Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 3-0 Columbus Crew

Photo: Paul Rudderow

In a battle of depleted squads, the Union came out on top on Saturday evening, riding a David Accam brace to a 3-0 victory over Columbus Crew at Talen Energy Stadium.

Here’s a player-by-player look at a good night for the Union.

Player ratings

Carlos Miguel Coronel — 7

The first non-John McCarthy backup keeper to start an MLS match for the Union since the ill-fated Matt Jones (whose sole MLS start also came against the Crew), Coronel looked smooth on a night where the Union barely needed his services. He made a couple nice catches on crosses and came out strong to cut off one first-half breakaway.

Kai Wagner — 7

Jim Curtin said after the match that Wagner has been better than anyone expected, which is an accurate assessment. The German looks comfortable in his role and not cowed by the competition. His work down the left side created Philadelphia’s third goal.

Auston Trusty — 6

Not much to do for either centerback in the face of Columbus’s anemic attack.

Jack Elliott — 7

See above. His tackle and quick pass to Alejandro Bedoya started the play that ended with the Union’s first goal.

Ray Gaddis — 6

On a night when Gaddis became the Union’s all-time leader in appearances, he continued his impressive, career-long scoreless streak. A fine night on defense, though.

Haris Medunjanin — 8

Much better defensive effort from the much-maligned Bosnian, helping to keep the ever-dangerous Federico Higuain quiet. The passing was there, too — although not credited with any assists, his passes led directly to both of Accam’s first-half goals.

Alejandro Bedoya — 7

Typically unflashy night from the captain, who shares credit for Higuain’s silent night.

Ilsinho — 7

Well-taken first goal of the season with a powerful finish inside the box. Should have come off 20 minutes earlier, with the Union firmly in control and Ilsinho’s penchant for soft-tissue injuries always lingering.

Brenden Aaronson — 6

A good, not great home debut from the Medford Messi. Popped up in good spaces, but didn’t influence the game as much as he did in the Atlanta match. Everyone at Talen breathed a sigh of relief when he walked off easily after what looked like a painful ankle injury.

Fafa Picault — 7

It all comes back to finishing for Fafa, who once again failed to take his chances. Still gets a 7 for his beautifully weighted pass that sent Accam through for his first goal, not to mention some smart pressing.

David Accam — 9

Two goals and an assist on an emotional night for the Ghanaian. Earned my vote for MLS Player of the Week — and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins the award. It would be a game-changer if the Union could get this kind of performance from Accam on a regular basis.


Olivier Mbaizo — 5

Tough to evaluate Mbaizo’s first action of the season, playing a hybrid wing-back / midfield role thanks to a shortened bench. Would like to see him get a start at his natural position sooner rather than later.

Anthony Fontana — n/a

A nine-minute outing for the Delaware native. Fontana’s last MLS appearance of more than 10 minutes came over a year ago.

Geiger counter

Ramy Touchan — 8

I have absolutely no memory of the referee in this match, which is pretty much the best thing you can say about a referee.


  1. Harris’ step up in front of Columbus players to incept passes created both goals.
    Would give Wagner an 8 as well.
    Hope Accam will get several more 9’s this year!

  2. Mbaizo over Gaddis, just cus.
    Aaronson must start once the nerves calm.
    Wagner is a true fullback player.
    Ilsinho should be a super sub only.
    Accam finally finished chances.
    Great performance from the U. But the Crew looked lost without their two best players. Literally contained for 2/3rd of the match. Also had zero traveling fans which I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen on a weekend match.
    Keep 4 in the back and maybe shuffle the midfield around to find our best combo. Two striker system a must.

  3. I have Wagner as team MVP right now. He took a multi-season long question mark and just made it completely disappear.

    Jim has to do better with sub timing. Up 3-0 at home? Get those subs rolling well before your field players are tired and stop playing defense (Ilsinho)

    • Dude had subs of GK, CB, CB, RB, and CM. I don’t worry about the subs in this game too much.

      • This is a game where the subs are even more important. The starters were almost decided for him with the limits of the roster for this game. Real managing would have been moving and changing as needed in the game, not staying put and waiting, as is his MO.

      • You mean like tweaking the formation due to the roster limitations to completely dominate the other team? Like exactly what happened?

      • Yes I agree the initial changes were spot on. We were criticizing the sub issues.

      • But what sub issues. We never gave up any good chances and I think he was saving them in case he needed them. I agree subs should come earlier though but seems like a weak complaint for this game.

  4. Midfield group is the biggest question mark going forward, and finally for the right reason. It almost seems like we have 5 guys that need to start (Fabian, Bedoya, Medunjanin, Aaronson, Monteiro) and with another 2 pushing (Jones and Creavalle). Really interested to see how it shakes out. I can see lots of arguments in may different directions.

  5. Chris Gibbons says:

    Haris gets a 6 for me. He is unequivocally the best passer on the team and his ability to draw defenders out of position and pass through them, like on Accam’s first, is brilliant. However, he gave away possession to the Crew too many times without pressure or with easy options that he ignored. It was infuriating and counterproductive.

  6. Can Fontana be the “Newark Neymar”?
    I’d go up a point on Trusty. He made some solid plays, even though the Crew didn’t put up much of a fight. Plus….he got in Medunjanin’s face towards the beginning of the game that seemed to spur Harris to play better D.

  7. Even though he’s not scoring goals, watching Gaddis make runs into the box every so often now still blows my mind.

  8. Was watching first half from the club balcony, so looking right down at CLB goal and spent a fair amount of time watching Acaam.
    It’s amazing what a goal can do. Acaam was invisible for the first 30 minutes or so until he scored his goal. He wasn’t making good runs, wasn’t closing down passing lanes or pressing his guy on turnovers and was basically jogging around pointing to the spot in front of him where he wanted the ball passed, even though he hadn’t moved enough to open it up.
    Then he scored the goal on the beautiful through ball by Fafa and his demeanor, movement and speed changed dramatically.
    I understand now that he had a tough week and offer him my sincere condolences.
    That said, I hope that we get the post-goal version the rest of the season. If he is willing to press hard on turnovers and move like he did after the goal, that version of Acaam should start over Fafa.

  9. I am not sure what makes everyone say that Aaronson needs to start. I didn’t see the Atlanta match — I understand he was superb. In this match he was invisible, other than that he did his share of the team defense (which they all did). One great match & one lousy match does not say “needs to start” in my book. Yet.

    It was nice to see Haris energetically play defense for a change. Unfortunately he gave away too many passes. I would still rather see Jones start.

    I am so glad that Jack Elliott is back in the starting lineup this season. I never thought he should’ve lost his starting job in the first place (despite McKenzie being a very good player). Trusty better watch it, or HE could find himself the one on the bench…

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