Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 6 – 1 New England Revolution

Photo credit: 215pix

This Saturday the Union did something they’ve struggled to do in the past- they won a game they were supposed to. And don’t let the scoreline fool you, they earned that win. A first half that saw an important player leave early, and the visitors come back to tie the game, was closely fought. And even though Ilsinho won the lead back early in the second half it still wasn’t a sure thing until the final thirty minutes.

So keep in mind that these ratings not only reflect the 6-1 thrashing final result, but the less confident 1-1, and even 2-1 score lines that preceded it. As always, players started with a score of five, and points are added or subtracted to reach the final grade.

Player ratings

Carlos Miguel Coronel — 6

The backup (or third string?) keeper came up big with a ninth minute double save that kept the Revs off the board and the Union in the game during a half where the visitors looked like they could be the better team. But more than once he would commit too much too early, leaving himself incapable of responding to a changing attack, or unable to stop a simple toe-poke goal like Caicedo’s. Not a bad performance by any means, but still work to be done.

Ray Gaddis — 6

Gaddis was part of the effort to cut DeJuan Jones out of the game, leaving Juan Agudelo on an island of infectivity. And he had some good looks on offense too, including a beautiful pass to Bedoya ahead of Santos’ first goal.

Jack Elliott — 6

Elliott has four career MLS goals, and three of them are against the New England, so this Englishman is clearly still fighting the Revolution. The performance was far from perfect though, with a few momentary lapses on defense that would have been punished against stronger opposition.

Auston Trusty — 4

He took his foot off the gas and let Caicedo get past him for the Revs only goal. Granted, Trusty thought he was offside so letting him go wasn’t a blind blunder. The way VAR has changed offside calls obviously complicates this slightly, but it doesn’t change the fundamental fact that you need to play to the whistle and hope the ref shares your interpretation of reality, otherwise bad things happen.

Kai Wagner — 6

It’s not easy for defensive players to steal a headline, which explains why despite his well above-average string of performances the only story about the German is how consistent he has been. And this game was no different, with Wagner reading the opposition to cut off passes and shut down his area of the field, as well as anticipating his teammates to somehow always wind up in the right position to move the ball for the Union.

Haris Medunjanin — 7

It was a performance typical of the Bosnian this season, with perfect passes moving the game in directions the other team was less capable of responding to. What wasn’t typical was the defensive hustle he showed clearing a Caicedo cross in the forty ninth minute. Seeing the veteran midfielder step up his defensive game hopefully means we won’t see the same defensive lapses that hurt the Union earlier in the season.

Alejandro Bedoya — 8

Look to this game next time you’re looking for an example of how hard the Union captain works. He was all over on Saturday night, especially valuable once Aaronson was substituted off in the first half. In the eighty first minute he pulled Revolution keeper Cody Cropper far off his line, then made an effortless pass to Przybyłko to give the Pole his goal.

Jamiro Monteiro — 6

This wasn’t a bad game from Monteiro. Several of his plays, including a well-read header pass to Wagner in the eighth minute, were masterfully done and he absolutely is making a case for extending his loan from Metz. But he did look a little lost at times, possibly because he’s on the same side of the field as Picault, and their overlapping skill sets prevents either from truly reaching their potential.

Brenden Aaronson — Medical Withdrawal

The young midfielder left the game in the first half after injuring his hip off the ball. In that context, it’s hard to tell if his relatively quiet half hour on the field was simply because he hadn’t had the opportunity to do anything yet, or because he was feeling the injury even before he was substituted.

Fafà Picault — 4

The scuffed shots that have plagued the winger-turned-forward all season continued in this game. Were the Union roster in a different position it would be time to bench Fafà and let him work it out with Bethlehem. But with Burke stuck in the Caribbean and Santos not yet back to full match fitness, you can expect the speedy striker to have another chance to redeem himself. And he can, if his consistently high workrate and relentless pressure on opposition defenses can be any indicator.

Kacper Przybyłko — 8

Everyone’s favorite unpronounceable forward had another great game. Of course he scored a goal in the eighty second, beating New England’s already very dead horse, but he did a lot of other work as well, a lot of it surprisingly far away from goal for a player deployed as a striker. This willingness to do more “midfielder” work pairs perfectly with defensively-minded Gaddis, and a box-to-box player that makes offensive contributions like Bedoya.


Ilsinho (for Aaronson in the thirty-sixth) — 9

Remember this game next time you want to see Ilsinho at his best. He’s a player everyone sees as in the twilight of his career, yet when called on to be an early substitute he stood up and did the things only Ilsinho can. Holding the ball under pressure, drawing defenders to him only to weave out of their clutches, and scoring too, it was an instant classic. The blatant dive in the sixty seventh was disappointing, though with some of the calls referee Joe Dickerson was giving maybe it can be forgiven.

Sérgio Santos (for Picault in the sixty-fourth) — 9

Two goals in less than thirty minutes of play is really good. Presumably the Brazilian isn’t fully match-fit yet, but once he is it’s hard to imagine he won’t easily earn a starting spot.

David Accam (for Monteiro in the eighty-fifth) — 7

New England was already dead before “Titi” came on field, and his substitution was as much about taking time off the clock as it was about getting Monteiro out of the game. But he’s making the case to get on the field the minute any Union attacker looks less than 100%, and that’s a good thing.

Geiger Counter

Joe Dickerson — 5

Dickerson called a consistently tight game. Fouls were given where they weren’t necessarily needed, for example for Picault near the center spot in the twelth or against Elliott in the twenty-third. But he was consistent, and that is without a doubt the most important thing for a ref to be. Whether you like the calls or not at least players can adapt to a consistent call, and play accordingly allowing the game to progress without the ref meaningfully impacting the result. You could make the argument that being consistently soft allows teams to exploit the ref to get calls they don’t deserve, but it’s a two way street. As much as New England sold fouls that weren’t there, the Union didn’t do themselves any favors by not adjusting their play to avoid the situation in the first place.

So in a league beset with officiating problems, I’m going to say this match wasn’t one of them.

Player of the Game

Ilsinho: This was a close one. Sérgio Santos had an exciting game, and it’s hard to not give Player of the Game to the leading goalscorer. But Ilsinho did earn a Goal of the Week nomination, and did it when it wasn’t obvious that the Union were going to win. Add in his assist on the Przybyłko goal, and the fact that he came on as a first-half substitute and without a doubt the Union owe a big part of their win to the Brazilian.


  1. The Truth says:

    My whole crew of ~10 people wrote off Ilsinho when it looked like he’d have to run more than 30 minutes. He rolled back the years for that shift. MotM without question.
    In general everyone looked tired, playing their 3rd in 8 days. I don’t disagree with any rating enough to vocalize it. Onward to Canada.

  2. John O'Donnell Jr says:

    The second half it looked like the Union subs just ran the Rev’s off the pitch literally. Jim Curtin might never make three better subs in his career.
    When Marco Fabián gets healthy, this team might still has a chance to get even better.
    It does make sense that Santos will be the starter and Przbylko has no reason to come of the field right now as he does a whole lot more than just score. Reminds me of Seba part deux. If I remember correctly they are both Ernst signings.

    With a bench of Aaronson, Fafa, Accam ,Ilsinho, Mbaizo, McKenzie and pick a goalie that’s a lot of depth and you still have more players behind them that can also push for the eighteen.
    Definitely beats talking about Sugarman and Curtin out…at least this week.

  3. Roger That says:

    A tale of two halves, with 3 very impactful subs making for an entertaining second 45′ after a defensively sloppy first half. Lotta things to like about this Union side:
    * I love the way Monteiro handles the ball in possession, always looking to pass forward, but even more how he constantly harasses the opposition when the U is out of possession, showing amazing tenacity and strength for such a little guy.
    * Ditto Aaronson’s similar efforts when out of possession – suddenly Bedoya, whose workrate really stood out in the past, is looking like just another high-energy Union midfielder (albeit one with more experience).
    * With the 3 guys above, Haris’ defensive weakness no longer such an issue
    * Who’d a thunk the U would have depth at back, midfield and front? And Ilsinho works really well as a sub, those 1 v. 2’s work a whole lot better when he’s fresh and the opposition isn’t.
    * Now if a striker would step up and make a permanent front-line starting role his own we’d have something … it’s great that we’re seeing possibilities, but no idea yet who the best starters at the front will be over the course of the entire season.

  4. After the first half I thought we’ll learn whether or not Curtin is improving as a coach based on how this team comes out and plays in the second half. They scored more goals (5) than New England had shots off target (4). He’s starting to make the tactical adjustments that were once thought to be beyond his ability. Keep it up Jim, I for one am standing with U.
    I’d give Curtin 8 for this match.

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    I must have missed Elliott’s defensive mistakes because I thought he had a great game, especially the way he the way he was able to turn and shoot the way we’ve been asking the forwards to do all season.
    I know we don’t grade on the curve, but when giving the high scores to the forwards, remember the New England was without 2 defenders due to red card suspensions.

  6. Tim Jones says:

    I have seen Aaronson’s injury described as a hip flexor muscle, I think it was by his head coach. It is not a hip injury per se.
    Those who know anatomy and physiology must add on, as I have exhausted my descriptive knowledge. I’ve experienced them, but cannot describe anything more about where the muscle attaches or what functions it enables, or hinders when injured except for straight-ahead sprints since that is how I pulled mine nearly 50 years ago.

  7. philsoc8 says:

    Trusty’s passing is becoming a real problem. The smarter teams work to keep the ball away from Jack and Haris and let Auston do whatever he wants with the ball. He is impatient and inaccurate.

  8. Barry Evans says:

    Pssst. Elliott considers himself Scottish (I assume his mother even told you folk last time). I get it, he was born in England but that’s not the whole story. That only makes you British. Id like to think you would realise who the Scotland flag flies in the River End for.

    • Why don’t we just fly the UK flag as that is the country? It’s not like we fly a Pennsylvania flag for Aaronson.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Especially since he is from New Jersey 🙂

      • Doh. Good point. Was thinking of Trusty’s hometown.

      • msg24365 says:

        Your comment does not reflect the feelings of many (maybe most) Scots

        Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland all have separate teams for WC qualifying….

      • Yeah, because the are arrogant about soccer. How many other countries get to break up their world cup teams? Scotland hasn’t qualified for the world cup since 98 and have never made it out of the first round. Breaking up the country just seems silly. Plus the recently had a vote about leaving the UK and didn’t…

      • Barry Evans says:

        They could. But they don’t. Trying to figure out if the rest of your comments are just ingorant or fishing.

  9. pragmatist says:

    It’s hard for me to judge the officiating well, because it really felt like New England was diving and whining all over the field in the first half. But that said, as was pointed out, it was called fairly tightly, and with cards, which prevented the game from turning into an ugly wrestling match, which is a good thing.
    The striker situation will be interesting going forward. Seems like it will eventually be Santos/Kacper as a pair, which is a big and fast combo. And then you have Accam/Fafa waiting to run at a tired defense. Shapes up well.

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