Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 1-3 Portland Timbers

Photo: Rob Simmons

After the Union drew with Seattle Sounders a week ago, there were plenty of positives to take from the match. But if that result was frustrating, the 3-1 loss to Portland Timbers was disappointing.

Is that defeat indicative of who the Union really are? Are they the team that managed a sole point in consecutive home games?

Or is Philadelphia the team that went six games unbeaten and still has the best points per game figure in the Eastern Conference?

Who knows? There’s still 20 games left, and the only thing certain is there will be more highs and lows.

Player ratings

Andre Blake — 5

 The goalkeeper didn’t have a lot of say in any of the Timber’s tallies, but three goals is still a lot of goals. Blake did well controlling the box and had four saves to help pad

Raymon Gaddis — 4

While completing 92% of his passes, Gaddis completed none of his three attempted crosses. Additionally, he failed to help mark the run of Portland’s Brian Fernandez on the Timbers’ first goal.

Jack Elliott — 3

The majority of the blame for that first goal, however, falls on the shoulders of the Union’s most dependable defender. Elliott lost Fernandez’s curling run behind. Whether or not he thought he had help from Gaddis, there were no other threats in the box.

Auston Trusty — 4

Again, harping on the first goal. Sure, Fernandez made the run, but Trusty let Portland’s Andy Polo walk into the box with ample time to deliver a pinpoint cross. The center back did have two solid interceptions to accompany two successful tackles.

Kai Wagner — 5

Wagner had the game’s third highest possession totals, with the German having plenty of opportunities town the left flank. Unfortunately, he completed only two of ten attempted crosses. One of those misses, though, was a beautiful ball the near post in the first half.

Haris Medunjanin — 7

As expected, the player with the highest possession totals was Medunjanin. He had four key passes, made three successful tackles, and surprisingly completed three dribbles. While he was one of the three defenders beaten on Portland’s second goal, it’s tough to dole out too much blame.

Alejandro Bedoya — 3

When a player slips on the ball under no pressure, which directly leads to a goal, there’s not much hope of earning higher than a “three.” Kudos, though, to the captain for owning up and apologizing immediately after the game.

Jamiro Monteiro — 4

Probably Monteiro’s roughest outing in his brief time in Philly. While he completely nine of 11 long passes, none of his three shots were on frame. He was also dispossessed three times, including an awful turnover which led to the Timbers’ first goal.

Brenden Aaronson — 4

In just 45 minutes of action, the attacking midfielder had a team high five key passes. The issue, and the reason he was subbed at the half, was his struggles in the final third. He hasn’t looked comfortable there so far, but he’ll have plenty of time to find calmness in that critical area of the field.

Kacper Przybylko — 7

Przybylko brought the Union back into the game with an ugly but vital goal just after half, but he’ll be haunted by a miss that should have tied the game. What stood out, though, was how well the Polish striker could hold up play with his ball-winning and afterwards build the attack with cool, threaded passes

Fafa Picault — 6

Picault was probably taken off the field too early. After Union head coach Jim Curtin switched to a 4-2-3-1 to begin the second half, Picault looked dangerous. He provided the key assist on Przybylko’s goal and came close to scoring, himself.


Ilsinho — 5

He’s electric. The game completely changes when he’s on the field, and you wonder why he doesn’t start. But after half an hour of action, the Brazilian noticeably slowed. Also, it’s great when you win 1v3, but sometimes just look for the simple play.

Sergio Santos — 4

The Brazilian was barely on the ball despite seeing 30 minutes of action. Santos remains a question, being invisible in all but one MLS appearance.

Michee Ngalina — N/A

Ngalina had just one touch in his MLS debut.

Geiger Counter

Drew Fischer — 6

Outside of a potentially-soft-but-arguably-just penalty not whistled on Aaronson, Fischer had a quiet game. That’s a good thing.

Player of the Game

Brian Fernandez

A brace in your first MLS start? Not bad. Fernandez looked every bit the Designated Player quality striker that the Timbers expected him to be.



  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Now please give us the real ratings for a team that lost 3-1. No way the average rating should be above a 4.5. If they are, then it’s tantamount to saying that was an acceptable performance which it wasn’t. If Bedoya is maxed at a 3 for falling over the ball, he should be getting no higher than a 2 for that performance, probably his worst overall with the team (it seemed he was a step slow and some of his passed were a little soft).
    Someone has to be held accountable for the lack of finishing, given how many opportunities the Union had. Missing the opportunity to tie the game should drop Przybylko’s score.

    • Lack of finishing is why this team is probably in middle 1/3 in MLS. All the best teams have very good strikers. We currently do not. Unless Santos is starting every match AND scores goals my opinion on this won’t change. I’m thinking this team is probably a 5 seed in the east. We are fun to watch and I’m having a blast watching this team but they are maddening as hell in front of goal. I wish we could teach Fafa how to play right back. Maybe he’d be the attacking fullback this team needs.

  2. The ref also missed what could have been a penalty on a Wagner dribble and then gave a goal kick even though the ball was clearly tackled out by a timbers player. Terrible call.

    • Nick Fishman says:

      Yep, def wasn’t a penalty, but clearly a corner. Didn’t include it, but he would have “scored” higher. Overall, I think those calls balance out. Every ref gets those kind of calls wrong now and then.

  3. 92% of Gaddis’ passes were either back to the player who just kicked it to him, or to a player standing next to him.
    He’s getting worse. I’m wondering if an off-foot Fabinho would be an upgrade at this point.

    • Tim Jones says:

      I would not say he’s getting worse. I would say the play around him is improving quickly with leaves him stuck in the same place but more prominently bake ti fit in with the rest.
      He’s giving what he has to give.

  4. OK, I’m sorry, but I feel obliged to speak up about blame for the second goal… and it’s not so much Bedoya.

    I mean yeah, slipping on the ball and giving it away is certainly not good, so I’m not saying Ale is blameless. But after doing that, Portland has a 3 on 3, with both of our CBs back and in a perfectly defensible position. What happens after that is 1) Trusty steps up to challenge and basically gets beat; 2) Medunjanin comes over to the same side, even though Trusty is already there, instead of covering the guy streaking through on the far side. The combination of these two things now leaves Jack Elliott in a 2-on-1 situation which is hopeless if the Timbers execute properly (which they did).

    So, Trusty should be docked another point, and Medunjanin at least another point. (I might still give him a 6, since he was the focal point of the offense in this match.)

  5. Tim Jones says:

    Give Diego Charra some credit for Monteiro’s performance. He’s short but he’s a fireplug. The shoulder charge on Monteiro that started the first goal was legal, IMO, Charra just took him by surprise and knocked him flat.
    After that, Portland paid however many million for Fernandes and got a return on investment.
    It was trouble as soon as Monteiro went down because no one was expecting the transition.

    • The Truth says:

      Charra is the best DM in the league and has been for years. He’s a master of the dark arts with an unstoppable engine and a willingness to score & assist. Our midfield was bested. No question.

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