Player Ratings: Philadelphia Union 0 – 2 Toronto FC

Photo by Paul Rudderow

The Union came to Friday as a team on the rise, with new found momentum and a galvanizing game in Georgia giving them the opportunity to forge a new identity. And Toronto came in as a team lost under its own weight, still looking to find rhythm after winning it all in 2017 and almost winning CCL in 2018. At the very least it should have been an interesting game, however as the game played out there were no surprises, no moments where suddenly everything changed. That isn’t to say there weren’t players who did particularly well (or poorly), just that this game very much felt like that class right before summer vacation when you come into school and find the teacher has placed a TV cart at the front of the room. What we saw was certainly relevant, but it’d be hard to put a finger on exactly what we learned.

Reminder: Players start with a rating of 5, and points are added or removed to arrive at their final score.

Player ratings

Andre Blake — 5

Toronto had four shots on target, and two of them went in. That isn’t to say it was a poor performance by Blake, but it certainly wasn’t a good one.

Keegan Rosenberry — 3

Sometimes mistakes happen, or sometimes a player tries something and it doesn’t work out as planned. But a throw in should be as close to “sure thing” as you can find in soccer. So how a throw in can go so bad as to find Sebastian Giovinco on the other end, about twenty yards from goal, is very disappointing.

Mark McKenzie — 5

He was late to see Jonathan Osorio’s run before the first goal and lost his footing in his scramble to catch up. With that said there’s plenty of time left for him to improve, and many more experienced center backs have been beaten by Osorio before.

Auston Trusty — 6

It was a quiet game from the teenager, which is about what you want from a centre back.

Ray Gaddis — 6

New-look Wingback Ray has been one of the most fascinating surprises of the season, but he really shone on defense this game. His legendary speed shone especially bright in his hustle to shut down the Toronto attack early in the second half.

Borek Dockal — 5

Once again a Union veteran is pushed out of position rather than giving a young player a chance. Not that Dockal played poorly, or that Jones truly impressed when he came in to allow the Czech to return to his “true” position, but it might have served the team better to let Dockal do what he does best and give Jones (or Fontana) a chance.

Warren Creavalle — 5

Would have scored a goal, if not for the unfortunate reality of the offside rule.

Ilsinho — 5

Once again the Brazilian took one for the team and played out of position because the Union didn’t have a No. 10. As a second alternative to the Dockal/Jones point above, why not leave Ilsinho where he can most help the team and let Najem take a try?

Marcus Epps — 5

Any player’s career will have it’s ups and downs. After a string of solid appearances this game appears to be a downward turn for Epps, though far from problematic.

Fafà Picault — 7

Maybe it’s the absence of other leadership on the field that’s allowing Picault to shine, but both Atlanta and Toronto were great games for him. If he could just improving his passing game ever so slightly he would become a really dangerous player.

C.J. Sapong — 3

This is nothing against C.J. personally, but what is the point? He’s not scoring goals, he’s not drawing fouls, and he’s not generating opportunities for other players. Literally any other player could replace him in the starting eleven and the worst possible outcome would be the Union continue to get no production from their striker.


Cory Burke (sixty first for C.J. Sapong) — 4

Burke has the potential to be everything Sapong is, and more. Unfortunately one of those traits he seems to be mirroring is “occasionally invisible”.

Derrick Jones (sixty ninth for Marcus Epps) — 5

By no means was this a like-for-like substitution. Putting Jones on allowed Borek Dockal to move back into the No. 10 role, pushing Ilsinho out wide where he belongs and leaving Epps the odd man out. Can’t fault Jim Curtin for making a substitution in an attempt to change the team’s style of play, but Jones didn’t seem the complete disaster numerous press conferences lead some to expect.

David Accam (seventy fourth for Ilsinho) — 4

Sure it was short minutes; but if he isn’t good enough to be a starter, and he isn’t good enough to be a super sub, what is he good for?

Geiger Counter

Baldomero Toledo — 5

A pleasant palate cleanser after last week.

Player of the Game: Fafà Picault

His crossbar-hit was the Union’s best look at goal, and could have swung momentum in the home team’s favor had it gone in. Picault’s recent upswing, paired with the rest of the offense’s lackluster performance, makes him a clear standout.


  1. As far as Im concerned CJ should get a negative score.

  2. I have Trusty a little lower in this match. He spent the last 45 minutes of the game lobbing bombs to nobody in particular because he couldn’t find another Union player’s feet.

    As for Fafa, he’s showing more heart and drive than almost anyone else on the team, but I can’t keep him at a 7 for again blundering a breakaway goal. Toronto had two chances and scored them both. Fafa had two and scored neither.

    I’m frustrated, Jim. Can you tell?

    • I think Fafa’s biggest area for improvement is his finishing, not his passing. With that speed, he always seems to get himself into good positions, but a heavy foot always seems to let him down around the goal. That being said, if he was better at converting the opportunities he creates for himself, he robably wouldn’t be playing for the Union.

  3. What is David Accam good for? is a good question as is: What on Earth happened to David Accam? I remember watching some of his highlights after he was announced and feeling a a nagging doubt at the quality of the strikes on which he was scoring goals. No matter, I thought. He was outstanding on a middling team and at the very least he’d still help this team stretch defenses. … Unless he has a really dramatic turnaround in the nex moth….Oh boy. Did we get taken to the cleaners by Chicago.

    • Tim Jones says:

      Right now Chicago is laughing. All the way to the bank.
      There was something late-is last season about a hip injury. The hiatus was less than 2 weeks.
      He is getting older.
      They have had some successes and some failures trying to remake older players into what they want.
      Alberg. Maidana. Ilsinho.
      Alberg never bought in, at all. Maidana tried to improve his athleticism, and did, but not enough. When Ilsinho blew by Michael Bradley and held him off you could have knocked me over with a feather. In 2016 I never would have seen that coming.
      Cory Burke has improved enough to make the first team under the System’s methods.
      I think Brandon Allen was primarily a profit-making opportunity, and since he came in on a free transfer and left for a transfer fee I am guessing they made money.
      They may be able to rework Accam, but only if he really likes it in Philly and is willing to have his attitude towards defense re-wired.
      I say that because somewhere I think read that Ilsinho likes it here, wants to stay, and he has clearly busted his ass to try to do so. It may have helped that the area of the Ukraine where he was playing, the Donbas, was highly, violently dangerous and civil war like when he
      Other players have had less forceful motivation to rework themselves and succeed.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Fafa is too high. He needs to actually convert. Rosenberry is too low. Yes it was a mistake to make the throw he did, but the way the team looked at that point, he could have stood there and taken 2 yellow cards for delay and no one would have stepped forward to receive the throw.
    Biggest issue I had with Toledo was on the Gaddis yellow. It was listed as Unsporting Behavior and yet no foul was ever called on Gaddis. So what was it for?

    • Nick Fishman says:

      Rosenberry really struggled with the dummy runs of Giovinco. He never quite figured out the movement of the Italian and Vazquez. If you look at the lead-up on TFC’s first goal, Rosenberry was out of position to provide cover. He’s having a solid season, just didn’t have a solid night.

      • I think replacing Bedoya’s usual help over there with Dockal illustrated Rosenberry’s weaknesses, but also showed that Epps is not a good defender, something that has not been talked about at all. He’s really lazy defending and rarely helps. I question his fitness too because his help has been worse the past couple games than usual.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I’ll buy that. The write-up seemed to indicate that the primary reason for the low score was the poor throw-in. In the larger scheme of things, that was really probably just the difference between losing 1-0 and 2-0.

      • Tim Jones says:

        Epps is an interesting story this year, one about which the organization has kept very quiet.
        These are the facts.
        At the end of preseason, not only was he playing with the Steel in scrimmages, he was practicing with them daily. That is not the usual pattern.
        That circumstances continued for more than a couple of weeks. I had come to expect his presence at Steel practices, and was finally taken by surprise when he was no longer there.
        (I was going to a lot of their preseason practices because it is easy for me to get there and I was making serious efforts to figure out who was going to make it among the trialists and draft picks, and what the new signings were going to become.)
        Those are direct observations.
        What they mean about Epps is a matter of speculation, and I have no insights into that question.
        He is young. He did not seize his preseason opportunity with the Union well. He has played well once he’s gotten his chance, but he may be wearing down.
        Epps may need a rest for a couple of games. The World Cup break could give him exactly that, especially if someone else gets the USOC start v. Red Bulls

  5. Tim Jones says:

    They are paying him a lot. It is a hefty raise between September of 2017’s salary numbers and May of ‘18s.
    There is a formula MLS uses to reflect starts, appearances, assists, and goals I do know. Whether that accounts for nearly $200k I have no idea. From following defenders I strongly suspect appearances and starts do not contribute in that order of magnitude. But perhaps goals may, don’t know.

  6. el Pachyderm says:

    Derrick Jones is not a 5 rated player in my opinion.
    ….from all points we’ve read, his passing range is what’s “held him back” his ‘lack of creative passing’…well….. the ridiculous line splitting fucking needle fine vertical ball he played dead in stride to Corey Burke (who wasn’t even watching for the ball, therefore botched it) between 2 central defenders which would have had the striker in on goal….was so freaking incisive it brought me out of my seat. Ask the 3 Latino’s sitting behind me in fits of spiders webs what I thought of that ball. They’ll tell you.
    Tacit reminder Talen to clean the seats and railings inside the stadium every once in a while. I’ve been down there 4 times in the last 3 weeks in a different seat every game and the insects are OUT OF CONTROL.

    • There is clearly more too it than passing, that’s just the public excuse. No idea what it is though. Would love to see the dude get a run of games.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Not so sure about that public excuse aspect. Pretty sure this is a matter of public record from the coach as well.

      • Yeah, I mean that’s the coaches public reason for him not playing. It doesn’t make sense to you and it doesn’t make sense to me. That’s why I say there must be something more there.

  7. I was at this match, and my 2 cents are:

    1. Mark McKenzie should be a 7, not a 5. Yes, he did blow coverage on Osorio for the first goal. But what he also did was put the Atomic Ant in his pocket again and again and again. Most of the time with no help. It was damned impressive. Giovinco spent the whole match flopping and begging (until he was gifted that throw-in, alas).

    2. Agree totally with Chris G. that Fafa is playing with amazing heart and energy — and plenty of guile — but you can’t get a 7 when you blow TWO breakaways.

    3. Agree totally with el P. that that ball from Derrick Jones to Burke was freakin’ phenomenal. If that’s what the guy is capable of, then we need to think about moving on from Medunjanin at the #6. (Certainly by next season.)

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