Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 1 – 1 Colorado Rapids

Photo by Rob Simmons

If the Union’s draw with Seattle was flattering, their loss to Portland was a warning: the way to beat the Union is to force them to un-park your bus. Thus, their third unsatisfying performance in a row against a visiting Western Conference foe was downright unacceptable.


Andre Blake – 4

Blake was beat to his near post on the only real shot he faced. Without saying more about the cascading series of mistakes that led up to the goal, the Jamaican has to do better.

Kai Wagner – 4

For the first time in a while, Wagner didn’t really seem to be involved in this match. His combination play was limited on the left without Brendan Aaronson and a second striker to make a triangle, and his crossing was limited because of the Union’s formation and a solo striker. Then, he got lost in no-man’s land covering for his fellow defenders and couldn’t recover in time to keep a clean sheet.

Austin Trusty – 4

Another week, another poor job stopping a cross that led to a goal (in addition to a handful of other heart-stopping moments that didn’t turn into goals for the opponent). It’s difficult for many fans to understand how Trusty can be a permanent fixture on this back line with the number of mistakes he’s made this season, and yet he seems to have carte blanche to continue to make them. It’s time to sit the homegrown and let Aurellien Collin play a few matches.

Jack Elliott – 4

Didn’t quite look himself, a step behind in both the Rapids’s goal and the yellow card he earned late in the match. His passing and poise is still exquisite, but like a striker who is only judged on goals-scored, central defenders can only be judged on those conceded and the one the Union conceded was a travesty.

Ray Gaddis – 4

Jim Curtin wants his defenders to defend first. Ray Gaddis knows this, but he must have also heard the critics the past few weeks, those who have been asking him to contribute on offense as well. His laser beam first half shot that nearly found the top corner would have been an all-time Union goal (while his second half first-timer was of real quality). Alas, fans will have to wait another week for a blast from the RayGun (copyright, 2019). Fans will also be wondering where Gaddis might have been during the quick build up to the Rapids’s goal.

Haris Medunjanin – 5

He plays combinations all over the midfield, turning defenders around like carousels. He also sprays balls to every inch of the expansive Talen Energy Stadium pitch, usually directly on the dime-sized patch he intended. Right now, he ought to shoot a time or two considering every platter he delivers to Union strikers is inexplicably not eaten.

Alejandro Bedoya – 5

Lots of dirty running and positional flexibility, Bedoya does all that he is asked. He could not, however, contribute a goal in this match and once again looked completely gassed at the final whistle, in disbelief at another set of points dropped at home.

Sergio Santos – 6

In their competition for the striker/winger role, Santos and Fafa Picault are obviously pressing for ways to contribute. The net result has been a lot of great opportunities gone wanting, frankly trying too hard to find the ball, and the occasional unnecessary dive in search of a call. This match, Santos still pressed and looked a bit disjointed, but finally found his shooting boots, turned an expected goal into an actual one, and delivered the Fortnite celebration everyone was waiting for.

Jamiro Monteiro – 7

It seems the league has decided that the way to ruffle the feathers of the Union’s pint-sized, pirouetting playmaker is to try and rough him up. Colorado, despite being coached by the roughest of the rough makers, couldn’t phase Monteiro for all their chippy efforts. An assist, several dribbles of pure joy, and the relentless pursuit of a challenge were worth their own price of admission.

Ilsinho – 4

Creative and involved, but ultimately to no effect, Ilsinho is better as a sub. Still, watching him bait Rapids defenders into silly fouls was a fun exercise.

Kacper Przybylko – 4

Not nearly involved enough, despite running all over the field in search of the ball, Pryzbylko put a weak header on frame and skied a truly difficult last-minute chance. If he’s going to be the tip of the spear and the target man in a 4-4-2, his finishing has to improve.


Fafa Picault – 4 (for Santos, 60’)

More great movement without the final ball, Picault just can’t catch a break. When he does, perhaps the floodgates will open. Right now, he’s all stopped up.

Marco Fabian  – 5 (for Ilsinho, 67’)

Stepped right in and made an impact, with several impressive passes and some dangerous combinations. Then, he all but disappeared save for a weak left-footed shot. It’s ok for a striker to dip in and out of matches so long as he finds a goal. Not so for a #10. Fabian showed glimpses, however, of how he might be involved when he’s fully healthy. As the team hit a lull against good competition and bully tactics, the Union’s success in 2019 depends on it.

Brendan Aaronson – 5 (for Kai Wagner, 83’)

Active and eager, but without much to show for it.

Geiger Counter

Timothy Ford – 4

It’s difficult to be too harsh on the official in this match, as the Union shot themselves in the foot more than anything. However, Ford let a lot nonsense go without the requisite bookings to go with it. He should know that MLS simmers and boils enough to know better.


  1. Curtain get a rating in this? formation change is a mistake. Lack of squad rotation. Ilsinho starting? lol

    Przy should have scored at least one. Fafa CANNOT finish for his life. Elliot could have done better with his height a few times in the match. Does this team even practice dead-ball situations on the training ground? cus it never looks like it.

    On the goal we conceded the back line was all out of sorts. nowhere near an even line across the back, defenders scrambling to get back into position. That will always lead to a goal against.

    Did first place get to these guys heads? Can our $2mil man produce? Looked like the Union of old the last two games. perhaps borderline playoff table position makes more sense given our franchise history.


  2. Great One says:

    Real disappointing stretch the last couple weeks. Honestly disappointing because they actually played pretty well, something is just missing. Not sure if we need a new striker or what the deal is.
    2 points going forward, first give Fabian and Santos a run of play, no early subs (if they are healthy) and no sub appearances, give them a shot. Second, rest up some of these other guys. Haris, Bedoya, Trusty, Wagner. Both these points come back to some Curtin favoriting. He’s done a much better job this year but this will start to catch up with us with more games and hotter weather.

  3. Too high on Fafa. His first touch is terrible and cost him at least 3 shot opportunities. He cannot play that striker in the 4-4-2 if we are trying to score. His only spot is out wide. Really need to see Santos and Fabian in the 4-4-2. Haven’t got to see that all year, I think it will help break down these bunkers with those guys (and Monteiro) in the correct positions.
    Also, why is Elliot the only player who seems to know how to turn and shoot in the box. The more I watch him, the more I think he should be Medunjanin’s successor.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      So in your ideal world, Elliott (a 6’6″ central defender) would be your 6?

      FWIW – PSP comments are so much more interesting when the Union are struggling.

      • Why does height matter? He passes really well, defends well, and looks comfortable in the box (and has played midfield before). I personally would like a more defensive #6 with more attacking #8’s, but who else on this team is a closer replacement for Medunjanin (who is also tall)?


      • Alicat215 says:

        Elliot a 6!!!!!!! I don’t even think he’s a starting MLS CB to be honest…..they do a good job of hiding his weaknesses. He isn’t very athletic, has a rather unusual gate to him, and you kind of always gulp for air when he gets the ball at his feet. Collin is better than him at his age…..IMHO. A, you putting him as a 6 reminds of something my college coach would do….hes 6’6 and good in the air……plays with his head down on the deck….but let’s put him into our interior and totally screw up our passing flo……disagree homie.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Playing as 6 is so much different than being a center back. And all of those positive things that you stated about Elliott are from his time as a pro at center back.

        If you want more of a defensive 6, you play Creavalle.

      • Alicat215 says:

        I still think David Luis was a better 6 than CB…….but Zizou is on point here. A few can manage the switch……a few.

      • Alicat, I think we are watching different players in regards to Elliott. It seems to me Elliott is the one masking the weaknesses of Trusty, Gaddis, and Medunjanin.
        To everyone else. I was comparing him to how Medunjanin plays on this team, in which yes he can totally play the 6 in that style, probably better than anyone else on the team.

      • Alicat215 says:

        No, same guy A., just completely different takes on him……He turns and puts in one volley off of a set piece and now he can play the 6, got it! Now, I think both CBs have to cover for Harris……

      • Fair enough. Just interesting the takes are so different. And for the record I have been thinking this for over a year now, his goal did nothing to make me think this.
        I do think that Haris is fine in our 4-4-2 as long as we have the right people in front of him. He’s puts too much pressure on the CBs in the 4-2-3-1 though.

      • Alicat215 says:

        It’s good that we don’t agree all the time homie, makes it much more fun and interesting! I think Collin is better than both of them! No worries, I’ll watch Elliott closer to see if my mind changes…..unlikely, but I’ll try….Lolz!

      • Alicat215 says:

        What I don’t understand is…….if you are playing a true 4-2-3-1…..there should be another “6” so to speak, sitting next to Harris. They should always be moving back and forth as a pair, never overlapping from side to side…I have never seen the true double pivot 4-2-3-1 with the Union. Also, there really isn’t a true 10 in a 4-2-3-1……..there is target striker and a withdrawn striker….and people always confuse this role as the O mid or 10…..when that’s not really the role in a 4-2-3-1

  4. I have a feeling Fafa will be the next trade victum. He is too much of a tweener. He is clearly a winger trying to play Striker and we need so much better than that right now.

    • Agree. Would not be surprised to see Fafa saying “Ta-ta”. (Though at this point, do we have enough people up top? Is Ngalina ready to step in if Santos gets hurt again??)

    • Fafa doesn’t make much money so we won’t get rid of him. Just might have to leave him on the bench more often.

  5. I missed the first 30 minutes, but based on what I saw, I’d give a bit of a ratings bump to Ilsinho and Przybylko. I know Przybylko missed his shot, but it was a really nice run and no small feat to connect with that pass. I like his game. He’s going to add to his tally. I think once he does, he’ll score quite a bit.

    • +1, this, and in general the comments section when it’s a draw or loss. He’s a 4 on 2 missed shots. Another day a lone goal at the 88th minute he’d be an 8. Game of inches, and luck for individuals at time. That stated, the U’s overall effort to get a 2nd goal could have been better.

      • Yeah, the last 10 minutes it was almost as if no one wanted to take a shot. Just moving the ball around the edges of the box.

      • Very simple …trusty is your issue in the back all of Alicat215 comments regarding Elliot are incorrect and can be applied to trusty…his awareness is trash he doesn’t know how to play soft while still being able to react and he looses his runners into the box every single game ..offensively this formation has never worked so why now ? And finish finish finish …take shots and follow up the rebounds, stop being cute inside the box!

      • Alicat215 says:

        No……it’s Elliott. Trusty isn’t by any means a finished product….but 10xs more of an upside to his game than Elliott…..a lot better recovery pace too!

      • Alicat215 says:

        Collin is better than both of them, even at his age.

      • I don’t understand why Collin hasn’t played. My ticket rep tried to tell me he’s here for senior leadership. stfu and put the man on the field. He’s won MLS cups. We’ve been lucky with our back line. Enough of the bs

  6. Monteiro should 100% be the bu #6. Personally I think he would be better than Haris there. A diamond with him at 6, Aronson and Bedoya as 8s and Fabian at #10 will be explosive, creative, moblie and solid defensively.

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