Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 2-0 FC Cincinnati

Photo: Paul Rudderow

It was a brutish, messy game, but the Philadelphia Union pulled away in the second half as the better side in a convincing 2-0 victory over FC Cincinnati. The Union were again dealt injury blows as Jim Curtin’s “next man up” mentality came to fruition with big goals from Kacper Przybyłko and Fafa Picault.

And now… well, as of this morning Philadelphia are in an astounding first place in MLS’ Eastern Conference.

Player ratings

Matt Freese — 7

Made a huge save early before he was forced off with an injury. After the game, Curtin said Freese was at the hospital undergoing scans on his hip. Looks like the Union may have to sign another keeper after all.

Olivier Mbaizo — 6

Another hot-and-cold performance from Mbaizo. You see why he’s rated highly by Ernst Tanner and the club, but he’s not yet consistent. Was able to get waaayyy high up the pitch with Cinci’s low block… before his crosses often fizzled otherwise promising attacks. That is, until his actually *perfect* ball to Kacper for the Union’s first goal. More of that, please!

Jack Elliot — 7

Maybe Jack Elliot’s nickname should be The Machine too? Tidy, consistent, everything you want on the backline.

Auston Trusty — 5

Did Trusty make some big plays? You bet he did! But he also made a few pretty bad gaffes that would have been vehemently punished by a better side, including getting beat twice pinging the ball around the back line.

Ray Gaddis — 7

Last game against Vancouver was, I think, one of Gaddis’ best games ever in a Union shirt. He brought that same intensity last night and continues to improve as part of the attack.

Haris Medunjanin — 6

Medunjanin was again the release valve against Cinci’s speedy wingers, but with FCC’s deep line, the game didn’t suit his skillset for chipping balls over the top.

Jamiro Monteiro — 8

Monteiro looks to be one of the best offseason signings of 2019 — in the league. He is an absolute menace on the field and has a deft and unexpected touch with the ball at his feet. He made it impossible for Cinci to play the ball anywhere near the middle of the field.

Alejandro Bedoya — 7

Bedoya was all over the pitch per usual. His pressing was the first movement of many Union attacks and he moved the bell well up the field, creating a bevy of dangerous chances.

Brendan Aaronson — 7

Aaronson’s rating is a reflection of his potential. He had a great game, seriously, and got the crap kicked out of him while doing it. His final passes last night were just a little off (like so little), though, and it spelled the difference between a blowout in the first half and a physical 2-0 dogfight. Should be further lauded for how well he presses. Damn!

Fafa Picault — 8

How about those finishing boots? Picault gets a lot of heat for his final touch, and he had one goal called offside before hitting a *really* nice chip over Cincinnati keeper Spencer Richey. May this open the flood gates for Picault’s season.

Kacper Przybyłko — 8

The Union’s friendly ghost appears to be what the club has been missing for quite a while: a striker with a deadly final touch. Kacper may not be key to the Union’s pretty passing buildups, but his finishing is precise and timely. Moreover, he took 7 shots, with 3 on target — that has to be the most for a Union forward in a very, very long time.


Carlos Coronel (41′ for Freese) — 7

Came up big when needed off the bench, though he looked a little slow after coming into the game. Have to wonder if him missing out on the Starting XI in the first place was due to something besides form. Fortunately, the Union will be in good hands despite being down TWO keepers.

Ilsinho (67′ for Aaronson) — 8

The Union’s new super sub came in and did his thing. With Cinci’s compact but slow defense, the game was calling for the Brazilian’s skill. And boy did he show it with a perfect assist on Picault’s goal to put the game out of reach.

David Accam (74′ for Picault) — 5

Not much to do with the Union putting the game away late. Accam needs to get another goal soon to avoid another slump in Union blue.

Geiger Counter

Guido Gonzales Jr. — 5

Sometimes you like to see refs who let the teams play. But both teams were beating the $#!% out of each other last night and the game could have used a stronger whistle from Gonzales. Otherwise, a good, anonymous showing.

Player of the Game

Jamiro Monteiro

The guy is a destroyer with No. 10 passing boots. He continues to be the key cog in the Union’s midfield and fits really nicely next to Bedoya, Medunjanin, and Aaronson.


  1. I’ve been hedging it for awhile now but I’m going to say that Monterio may be the best player to ever play for this team.
    Gaddis once again rated too high, this formation and that opponent means the outside backs should be dominating the game. He was ok but look at what Mbazio, Wagner, and Bedoya have been able to do in that position. He also is partially to blame for a couple of Trusty’s bad plays and he got burned or gave him a bad pass.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Montiero is quickly approaching Noguiera status for this team. I thought Mbaizo could’ve been rated a bit higher. I am excited to see him and Wagner going forward.

      • I would argue strongly that Nogs can’t crack that midfield.
        MAYBE you could argue rotating with Medunjanin, but I wouldn’t. He can have Creavalle’s seat on the bench.
        Noguiera was the best of some pretty bad squads, I think that skews the perception…a lot. Montiero outclasses him by a whole heckuva lot.

  2. Monterio = Everything we loved in Nogs, just tripled and then supercharged for speed, and then add a filthy shot for good measure. Wow, what a player!

    In soccer, sometimes great things come in small packages…

  3. Really like Austin Trusty, but that was a USL performance last night, at best. Doesn’t mean take him out, but getting an earful from his Captain might be worthwhile.

  4. fafa is too high. he was impersonating danny cruz for 80 mins or so before the goal.

  5. msg24365 says:

    In addition to his goal scoring, did anyone else notice the work Kacper was doing to help close out the game? A couple of times he tracked back into the defensive half to help stop potential attacks. Was running his butt off all game. That is definitely going to earn points with Curtin.

    I love when Monteiro takes the ball on the left side, 18-25 yards out and uses his speed to cut right to set up that long shot. A real weapon for this team. I tell my kids to just watch him for stretches of the game, regardless of where the ball is, to see how they should be moving and playing.

    • I don’t have an argument with Monteiro as MotM, but I might have give it to Przybylko. I concur with your observation of his work rate. I think his most awkward moments were due to the little time he’s spent with the first team — like when he expected a give-and-go situation with, I think it was Ilsinho, but Ilsinho didn’t make the run up the flank. He’s going to score some goals.

  6. Glad the game didn’t get away from the ref. Let an awful lot go but it didn’t boil over. Aronson is a lot fun out there! Maybe he needs s game off to get some of the knocks healed up. He took a lot of punishment. Trusty could use a break as well. Don’t want to see him start to regress. Over all good win. Keep it going boys!

    • Agreed. It was pretty obvious last night that teams around the league now have a good scouting report on him, and they are trying to beat him up early and often to knock him out of his comfort zone. Hopefully Fabian can go this Saturday and Aaronson can have a well-deserved night off.

  7. I’d actually rate Elliot a little higher. Once Freese went down and couldn’t play the ball any more, he took over the back and acted as the rear-most outlet pass receiver and play initiator.
    Also, as they were walking off, I saw Trusty getting some “coaching” from someone I did not recognize. From my vantage near the player tunnel it looked a lot like a “don’t do this…do this” type conversation.
    Finally, Monteiro is an incredible signing. The speed of Fafa combined with the skills of Ilsinho. They should lock him up now for a long time.

  8. Andy Muenz says:

    Sorry, 5 is WAY to high a score on the Geiger Counter. Like you said, BOTH teams were beating the crap out of each other. Yet it wasn’t until the 45th minute that the first foul was called in the Union’s favor and I thing that was the AR rather than Gonzalez making the call since his back was to the play.

    • Gotta agree that 5 is too high. Aaronson got taken down in the box towards the end of the first half, and no call. That should have been a penalty IMO.

      Bedoya was struck down in the box in end-of-game stoppage time. That also should have been a foul and penalty I think, but again, no call. At least by then, the outcome had been pretty much decided.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      The most basic thing needed from an official in any sport at any level is consistency. Gonzales gave that. He was easy to predict from the stands.
      I do wish there was some way to tell the fans in the stadium when there is a delay because VAR is reviewing something.
      Gonzales held an arm vertically, but that is the general signal for waiting the ball is ready for play and not specific to the review process.

  9. The Truth says:

    Gotta love KP and BA’s work rates. Two men who absolutely do not want to get taken off the pitch. With Santos and Fabian healthy, I don’t know what Curtin should do going forward.
    Mbaizo must get more minutes. He has the talent. Rated too low if you ask me. He takes risks and has great confidence.
    Trusty needs a rest. Let Bean Stalk Jack and Collin handle the Revs.
    Ilson’s talents are only worthwhile in late game scenarios. I respect the man but he doesn’t have the same impact as a starter. I think Curtin is starting to accept this.
    Jamiro or “Miro” as I believe Curtin referred to him is the out-and-out best player on the team right now. Coverage, work rate, passing, control, shooting. Great form from the Dutchman.

  10. pragmatist says:

    I’m almost uncomfortable with the amount of depth we have right now. I just don’t know how to process it with this team.
    Trusty needs a rest, and we have guys who can cover him for a game or 2 if needed. Collin or McKenzie can come in to pair with Elliot and we’ll be fine.
    Aaronson needs a rest, and we have a million-dollar player waiting to start in his place.
    For the strikers, just rotate any of the 4 guys who are in form.
    The one player I am beginning to worry about a bit is Bedoya. He’s putting in LeToux-like shifts with the amount of ground that he covers, but Ale does it a little more anonymously than LeToux. I’d love to find a game where he can take a night off. Maybe when everyone is healthy and not suspended you can run Aaronson, Fabian, and Monterio, with Monteiro in Bedoya’s role.
    Either way, this is really fun to know that we are not completely screwed when someone is out.

  11. John O'Donnell Jr says:

    The Jamiro Monteiro love fest is impressive today. I kept watching Curtin getting that giddy smile every time someone asked a question about him. Makes you wonder if the team extends the loan what will it cost them?
    Maybe Sugarman best singing ever was a man named Ernst Tanner who has changed this team in more ways than just player signings.

    • Peanut Gallery says:

      I don’t know how anyone could argue against your second paragraph.

    • I am fanboying and already bought my season pass on the “Miro” hype train. Please put the $$ down and BUY the lad. He is just too good to go back to the bench at Metz.

    • Another +1. If Wagner is the one who made us say, “Tanner’s a pretty good judge of talent,” then Monteiro is the one who’s making me say, “Tanner is a goddamn genius.”

      BTW, remember that “summary of the East” article from a few weeks ago on the MLS site? Where their pundit argued that the Union has great depth, but not enough talent to be at the top of the division? I remember saying to myself, “You’re wrong, dude. Apparently you have not been paying enough attention to Jamiro Monteiro.”

  12. Also should give props to Haris. He ran more in this game than probably all his other games combined.

  13. If aaronson and ilsinho fused that would be amazing.

    Also im pretty sure trusty makes those gaffes to show how amazing his recoveries are.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Aaronson with Ilsihno’s Skills would not be playing in the US. Would be somewhere in Europe in the development system of a big six elite team.

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