Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: New York Red Bulls 0-0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Happy Memorial Day, folks. Remember: Keep that grill low and slow.

If you would have asked just about any Union fan before the match if they would have taken a point on the road against New York Red Bulls, you’d probably hear a resounding YES! But after actually outplaying New York – likely the best team in the league right now – on the road in Harrison, the Union are remiss to not be coming home with a win.

More impressive was that it was the Union at the end of the game who were pressing for a goal, not defending for their lives.

The offense continues to find space and look dangerous, but again it’s the defense that should earn the headlines.

Player ratings

Andre Blake— 7

Just another fantastic outing for Blake, who wasn’t called on often, but came up big on a few important saves. He controlled the box supremely well too.

Keegan Rosenberry — 8

Yeah, he’s back. Rosenberry nabbed four tackles, three interceptions, and five clearances, totally shutting down New York’s left flank.

Mark McKenzie — 8

The kid looks like a veteran out there. Fantastic job shutting down Kaku and Bradley Wright-Phillips. His seven interceptions led the team and cut off many a dangerous through ball.

Auston Trusty — 9

Every week Trusty gets better and better, and his ceiling looks higher every match. Trusty is not only bossing opposing attackers, he’s become a real leader for the Union’s defense.

Ray Gaddis — 7

Professional performance from Gaddis, who looks rejuvenated on the left side (of all places). Is it me or has his passing improved considerably?

Haris Medunjanin — 5

Medunjanin looks to be rounding back into form, hitting some brilliant long balls to Philly’s streaking wingers. He is still committing too many turnovers in precarious situations.

Alejandro Bedoya — 7

Bedoya is setting a focused, gutsy tone for the rest of the team, which is what you really want from your captain.

Borek Dockal — 8

Another terrific outing for Dockal. He just looks so much more comfortable with his teammates and, since Red Bulls were happy to give the playmaker space, was able to find the Union’s attackers streaking towards goal. Those attackers just need to pull the trigger a little better. Was frankly dominant at the end of the match.

Fafa Picault — 6

You can tell Dockal really likes playing with Picault. The speedster is finding all the right spaces behind backlines, but the finishing is still missing.

Marcus Epps — 7

Epps was just a few inches from delivering a MotM performance. Robbed of one goal – and should have done better on the breakaway – but you have to like the effort and skill Epps has thrown down the last two weeks. Props for the strike that led to the PK… and should have given the Union three points.

C.J. Sapong — 3

The penalty miss was of course disappointing, but Sapong was hardly a threat all day. Whether it was the heat or not being totally fit, I have a feeling it’s a bigger issue: Sapong is not the right fit up top for the 2018 Union. I could write a whole column on this, but if the Union are thriving by playing through the wings, they need a striker who a) Has a better touch and b) Needs to be more mobile. Sapong is way too prone to sit at the edge of the 18 and actually slows down the Union when they break in transition. It’s becoming a problem for an otherwise thriving team.


Ilsinho (64′) — 7

I think this is the best role for Ilsinho. He can’t put in a 90-minute performance, but entering the match in the second half gives Ilsinho a chance to control the tempo of the game through possession and some beautiful interplay along the wing. He put some really delicious and dangerous balls into the box.

David Accam (70′) — 5

If Accam is going to be the team’s super sub, we need to see some heroics. And fast.

Corey Burke (82′) — 5

Not a lot of time to do his thing, but I’m jumping on the bandwagon… Start. This. Man. He just fits in so much better with the team right now and moves into far better space to find the ball.

Geiger Counter

Ted Unkel — 7

Called a really solid game. Gave the right cards, listened to his sideline judges, and got the penalty call right.

Players of the Game

Auston Trusty and Mark 

Shutting down the league’s best attack – and playing out of the back all the while – earns you this honor every time.


  1. Larry Guengerich says:

    Really wish Epps would have made the pass to Fafa on the break away. Better than hammering it into the keeper.

  2. I didn’t see this match, so I’m making some inferences based upon what people have been saying, and seeing the highlights… but it sounds like Sapong had a terrible match, and he’s really been poor this season. I’m a big fan of his, but even I think he needs to sit, at least for a little while.

    So here’s my question: what do folks think about possibly starting Accam up top? Here we got a pricey, talented player who can score goals but who’s not fitting into the position we anticipated… our striker is having an awful season and may be not mobile enough to aid the quick transition offense… Accam not only has speed to burn but is also very good as a passer, so he could mix it up with the wingers, and with the Center mids coming in on late runs into the box…

    I think you’d perhaps lose something in the aerial game by having him there instead of Sapong or Burke. But maybe it would be worth it?

    • Pete Mazzaccaro says:

      Burke seems to be the best of both world as an option… he’s got CJ’s size and athleticism but appears to my eyes to have better pace and the ability to make his own space and create his on chances with the ball at his feet. Something CJ has almost never done.

      I honestly don’t know what to make of accam. He seemed to be suffering from a classic case of trying too hard to score and over thinking the moments. I feel like he needs to get back out there and get a chance. Maybe as the team plays better and he doesn’t feel the pressure to be the guy, he’ll find some of that form.

      • One more tick mark for Accam as ST… he doesn’t play D. He isn’t interested if the play isn’t involving him. Better that be at the ST if anywhere.

      • Another tick mark for Accam as ST… he doesn’t play D. He refuses to be active if the play doesn’t involve him. Better to have thatnin your ST if you mist have it anywhere. With so much right side attack coming down our left flank, Fafa all day.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Has anyone seen David Accam blow past a defender to beat the defender to the ball while wearing a Union shirt?
      Has he lost a step?
      Why else would Chicago deal him?
      Epps has more “shake and bake”. Fafa is faster.
      Many slogans come to us from Ancient Rome. “Caveat emptor” would seem to be one applicable to the Accam deal.

  3. Some Guy says:

    “Professional performance from Gaddis, who looks rejuvenated on the left side (of all places). Is it me or has his passing improved considerably?”

    Without a doubt. He looked like he was barely a fringe MLS player last year. He’s improved on nearly every level since his move to left back. Especially in the attack.

    Other than that one moment where we saw him getting a nutmeg from Kaku, he looked as solid a defender as we could ask for. Kudos to Ray.

  4. John O'Donnell Jr says:

    One goal in three games this central teenage defensive duo has given up.

    McKenzie makes MLS first eleven and Dockal the week before.

    Get a point on the road against a hot team and if Epps can learn to square a ball we might have had three.

    Sapong sits Wednesday and Burke scores, things will get interesting especially if Ernie leaves this week.

    • Sapong has been legitimately bad all year. Dude should not be consistently starting until he starts producing as a sub. Same as Accam. We have better/in-form options this year.

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