MLS / Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Columbus Crew 0-0 Philadelphia Union

photo: Earl Gardner

The Union bounced back from Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup Final loss in Houston with a strong defensive effort against Columbus, who currently sit one spot above Philly in the playoff race.

Both sides are possession based and it showed, with Columbus completing 516 passes and Philly with 424. But the affair was cagey in terms of chances, with only two total shots on target from the teams combined. Cory Burke will count himself unlucky, as his opportunity (that would have went down as a Columbus own goal) that was taken away by VAR seemed a soft foul call.

The match came off as a probable preview of what a playoff match up might look like between these teams.

Player ratings

Andre Blake – 8

Only had to make two saves on the night, but made them both including a super save on Harrison Afful very late in the match to preserve the point.

Fabinho – 7

Quiet night for the usually adventurous Fabinho. Didn’t get down into the offensive third often but did finish with 6 recoveries and 3 clearances on the evening.

Auston Trusty – 7

Bounced back well from what was probably his worst outing of the season in Houston. A few big blocks and interceptions inside his own area.

Mark McKenzie – 8

Strong match for McKenzie, who was dominant in the air and kept Gyasi Zardes mostly at bay. Finished with 7 recoveries and 4 clearances.

Keegan Rosenberry – 6

Decent night getting up the right side for Rosenberry, but he did get caught out a few times when the Union gave the ball away. Still shows a lack of chemistry with Sapong on the right and will be looking forward to the return of Ilsinho.

Haris Medunjanin – 6

Not Medunjanin’s cleanest night on the ball and he was not on the same page with a few players it seemed, but still finished with 4 key passes and shuttled possession around the field in lieu of Dockal.

Warren Creavalle – 6

Led the team with 9 recoveries on the night – the exact thing he’s on the field to do. Did a fair job limiting Wil Trapp and Federico Higuain from taking over the match, which the two can definitely do.

Alejandro Bedoya – 6

Lacked the ability to play the final ball and only ended up completing 20 passes on the evening playing in the #10 role for most of the evening. Put in his typical work rate though and kept the press high on the Columbus defense for much of the match.

C.J. Sapong – 4

Had two of the best chances of the match but didn’t hit the target on either one – a rolling ball that came straight to him in the first half and an open header in the second half.

Fafa Picault – 5

Tough night for Picault trying to take on the crafty Afful. Had a few chances to make plays but failed to complete a cross on the night and finished with three unsuccessful dribbles – including one where he was one on one against a Columbus center back late in the match.

Cory Burke – 7

Unlucky to be called for the foul that brought back the Union goal, as there wasn’t much there. But a decent night for Burke, who found chances few and far between, but still completed 12 of 16 passes and finished with 3 recoveries, mostly retrieving the ball in decent places for Philly.


Derrick Jones – 6

Not too much to do for Jones who replaced Creavalle. Completed all four of his attempted passes on the night and chipped in with a clearance and a recovery in only about 15 minutes of work.

Borek Dockal – 5

Only given about 10 minutes to make his mark, Dockal didn’t find himself in areas to make plays very often.

Jay Simpson – n/a

Geiger Counter

Drew Fischer – 3

I didn’t think it was a foul on Burke and the Union goal should have counted. Fischer was in position to make a call in real time and chose not to, watched the video, and still got it wrong for me. Little other controversy in the match but was quick with whistle a few times on some really soft fouls for both sides.

Man of the Match – Andre Blake

Wasn’t forced to do much, but came up with a huge save on Afful late on.


  1. Creavalle should be higher as he completely controlled the middle. Sapong should be lower as his attempts on goal were nothing short of pathetic.

  2. Too high for Fabi. Got caught out multiple times, one resulting in a yellow. Flopped a couple times when he did get forward. Five or six maybe. I thought a 5 for Fafa might be a tad low. He looked the most active hard working besides maybe Burke.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    3 is too high for Fisher. He had one call to make all night and got it wrong. (Actually, I could have seen him giving a PK when Steffan took out Burke without making contact with the ball which makes it two calls.)

  4. 7 is too high for Burke. He didn’t do all that much — probably due to a lack of service, but notice how Jay Simpson actually tracks back to receive the ball deeper when he isn’t getting service?

    Rosenberry should be a little lower. He got burnt again and again and again by the Crew L back and winger. Fortunately it didn’t cost us, mainly because of Mark Mackenzie, who for me was the MOTM.

    And maybe our subs would make more impact if they were made earlier?? Curtin has reverted to his old lousy form of late.

    • Re: Rosenberry, I love him, I think hes an elite offensive MLS fullback, but I think we will say that alot about him.

      Offensive oriented fullbacks are always at risk of being beat in behind (I think even players like Marcelo have heard criticisms during their careers) and couple that with Rosenberrys average speed, I think he will always need to have a RW and RCB who can cover for him.

      Thats probably a major reason why they seem eager to repalce Elliot with MCKenzie too.

      • Yes, any fullback who pushes up high will get caught up. But in this game it happened over and over and over again; it was much worse than usual.

        The question is always the cause. Is it:
        1. Rosenberry not positioning himself properly?
        2. Somebody else (the winger?) not getting back to cover properly?
        3. Curtin’s fault for ordering him to push up high and failing to plan for sufficient doverage?

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