Player ratings

Player Ratings: Philadelphia Union 2 – 0 NYC FC

Photo: Earl Gardner

As they strive to keep their playoff spot,  and with other Eastern Conference teams nipping at their heels, Philadelphia Union garnered three more points at home against one of the best clubs in MLS on Saturday. Jim Curtin’s men put in a great 90 minutes against NYC FC for the win.

The highlights of the match are two great goals from Cory Burke and Ilsinho, the first coming off great build-up play and the second coming off some dazzling Brazilian moves, but the entire squad played creatively, cohesively, and intelligently the whole match. Their performance is littered with little highlights, sometimes just to keep possession, sometimes to move the ball forward. Let’s take a look at how each individual contributed to the team’s performance.

Starting XI

Andre Blake – 8

Blake only had to make three saves on the night, but that doesn’t mean he was untested. His first save came as early as the second minute, and it was a damn good one on a rocket from Maxi Moralez. Blake continued to make saves and come out to nip any NYC FC opportunities in the bud to preserve the shutout. It should also be noted that the Union’s high back line played a huge tactical role in their victory. That line is confident staying so high in large part because they have Andre Blake behind them.

Keegan Rosenberry – 8

This was as good a match as we’ve seen from Rosenberry this season. He allowed a few chances for NYC to get in behind him, but all-in-all his defensive performance was solid. One need only look at his play moving forward, however, to really get excited. The right back linked up with nearly every member of the midfield to move the ball up the wing and through the middle. He even had two shots himself. Really smart, skilled play from Rosenberry.

Jack Elliott – 9

The Londoner has had a great run of form recently. The 6-foot-5 center back allowed practically nothing all match, especially in the air. Like Rosenberry, Elliott’s play with the ball at his feet was equally as impressive as his defensive performance. Whether it was pushing the ball through NYC’s lines or making the safe pass to keep Union possession, began the Union’s attack with control all night.

Auston Trusty – 8

Trusty made some mistakes early that could have been costly for the Union, and his early passing was roughly 50/50. That being said, the 19-year-old center back from Media kept David Villa and Maxi Moralez off the scoreboard. That’s his job first and foremost, and it’s not an easy job by any stretch. He continued to shut them down for the full 90 minutes, and the rest of his play stabilized as the game went on.

Raymon Gaddis – 7

Gaddis did it all this match. As usual, he shut down the wing on most NYC possessions, making up for it with speed when he failed to do so. He had two shots on the night, and his passing was practically flawless in the second half. His choices weren’t always the most creative or the best for the Union’s buildup, but that’s not his role. The important thing is he kept the ball out of NYC possession and at the feet of players who are able to make something of it.

Alejandro Bedoya – 9

Another stellar performance from the captain. He linked up with Rosenberry, Sapong, and Ilsinho on the wings and Medunjanin and Dockal in the middle for the kind of high-pace, controlled soccer that Jim Curtin has been preaching for years. He also deserves some serious credit for Burke’s goal. Just watch him draw the defender away by running into the right space.

Haris Medunjanin – 8

Medunjanin has come under some criticism for not being as defensively able as a typical no. 6 should be. Setting aside the fact that Medunjanin is not playing a typical no. 6 roll and that criticism is therefore unfounded, Medunjanin played as a solid deep-lying midfielder this match. His defensive rate was strong. He filled the space he needed to fill – when either side had the ball. His passing was exactly what the Union needed from that deep-lying spot to get good opportunities moving up the field. Great all-around match for the Bosnian.

C.J. Sapong – 7

A lot of fans will be frustrated with this rating. Sapong was brought in here to score. He had opportunities to score this match, and he didn’t. He lost control several times on the wing in the first half. Well, that’s why he’s not getting an 8 or a 9 like most of his teammates. Sapong made the right runs, stretched the field, and opened up play for the rest of the team. “Being where you need to be” isn’t a jaw-dropping skill fans may want to focus on, but it’s an important one. The Union were better for it.

Boreck Dockal – 9

Dockal seems to get better every game. His play was creative, and his distribution was on point. The assist on Cory Burke’s goal was absolutely perfect. Dockal held on to the ball for the perfect amount of time and placed it exactly where Burke needed it to go. He also nabbed the assist on Ilsinho’s goal.

The better Dockal continues to play, the more defenses will need to account for him. That’s good news for the Union as they push for the playoffs.

David Accam – 7

Echoes of Sapong’s rating here. Some fans may want a lower score, but if you forget previous frustrations for a minute, Accam’s play was pretty special this match. No, he didn’t score any of his three shots on goal. No, he wasn’t as precise with his distribution as some would have liked. But David Accam used his speed on and off the ball to create space for himself and therefore opportunities. That’s really what he was brought here for, and if he continues to do that it will continue to open things up for the Union.

Cory Burke – 8

Burke has scored goals before, but this one was particularly exciting. It demonstrated a growing level of poise. Burke gathered it, took a soft touch to his right, let the defender go by, and nailed the ball exactly where it needed to go for the goal. Burke also continues to press as the first line of the Union’s defense, directing the attack to more manageable areas (often out of bounds this match). Playing the full 90 minutes in that kind of a press can be exhausting, so it was good to see him keep up that pace for the whole match.

Substitutes

Ilsinho (68′) – 8

Sometimes, I just don’t know what to make of Ilsinho. He spent his first five minutes on the pitch dribbling straight into defenders and passing to no one. Then, he does… what he did. Ben Sweat absolutely messed up on that play, giving Ilsinho the space he should have shut down. Even so, Ilsinho helped to create that mistake and took advantage of it in spectacular fashion. It was a great goal to seal the match for Philadelphia.

Warren Creavalle (88′) – 6

Creavalle was brought in to seal the match, as is often the case. He did that for the seven minutes he played. That may seem simple, perhaps not worthy of a rating. But remember some horror stories of Union games past. It’s important to have a player that can just keep the shut out and keep therefore win.

7 Comments

  1. New Kid on the Block says:

    First comment and I don’t believe I will be able to keep up with the eloquence that I usually see while perusing the comments section but I have a qualm with Accam.

    While it wasn’t his worst game I grow increasingly more frustrated with his lack of effort. I think there is a spot within the first 10 min that if he tracked back and used his speed which apparently he is supposed to have it would have cut down the NYC attack. I remember thinking that if it was Fafa the NYC movement wouldn’t have even reached midfield. I wouldn’t be so disgruntled by Accam if it didn’t look like he phoned it in for 94% of the time on the field.

  2. Accam is a 5 for me because he was brought here to add to the goal tally. He was brought here to use his speed and create space AND to net goals.

  3. I have a soft spot for players like Gaddis and Creavalle. They are limited, sure, but they are maxing out the skills they do have and will give you 100% every time. I’m happy to see them succeed in their current, well-defined roles.

    • If you give an 8 to Trusty, you need to give an 8 to Gaddis. Gaddis is a defensive minded player who is on the left side to protect Trusty. That is his job this year. Imagine Fabhino rampaging down the left side with Trusty left alone. I would actually be giving Ray Gaddis higher scores every week based on the success he has had making Trusty better.

  4. Creavalle had 3 soft giveaways in the Union’s defensive half. And one led to his “tactical” yellow. That wasn’t “tactical” or “professional” it was “desperate.” And why in the world are Jones and Creavalle both on the bench? We only need one. And it should be Jones.

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    Granted, he missed a sitter, but one thing I think Sapong did was contribute to Rosenberry getting such a good rating. When Accam has been in front of him recently, Rosenberry’s form has dipped because he’s not getting the same help as he has with Sapong and Ilshino.
    .
    One thing I’ve noticed over the course of the season is how much Ilsinho has improved on the defensive side of the ball since he first got here.

    • As frustrating as Ilsinho can be at times, I have to give him credit for fully buying into the system and getting himself in shape to be able to play in it.

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