Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: FC Cincinnati 0-2 Philadelphia Union

Photo credit: Paul Rudderow

Hard to find too many bad things to say about a Union team that easily ran out a 2-0 victory on the road in Cincinnati in a match played in terrible conditions. David Accam built on his two goal, one assist match last week with another man of the match performance, this one coming with a goal and an assist. Marco Fabian returned to the lineup with a solid performance and netted his second goal of the season. Brenden Aaronson had another strong match and it is difficult to see him coming out of the lineup anytime soon. The match also saw the MLS debut of Jamiro Monteiro, who looked as advertised, a ball winning midfielder who was tidy on the ball.

The visiting Union out shot the hosts 16-5 and finished with over 56% of the possession. It was as complete a road victory as the Union have put together in recent seasons.

Player ratings

Andre Blake – 7

On a tough night to be a goalkeeper, Blake kept a clean sheet and staved away most of Cincinnati’s best chances. The save on Roland Lamah in the first half was a great save down to his right at a crucial time in the game to keep the score level.

Ray Gaddis – 7

Solid performance from the right back. Did well to keep Kekuta Manneh and Lamah at bay for the most part.

Jack Elliott – 7

Finished the match with five clearances, all from inside the Union’s 18 yard box. Decent on the ball but did misfire a few times looking to play down field. Also missed a chance at goal with an open header from an Aaronson corner kick.

Auston Trusty – 7

An assured performance for Trusty who finished with five recoveries and two clearances. Also saw some good passing from the center back as he pushed higher up field at times with Cincinnati deep in their blocks.

Kai Wagner – 8

Wagner completed a great first month in a Union shirt with another solid shift. Was willing to run all day and did well to break forward consistently. Also completed a body check on Mathieu Deplagne late on in the match that Wayne Simmonds would have been proud of.

Haris Medunjanin – 7

A mixed bag of passing on the night for Medunjanin, who looked good with his short game but less accurate with his longer passes. But a good defensive effort (11 recoveries) that allowed the Union to absolutely dominate the midfield for most of the match

Brenden Aaronson – 8

Another strong performance for the rookie, similar to his match in Atlanta. The midfielder covered a ton of ground. He also looked extremely positive on the ball almost every time he had it. Driving forward with strong runs, not afraid to take people on and the ability to split the Cincinnati defensive lines with his passes. Strong delivery on almost all of his set play balls.

Alejandro Bedoya – 7

Bedoya covered a ton of ground and ferried the ball through midfield for the full 90 minutes operating on the right side.

Marco Fabian – 8

Great composure on the goal to take a touch beyond the defender and then the coolness to just slot it in. Fabian was involved and available for almost his entire time on the pitch. Have to think his chemistry will even further improve with more game time and a consistent cast around him.

Fafa Picault – 6

Picault deserves credit because he’s been grinding the last few games trying to make something happen. It’s resulted in a ton of running, much of it off the ball, but still little to show it for it in the final third so far.

David Accam – 9

Another assist. This one with great patience to pull back his pass and find Fabian. Another goal. This one was so well taken from the first touch to bring the ball down, the two cutbacks and the confident finish. A healthy Accam could be a huge asset for Philadelphia this season.


Cory Burke – 5

Two shots, both off target and only 2 of 5 passing in about 25 minutes of work for Burke.

Jamiro Monteiro – 6

Finally an MLS debut for Monteiro. Clean and tidy as advertised. Look forward to seeing more of him.

Warren Creavalle – n/a

Just a short cameo for Creavalle to waste a little time late on.

Geiger Counter

Rubiel Vazquez –  4

Vazquez clearly went with the “let the boys play” attitude in the rain in Cincinnati as he was slow to blow his whistle both ways.  Marco Fabian is probably wondering where exactly the line between no foul and red card is three matches into his MLS career. At least the crew correctly ruled out the offside goal for Cincinnati in the first half.


  1. High marks but hard to argue after a solid game all around. There wasn’t much to be angry about, even the best lineup was used and solid subs made. Really hoping that Accam isn’t hurt badly and Burke has certainly slid to 3 or 4 on that depth chart.

  2. pragmatist says:

    Interesting tidbit from Matt Doyle:
    “Accam (No. 7) has mostly been on the wing in his MLS career, but looked very much at home playing as a hyper-mobile forward alongside Fafa Picault, who’s probably the league’s best pressing forward.”
    The evaluation part of the season is just about complete and it looks like they are coming together. Dallas has a good record, but mostly again sub-standard competition. It will be interesting to see how this week goes. Because – at the risk of sounding like a pessimist – you can look at the past 2 games as 1) CLB was missing key players to International Duty, and 2) the weather was atrocious in Cincy. I’m very curious how they will look full-strength in good conditions.
    To be clear, they’ve been impressive and they are definitely finding their footing. But Jim’s new challenge will be to balance the midfield minutes.
    – Does Haris continue to start? Or does Monteiro take his place at the base of the midfield?
    – Do you continue to run out the kid? Or does Monteiro take his spot out left, keeping Haris at the base?
    – Does Monteiro work as a sub – almost acting as a much better version of Creavalle?
    Every single one of these is a good problem to have.

    • Dallas will be a good game to evaluate Wagner. Barrios got in behind the RSL leftback often and caused a lot of problems. Wagner will have to be smart about getting forward.

    • Pragmatist , to answer your question , Aarondson is the nucleus of this team now. The team should build off of him. I still think Medunjanin should sub. So that leaves. Fabian- distributor/ attacking , Bedoya – box to box , Aarondson – ACM – Montiero – DCM

  3. Fabian is starting to come into his own a little. Noticeable difference when he left the field with how the Union were controlling the play.
    Curtin has some personnel decisions to make going forward. Does McKenzie get playing time soon. 1 deserving player is going to be sitting in the midfield, plus Ilsinho does deserve minutes as a sub. How does the forward situation sort our once Santos is healthy. Finally we can have legit roster debates. Interested to see how it shakes out.

  4. John O'Donnell says:

    Ernst seems to know how to build a roster and it looks like Curtin is figuring out how to use it. This team has a lot of versatility now and it makes you wonder what they look like as more players figure out their roles. The goal by Fabian looked like a no doubt about it I’m a DP doing what I was brought here to do goal. Something that took a decade to find for this team.
    Now I wonder if we see a few more butts in the seats this Saturday?

  5. I watch Aaronson play, and he looks very single-minded out there. His one thought seems to be, “How do I get this ball into the net, right now?”

    Please find out whatever he’s drinking, and buy a case of it for the rest of the squad.

  6. It is against nature, the Universe, and my time share on the Cliff of Union Despair to be optimistic about this club. But… damn did they look in the second half of that match.

    Confident D, great press, beautiful passing triangles all over the place, two sweet goals, and all in the driving rain.

    Meanwhile we suddenly went from “We got nobody to play in the midfield! We gotta play Derrick Jones!” to “We got 5 starters for 4 slots! How is Curtin gonna manage all these guys?”

    Insofar as RB is a weak link, it’s only because Wagner has been such an amazing positive surprise. Gaddis can hold up his end. The real issue, the one that is liable to be the ceiling for the club, is scoring goals. Getting The Real David Accam back is huge, but even if that lasts, he is still just one guy, and he could get hurt, or get double-teamed. Others will have to step up.

    • Gaddis has been fine but it is still the weakest position on the team and weaker than it was last year.

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