegrown talent, but he has a solid amount to work on as well.

Haris Medunjanin – 6

Medunjanin continues to be the best player on the roster. He’s shifting away from his tendency to stick almost exclusively to the left side, giving the Union more options to move up the pitch. He probably could have pressured more defensively, but I’m not giving him a perfect score. He was above average – one of the only players to be so.

Alejandro Bedoya – 5

Very average night for Bedoya. Didn’t wow anyone. Didn’t screw up. I will say this: he’s entertaining to watch. He can (and does) get involved in any play at any time at any spot on the pitch and perform well. Still, the score was 3-0. Bedoya didn’t add enough offensively or defensively to make a difference.

Fabian Herbers – 4

It’s becoming more and more clear that the Union’s third pick in their once-touted 2016 draft class just isn’t a starting winger in MLS 3.0. Herbers wasn’t a detriment to the team, but he had multiple opportunities he should have capitalized on and simply couldn’t.

Borek Dockal – 3

A normal player would probably receive a 4 or a 5 here, but this is the Union’s no. 10, and his play is the primary reason the Union remain scoreless in the past two matches. Dockal still drifts too far wide for Jim Curtin’s system, especially to the right side. Haris Medunjanin and Alejandro Bedoya can only do so much from a defensive midfield position. A no. 10 in this system needs to constantly try to work the ball through the middle – succesfully or unsuccesfully. Dockal just did not do that.

David Accam – 6

This will probably surprise some folks. The Union didn’t score, and Accam’s dribbles hardly led to opportunities for other players. But that’s really because Colorado defended him excellently, and Accam received little help from his team. He was brought to this club to pose a serious threat on the outside, and that’s what he did. It’s the team’s job to take advantage of that threat.

C.J. Sapong – 4

Here’s the good part: Sapong had four shots from inside the box, exactly in the zone he is supposed to take shots from. Here’s the bad part: only two of those shots were on goal, his distribution was well below par in the final third, and his pressure up top was not enough to stop Colorado’s advance in the second half. He didn’t have a whole lot of help, but he also has the ability to do much better.


Ilsinho (64′) – 3

Like with Dockal, this is probably a little more harsh than it would be with other players. But Ilsinho is supposed to be the Union’s super-sub, the winger who dazzles with his feet and creates chances for his team against an already-tired defense. That was not the case this match. Granted, he’s coming back from injury, but his misgivings this match were more intellectual than physical. As tends to be the case, he outpaced his team, isolating himself in no-win situations. A one-versus-five scenario outside of the box may seem exciting, but it’s just not going to work out when your entire team is behind you and Tim Howard is in goal in front of you.

Corey Burke (75′) – 5

Came in for Matt Real to boost the offense. Didn’t see the ball much, but when he did made the most of it. One shot and one key pass in 15 minutes is more than most of the Union’s offense did per minute.

Anthony Fontana (82′) – 4

Don’t read too much into this. The young Homegrown only saw the pitch for eight minutes, but during that time he had little impact, primarily losing the ball with unsuccessful passes when he did see it.

Geiger Counter

Robert Sibiga – 6

Sibiga was fine. Didn’t really influence the game and didn’t let it get out of control after a few poor tackles. Pretty much what you look for from a referee in a game like this. He could have possibly called some fouls against Sapong, but what else is new?

Player of the Game

Matt Real

No one played incredibly, but Real was exciting to watch in his first match, and the kid gave us a lot to look forward to. It will be interesting to watch how he improves in the coming weeks.


  1. pragmatist says:

    Just like they aren’t as good as they looking in Game 1, I don’t think they are as bad as they looked in Game 3. Give it 6 games to grab a full sample size.
    But sheesh…

    • UnionGoal says:

      Agreed. First half they looked decent but missed opportunities to get points on the board.
      Second half they let guard down then deflated like a balloon after first goal. Could be telling effect of Colorado altitude and wind.
      But looked like 2nd half lacked Motivation inspiration energy etc. Nonexistent. Talent there. So answer is coaching and time and from coaching better training.
      Could’ve been worse. See phillies score?

      • Yeah, they still don’t look on the same page offensively, but that’s unfortunately to be expected with Dockal coming on so late. But they really did dominate the first half. They should have bagged at least 1 goal then and it would have been a completely different game.
        People have been complaining how we always come out for a 0-0 tie on the road but we didn’t this game and it just didn’t work out. I think everyone’s overreacting still even though there are a lot of things they still need to work on.
        Burke should have started for Herbers though.

  2. I think you’re being very nice to both Accam and Medunjanin. Neither were terrible of course, but almost no one should be above average. 3 goals against and 0 goals for means neither side succeeded. I don’t blame either of the players, Accam is doubled almost all the time and the game plan sees to be to bypass Medunjanin. Both are at fault with the coach. However, neither had a big effect on the game. The fact that Accam is held down so easily points to us having no planned adjustment to it. Really frightening that it’s only 3 games in.

  3. Haris played in this game? Really? Where was he? Only thing I’m taking from this match is it looks like Real will be serviceable in the future. Next match, please.

  4. More concerned with the offense than the defense at this point. All three goals were a little flukey and really came about because the Union had no control of the game or the ball after the 30 minute mark.

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    Something tells me a guy like Jack Elliot is never going to play well in Colorado.
    It’s no coincidence this was his first and only bad game since winning the starting job.
    Anomaly. Move on.

  6. Oh the irony of Curtin jettisoning Maidana only to eventually end up with another #10 that has the same tendency to drift wide, distrupting the system. I’m convinced this organization has no idea how to build a roster.

  7. Everyone gets a 3. Including Curtin. Next game please.
    I would be more depressed, but my soccer cup was filled by Liverpool coming back to win, and…Zlatan – wow. Glad I watched that game live. Way more entertaining than the Union game.

    • Joel Pterosaur says:

      Yeah man.. Salah… what a beast.

      • UnionGoal says:

        Loved Liverpool game but missed zlatan unfortunately.Then saw this live thru inconsistent mls stream.
        With young inexperienced back line Blake will be hard-pressed to steal points for us this season.

    • i watched live as well. to know i’d see nothing like it in Colorado was rudely sobering

  8. If the first shot on goal is not until the 57th (or 81st, depending on the recap) minute, should ANY offensive player get rated above a 2 or 3?

  9. That they gave up 3 goals and the worst any defender graded out was a “4” shows you aren’t nearly harsh enough in these articles.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      When the business plan is mid table to generally mediocre (which for the record is the worst imaginable outcome as a species) player scores, ratings, press corp hard line questions etc over time—- naturally subjugate.
      Like asking Lance Armstrong throughout the cover up if he ever used performancing enhancing drugs. Likely after awhile he stopped actually believing he did.
      Quite literally becoming the stories we tell ourselves.
      This is why I became The Elephant….always in the room.

  10. I cannot see why you gave Haris a 6. He was largely invisible until the end, when he basically dropped into a CB position.

    The scoreline of the match is a bit misleading; we really dominated the first half, but unfortunately left with nothing to show for it. They dominated the second half, and one guy took his chances well. And the third goal was the usual press-your-luck-and-leave-yourself-vulnerable, and it still required a fantastic finish.

    I mean the Union deserved to lose, but it wasn’t that big a loss, and I am not so worried about the defense. I will worry about the offense if we don’t get it together in the next couple of games. Coaches are fond of saying that you can’t lose if you don’t give up any goals. But you also can’t win if you don’t score any.

    P.S. I sure as hell hope Herbers is no longer in the XI. He’s had enough of a chance. In fact, with Picault back, I don’t think he should even be on the 18.

  11. scottymac says:

    I really don’t care if whomever was a 4 (they’re a 5 damn you!!!), matters little. However, I found your reasoning on Doçkal interesting. He isn’t drifting too far wide, he’s trying to form the triangles to get the diagonal passing going but whatever shape they’re holding seems to fall apart. On the defensive side of the field their formation is practically painted on the field. In the middle third everyone takes off. So I’m not sure it’s causation per se. Herbers and Accam both drifted into the middle a number of times, leaving Doçkal to find his own space. Whether he’s a 3 or a 5 isn’t relevant but the fact that he’s trying to compensate for the zero creativity from the other three up top is a lot to surmount.

  12. The Chopper says:

    There was some decent movement and possession in the first half that seemed to either die at the feet of Herbers or CJ and Accam being unable to deliver a final ball.

    This was likely Herbers last chance to show something (and why Curtin probably gave him more minutes than he should have). Burke has nailed down the man off the bench job and Fafa returns this week. Herbers may be out of the 18 all together and that’s not a bad thing.

    Dockal is figuring it out. You can only learn so much in practice against the same defense every day and I suspect as he learns his teammates in match play we should see him exert more influence. Can’t pass judgement on him till the summer.

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