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Player ratings: LA Galaxy 2-0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia looked outmatched for the first half in Los Angeles and the game was more or less settled after Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the Galaxy up 2-0 after 36 minutes with his second goal. While the Union did find the game a little more in the second half, it never felt like a night that the breakthrough was coming. Auston Trusty’s first career red card on 76 minutes saw the end of the Union fight back and the Galaxy were easily able to see out the game.

Struggles in the final third have plagued the Union early in the season, whether through expected goals or just not creating enough chances like in L.A. on Saturday night. Will Marco Fabian now miss significant time? Will Sergio Santos be back soon? Will the front group settle down and find the necessary chemistry? Some big questions for Jim Curtin and his staff.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 5

Hard to fault Blake for either goal, a header from 5 yards and a PK. Finished with three saves.

Ray Gaddis – 3

Both Galaxy goals came from crosses from the right side, and both times Gaddis was nowhere to be found. Finished with only one (unsuccessful) cross attempt.

Jack Elliott – 5

Probably the most assured of the Union defenders on the night. Finished with six recoveries and five clearances.

Auston Trusty – 2

Trusty received his marching orders on 76 minutes, the first red card in his career. Neither of his fouls was particularity egregious, but hard to argue either yellow too much. It’s not easy to cover Ibra on crosses and the Swede made Trusty pay being a yard off of him with the first goal.

Kai Wagner – 3

Probably the toughest outing of the season for the new left back. He was responsible for at least 50% of the foul on the PK with an ill timed jump into Ibra’s back. But also struggled in possession particularly in the first half. Completed no crosses from the left side.

Haris Medunjanin – 4

The veteran seemed to be chasing shadows for portions of the first half. Grew into the game in the second, but couldn’t find the ball to break down the Galaxy back line.

Jamiro Monteiro – 5

The word for Monteiro in his first two appearances was tidy. He wasn’t exactly that as the Union couldn’t slow the Galaxy midfield for much of the opening 45. Monteiro still covered a ton of ground and was maybe the best midfielder in terms of possession.

Alejandro Bedoya – 5

Like Monteiro, covered a ton of ground on the night. Probably came the closest to scoring of any Union player when he rattled the post early in the second half. Had a chance to clear the ball before the first L.A. goal but it was nipped away by Ibra.

Brenden Aaronson – 5

Toughest match yet for the youngster. Aaronson really struggled to find the ball in the first half, but improved in the second and started to direct the attack a little bit more. Finished with two key passes, more than any other Union player.

Marco Fabian – 5

Just 23 minutes for Fabian before he was off with an ankle injury. We’ll hope it’s not too serious for the playmaker.

Cory Burke – 3

Burke sometimes struggles to get himself involved in matches and this was one of them. The Union looked over-matched for most of the first half and Burke just couldn’t find the ball. He finished 7 of 12 passing with no shots.


Fafa Picault – 4

Got almost 75 minutes of action but failed to make much of it. Did get one of the two Union shots on target, but in six games this season, has no goals and just one assist.

Ilsinho – 5

Replaced Gaddis for the Union to go into a three man back line, but just five minutes later Trusty was sent off. Union struggled to do much after the red card.

Mark McKenzie – 5

Saw about 15 minutes of action after Trusty was sent off. Guessing the second year man will earn his first start of the season against Montreal this weekend.

Geiger Counter

David Gantar – 3

I’m still not buying the PK. It’s clumsy from all three players involved, especially Wagner, though he might have caught a straight arm from Ibra before the undercut. But how you look at that play through video review and still come up with a penalty is beyond me. I said it at the time and stick with this thought, if the second one is a foul and a penalty, then the first goal is a foul on Ibra for holding Trusty. To me, neither is a foul. But PRO Referees being inconsistent? Nah…


  1. Barry Evans says:

    Fafa should have 1 removed for yet another fluff shot from 5 yards out.

    Is Ilsinhos 5 just a generic number? Think about all he did was dribble until the ball was taken off him.

    Linked to the Ilsinho, I thought Monteiro was easily our best player and hence should be a 6 based on other scores.

    Kinda depressing reading these after a loss

    (Although I disagree and think ref got all decisions correct, but it should not have taken that long to VAR decision for sure).

    • It was a weak penalty, but I was happy that the ref at least went to VAR and really looked at it for once. How many other times are we furious that a bad penalty is called, and they won’t even take a look at it?

  2. Something not right about having the ref review his own call via VAR. Should be independent. That might eliminate any bias on the part of the ref to confirm his own bad call. First goal should have been negated due to offensive foul, and second no penalty. That having been said, the best team did win.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    Fair ratings for a team that was outplayed overall but didn’t look embarrassed and were only beaten by a world class player who also received the benefit of the doubt (rightly or wrongly) from the ref.
    I do want to throw a bit of criticism at the MLS schedule maker for not reversing the next two Union games. Given how much more travel MLS has compared with any other league in the world, why are the Union playing games on the west coast two weeks apart with an east coast game in between rather than just having west coast games on consecutive weekends so they can save on travel weariness?

    • Interesting thought. I don’t know how much having the Vancouver game this weekend would help them, necessarily, because I don’t think it’s a given that they’d stay on the west coast for the week (for cost/logistics reasons). If you’re not going to spend the week in California, it’s probably just as bad (if not worse) to do the trips in back-to-back weekends.

    • We have no idea how Ernst Tanner would assess such a choice. But the end of his tenure, Earnie Stewart would have stayed on the West Coast. Less and less likely the earlier and earlier in his tenure you go.
      Always keep in mind when watching Europeans discovering distances in the United States, Napoleon from Paris to the eastern border of Poland in 1812 is — very roughly — 500 miles, i. e., Philly to Dayton, OH. Napoleon from the eastern border of Poland to Moscow in 1812, also very roughly 500 miles along the Smolensk road. Approximates Dayton, OH to St. Louis, Missouri.
      St. Louis to San Francisco is — very roughly — another two thousand miles, double Napoleon from Paris to Moscow. Double.
      If you want a modern example from within soccer in the US of A, compare travel times in USLC between eastern conference teams and western conference ones. In the eastern conference Bussing everywhere is at least somewhat plausible, Louisville City have their own custom team bus. In the west only Los Dos v Orange County.
      Sometime we should get our former West Coast bureau chief, now our Rocky Mountain bureau chief, to detail his distances travelled and the times hey took by whatever means to cover the Union.

    • I’ve never understood why we have regional conferences in American sports but insist on interconference competition. What’s the point? If there is going to be interconference playoffs/tournaments at the conclusion, why must they meet in the regular season?

      • Andy Muenz says:

        That’s actually a fairly easy question. It’s the superstar issue. Without interconference play, half the country would not have the opportunity to see Michael Jordan or Larry Bird or Magic Johnson live unless their team made the finals and the superstar’s team made it as well.

      • I hope the league keeps expanding so they are forced to totally separate the conferences. the play is so much worse when teams have to fly across the country and i really hate having to stay up past midnight to watch a game. most of the time i just bail before the game is over

  4. Assuming that Fabian can play, would love to see them rest Haris for Montreal and give Monteiro a try at #6 with Bedoya and Aaronson. Acaam needs to start up top.

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