Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Toronto FC 3-0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Despite the reigning MLS Cup champions’ CCL hangover, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who bet on Philadelphia Union to snag a win (or even a draw) in Toronto on Friday night. It looks like the Union got the memo too, as they put in an uninspired performance in the Great White North, continuing their historically bad road form.

After holding their own for the first twenty minutes or so, Philadelphia succumbed to the Reds’ organized game plan and ended up getting drubbed 3-0 without threatening much for the rest of the match.

Player ratings

Andre Blake — 3

Blake hasn’t had to make as many spectacular saves this year, despite the Union’s defensive woes — likely because the chances he’s facing are so wide open. Still, Dre has got to do far better on Giovinco’s goal that all but sealed the game for Toronto.

Keegan Rosenberry — 3

Keegan had some decent combination with the three-man right wing position of Ilsinho, Borek Dockal, and Alejandro Bedoya, but he was absolutely bossed by Ashtone Morgan and Jonathan Osorio on multiple occasions.

Jack Elliott — 3

Elliott and Auston Trusty are both routinely put in pretty bad positions just because of the lack of help in front of them in the midfield. And while Elliott had a few nice stops on Giovinco, he was caught ball watching on the first goal and failed to track Victor Vasquez’s run. On Giovinco’s tally, the wily Italian was able to turn the long-legged Englishman around and find enough space to hit the target.

Auston Trusty — 4

See above. Some nice stops, but was often too eager to make the big play and took himself out of position. On the third goal, he was drawn to cover Giovinco (can’t fault him there) and left Jay Chapman wide open.

Ray Gaddis — 3

Not sure what he was doing on that first goal, but he left the entire wing empty for Toronto to exploit. When Gaddis gets the ball on the counter to push upfield all the momentum. just. stops. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Union really, really miss Fabinho.

Haris Medunjanin — 3

Medunjanin has his moments, but in a game like this, he provides absolutely zero defensive cover for the backline. Where is Derrick Jones?

Alejandro Bedoya — 6

Unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. For 90 minutes, Bedoya was the only player who looked vaguely threatening. With Dockal and Medunjanin around him in the midfield, Bedoya is expected to contribute so much defensively, it’s amazing he’s even able to get into the final third.

Borek Dockal — 3

Had a few nice touches and passes to put players into space, but it simply is not enough. His influence over the game is meager at best. When you look at the type of performance a player like Kaku put in for the Red Bulls over the weekend, you wonder if Dockal was really the solution at the 10 for the Union.

David Accam — 2

This. At this point, you have to ask whether the Ghanian’s unremarkable start with the Union is a product of the system or Accam himself?

Ilsinho — 3

Threatening at times, but his turnovers are a serious impediment to the Union owning any sort of possession or momentum.

C.J. Sapong — 3

One of C.J.’s more invisible performances in recent memory, Toronto’s backline was able to absolutely shut Sapong out of the game, not that there was much service to be had anyway.


Fafa Picault (64′) — 4

A like for like replacement with Accam, in that he did not threaten Toronto at all.

Marcus Epps (77′) — 3

Did he even get any touches?

Corey Burke (85′) — 5

Burke deserves some real minutes. He’s putting more out there in five minutes than some players did over the course of an entire game.

Geiger Counter

Jose Carlo Rivera— 6

Nothing to see here. A clean game for a nice, civil beatdown of the Union.


  1. I would reduce most of these numbers by a point. The team was absolutely wretched. Gaddis, in the first half, looked like a JV player, with his man left wide open the entire half. Medunjanin continues to contribute absolutely nothing. Everyone’s passes were errant, almost across the board.

    If the next two games go like this, then PSP should have a Special Edition of the ratings next Monday, in which there are no players listed: just Jim Curtin, Earnie Stewart, and Jay Sugarman. And let Dan Walsh rate them. At 250 words apiece.

    • I thought Rosenberry actually had a decent game. Was ahead of Ilsinho later in the game because Ilsinho was too tired to run anymore. Rosenberry and Bedoya were basically the only ones really trying this game (I guess the CBs too).
      Gaddis and Medunjanin should have gotten a 1 as they were only visible when Toronto was blowing by them. Both should sit for a while, and Gaddis should never start a game again.
      I’s rather have Steel’s starting lineup play (other than Bedoya, Rosenberry, the CBs and Blake). Honestly everyone else should be sat for such a poor performance.

      • Didn’t Bedoya turn the ball over which turned into a goal ??

      • When we were already down 2-0 and he an Rosenberry were literally the only ones even running anymore? Yes.

    • lopezzzz says:

      And Chris Albright – whatever he does.

      • Yeah, agree that Bedoya played the best of the lot, Rosenberry didn’t do too badly, and the CBs were trying their best; I will not fault the lads too much for dealing with the terror that is the Atomic Ant without any support from up top. Blake should have done better with the second goal, but I will not be too hard on him either for his rare mistake.

        The rest, yes; bench them all. We literally have nothing to lose.

  2. “This. At this point, you have to ask whether the Ghanian’s unremarkable start with the Union is a product of the system or Accam himself?”

    Why the hell would it be with Accam itself? Dude was the best winger in MLS laster year and was always an above average winger.

    Then he comes into a pathetic team with a coach who has 0 pedigree and shown nothing ever, and you have to ask this question?

    Curtin is a quack. Get him out of here.

    • JP and Tommy were talking about the defensive asks of Accam in this “system.” he could go full throttle in Chicago. here, he’s being asked to play more balanced. true answer to this Q lies somewhere between team buying a needed offensive player, the “system” he’s being folded into and the player himself. because of these dimensions we have the failure 8 matches in and counting.

    • Tim Jones says:

      Why then did Chicago let him go?
      No one asks the question what did Chicago know that we did not?
      Two or three years ago he separated from poor Richie Marquez in a preseason game with ease within five yards.
      I have not seen such separation from him this season. The opportunities are rare because he draws automatic, instantaneous double teams, in fairness.

      • The opportunities are rare because we have no midfield, no team is giving Haris 17 seconds to pick out the perfect pass, and once Plan A fails Curtin has nothing else he can do.

      • The problem is the constant flooding of the right side leaving Accam all alone against three defenders. All game till the moment Fafa came in, the team flooded the left. Fafa comes, in, they give him support and flood left. Suddenly attacks came from the left. Surprise!
        This team is just incredibly unbalanced. Haris is a black hole and needs to be sat now. It’s a mess. Again.

      • Sorry, what I meant to say was “All game… the team flooded right*”

  3. I’d lower Ilsinho to a 2. In the first half, there were at least 3 occasions when Bedoya and Ilsinho found themselves in the exact same location, going up to challenge each other for the same header, or making the exact same run. They are both right midfielders. Either move Ilsinho to the left or center (although we’ve seen how well he does there…. ), or save him for a second half sub.

    • If Bedoya and Ilsinho are in the same position its Bedoya’s fault. Ilsinho is the one who is supposed to be there.

  4. I agree with Medunjanin. He was acting like a DC a United defender (I.e. traffic cone) out there and left Trusty and Elliott way too exposed. Take him out for Jones next game. Or even Creavalle (that’s how bad it is)

  5. Eh. Same old Philly Union. #TrustNoOne

  6. I’m my opinion, Your rating for Dockal Is too low. Most of the players around him are not good enough, not moving with him or on the same page. Kaku has teammates who are better at moving with or without the ball. They all pretty much have equal touch on the ball meaning the ability to control the ball at their feet. The Union have a mismatch of quality. Some have Great control and touch on the ball, others do not. I see that being only one of the many problems on this team.

  7. The Truth says:

    Are there any Curtin defenders anymore? I refuse to believe our [cheap] squad is really this incapable. That game was men against boys. Completely listless performance. Hopeless on the front foot, terrified on the back foot. How do the training sessions go? At this point is seems like Jim just punts a ball into the center of the pitch and says “get at it, boys, I’m going for a coffee.”

    • I don’t completely blame Curtin. But at this point I’m going with the old saying “You can’t fire the the whole team but you can fire the coach.”

      • Like, at this point I’m not sure how you can’t. He has had multiple off seasons and multiple new players to incorporate and get something out of. He hasn’t. He has done nothing. Name one player that got better playing under Curtin?

        And at this point, what is more likely – a coach with 0 pedigree and no history of success sucks, or a GM with a decorated playing career and a decorated GM career in a MUCH better league has literally going 0/30 on his signings?

      • I’ve been arguing the “name one player Curtin made better” for a few years now. The usual answer is Gaddis, Creavalle, and some other random bottom player.
        el P argued that maybe when Barnetta and Nogs were here, the team’s success (limited as it may be) and strategy, was more do to the individual genius of the aforementioned players, than it was to the coach. When he proposed this, I thought it a plausible, but certainly not yet concrete. Sitting here today, evidence stacking upon itself, Curtin failing and flailing with arguably the most talented Union team ever, it’s hard to argue he’s anything but a paper suit.

  8. Andy Muenz says:

    The team as a whole had WAY too many turnovers. Fortunately, Toronto wasn’t able to turn these into scoring chances or this could have been a real blowout. The Union held their own for the first 20 seconds or so, not the first 20 minutes, and then almost got lucky on a corner kick.

  9. I am going to go with the standard Ilshino defense. A lot of times he would have the ball, possess it and have no one to give the ball to. Once seeing there was no one in a good position to get the ball he would either hit a cross to nobody or take on two defenders and lose the ball.

  10. There was a time where the Union where on the counter, I think late in the first half, and I think Bedoya had the ball on the right. He looked around for support, and I remember looking up top to see a line for FOUR (4!!!!) Union players in line with the Toronto CBs, completely fucking static.

    That is inexcusable and a goddamn joke. Curtin needs to go.

  11. Godspeed to everyone writing these player ratings, game matches and those who can work up the will to comment on them. I can’t even work up the motivation to buy a digital antenna to let me take in PH17 to watch games. It doesn’t seem worth the drive to Walmart and $20. On a weekend in which Huddersfield can batten down the hatches to force a draw against City at the Etihad and West Brom manages to scrap a last minute winner against Spurs to stay alive, what is the point of the Union? I don’t demand wins, but I’d like to see some poise.

    • i watched it for the first time via the PHL17 app. i airplayed it to TV with surprisingly good results. no antenna needed.
      still trying to justify ESPN+ to watch Steel and other soccer.

  12. that gaddis rating is about 4 points too high.

  13. el Pachyderm says:

    I let these ratings marinate a bit before comment and argue they are spot on.
    We can debate standard deviations +/- 1 but it is irrelevant. Totally.
    The author of the column is indicting this team for complete failure.
    —take a nice cleansing breath and pan back up through those numbers…. Steve’s message is loud and clear.

  14. Chris Gibbons says:

    At least once a year a game gets me so despondent that I turn off the TV before the game ends. This was 2018’s early entry.

  15. What would it take for the majority of the team to be rated in the 1-2 range? A 3-0 loss with hardly any offense seems about as bad as it normally gets to me.

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