Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 2-0 Chicago Fire

Photo: Rob Simmons

On a hot day down in Chester, the Philadelphia Union weren’t at their very best. A professional performance saw them get the job done as they defeated Chicago 2-0. The team welcomed back Kai Wagner from injury, only to lose him next weekend for yellow card accumulation. They’ll hope Jamiro Monterio will be fit to help make up for Wagner’s absence in Montreal.

Player ratings:

Andre Blake – 6

Blake didn’t have to do much, stopping the few shots that came on target easily. Had a scare with the late Campos strike off the crossbar. Seemed to get nicked up claiming a ball in the box, but was able to continue. A clean sheet will help his confidence after some shaky performances.

Kai Wagner – 8

Kai Wagner showed how important he is to this team in this match. Wagner had assists on both goals and recovered defensively throughout the match, though he was beaten by CJ Sapong on a header, a battle he’ll likely always lose. An unlucky yellow card early in the match. Will be a huge miss in Montreal next weekend.

Auston Trusty – 6

Made a few key interceptions on balls into the box early. Did well dealing with Sapong’s hold up play. Gave away some fouls in dangerous spots. Hit some good passes, hit some bad ones. An alright night for Trusty, no glaring mistakes and a clean sheet for confidence, which he needs right now.

Jack Elliott – 6

Like Trusty, not a whole lot to do on the night. Made some good passes and recovered defensively. Gets a clean sheet confidence boost too.

Ray Gaddis – 5

Having Wagner back showed Ray’s weaknesses in this system. Doesn’t provide enough forward and not a threat offensively. Would like to see him hit a few more balls in for Pryzbylko when out wide.

Haris Medunjanin – 6

Had the first pass to Wagner on the Marco Fabian goal. Did well getting back in the heat. Looks like he could use a rest at some point.

Brenden Aaronson – 5

Playing on the left again, Aaronson seemed to be a step behind. Got into good positions and had a shot blocked. A little late on balls played to him. Also looks like he needs a rest.

Alejandro Bedoya – 5

A lot of running and not much else for the Union captain on the night. To beat a dead horse, also could’ve used a break with the rest of the Union midfield.

Marco Fabian – 7

After needing more from Fabian, he brought it. Scored a great goal from outside the box to give the Union the lead. Dropping back defensively was a welcome surprise, especially in the heat. Dropped far back in the attack, whether that was by design or to get more touches.

Fafa Picault – 7

A lot of dirty running from Picault gets him an extra point. Had a tough angle shot that was saved but earned a corner. Showed his willingness to press no matter the situation.

Kacper Przybylko – 5

Not much for Przybylko to do. Didn’t really get a whole lot of service and did some running. Made some good runs, just didn’t find the ball.


Anthony Fontana – 6

Provided some good energy for the Union in the 2nd half an got the goal to show for it. Recovered defensively and strung a few passes together.

Ilsinho– 5

Replaced Aaronson in the 77th minute. Showed off his magic in the box splitting two defenders then having his shot blocked. A welcome sight off the bench again.

Warren Creavalle– NA

Brought in for Fafa Picault, pretty much only played in stoppage time. Brought in to close out the game, which he helped do.

Geiger Counter

Rubiel Vazquez – 7

A good night for the referee. Nothing controversial and an evenly called match. Missed a few nitpick calls, but overall let them play. Talked to the VAR on Fontana’s goal, but decided to not take a look.

Man of the Match : Kai Wagner

2 assists and a hand in helping the clean sheet. Battled to set up Fontana’s goal and got back for his defensive responsibility. Doesn’t get much better for Wagner, minus the yellow card and suspension.


  1. It is clear that other teams have decided the way to slow down Aaronson and Wagner is to foul them, hard. Brendan was moving forward well in the first 20 minutes, took two really hard fouls, and seemed more tentative the rest of the match. Kai gets beat up every week, then gets soft stuff called on him. Would really like to see the the Union get in PRO’s ear on that.
    Also don’t understand why up two goals they don’t give either Bedoya or Haris a rest. Their age and fatigue level will come back to bite the U if they aren’t rotated. Maybe he was just protecting himself knowing it was going to be long hot night, but Haris was definitely not running that match as much as he did in previous ones.

    • Completely agree. What would be the harm in getting Creavalle in a bit earlier for one of them? I’m sure they wanted to get ilsinho some minutes for fitness, but could’ve gone Creavalle at that point too. Still happy to see a good, professional effort against an inferior opponent.

  2. Was interested to read some Chicago-sided reviews of the match and they found Fire goalkeeper Ken Kronholm to be severely lacking, all but claiming Fabian’s wonder-strike was greatly aided and abetted by Kronholm’s incompetence. I can see the argument that Kronhokm should have been able to reach that ball, but I think that might be slow motion replay getting the better of me. Fabian’s strike was so good.

    I thought Fabian had a nice match. Picault was excellent, particularly in the second half. I still like Przbylko’s game a lot, but wonder why he wasn’t the one in the box, making that run that Fontana did on his goal. A goal is a goal, though. Team looks good. Played better than the DC Atlanta sides I watched yesterday. Not impressive.

    • I’ve been thinking about whether Kronholm could have done better on the Fabian goal. On first watch, yeah, the ball isn’t that far away from him, so maybe he should have been able to palm it away. But that ignores the pace with which Fabian hit the ball and the morass of bodies between Fabian and Kronholm. My guess is that he saw it late, and I don’t know what (if anything) he could do about that — that’s a credit to the power of Fabian’s strike and the Union’s design in coming up with that FK routine.

      • Exactly. Also, Kronholm can probably be forgiven for thinking there’s no way Fabian would put that on target so convincingly from that spot. (Particularly if he’d watched any recent tape of Fabian’s recent moon shots from even closer locations.)

  3. OneManWolfpack says:

    Didn’t get to see the whole game… where was Wooten?

    • I think Curtin was planning to bring him in – but then decided to go defensively and bring in Creavalle?
      Yeah it was a head scratcher. I really wanted to see him out there, obviously Jim had other notions.

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      I was slightly frustrated about that. Bought tickets to see his home debut. The crowd went nuts when Ilsinho walked over to be subbed in, and from my angle I thought it was Wooten. Ah well

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Przybylko saved his endurance well and didn’t need the sub. Picault was plying very well.
      Creavalle is a lad preserving move and Curtin knows his defensive skills well. Also, he has been learning the new system since January.
      Wooten will get his chances. And remember that it takes a long time to integrate. At RSL they needed n offensive boost. Here, not so much.

      • In Tanner We Trust says:

        From a realistic perspective, you’re absolutely right. But I proudly consider myself an irrational fan, and from that perspective I wanted to see him play. But Curtin’s job isn’t to please us, it’s to win games. So no real complaints here

      • Andy Muenz says:

        In some cases, winning games is what pleases us.

      • In Tanner We Trust says:

        Haha yeah. Winning always comes first. How it happens should almost never matter

  4. Too high on the ref. Fire should have had a red card early in the game with a horrible slide tackle from behind. That’s 2 games in a row the other team should have been shown red but wasn’t. The refs are letting our players get killed out there and not protecting them at all.

  5. I really hope Fabian finds his groove soon, because he’s not there yet.
    The goal was beautiful (we had a straight line view of the ball’s path and it was glorious!), but every scorer dreams of slow roller without any pressure that you can put your laces through.
    He is still hitting moonballs pretty consistently on really low percentage shots (including a few in this game). I like his movement around the field, and he’s shuttling the ball around nicely. Hopefully he dials in on his scoring chances.

  6. Gaddis was again outplayed and was clearly gassed near the end of the game. I don’t know anything about Allen, but I think we need to see him soon.

  7. Thanks for writing! I’m not sure I agree with everyone calling for rest for Haris/Bedoya — didn’t they just have a few weeks for the Gold Cup? I get that Aaronson has probably just never had this many minutes, but I’d think those two should be fine.

  8. Andy Muenz says:

    I would give at least another point to Aaronson for drawing the foul that led to the goal.
    Would probably take away a point from Wagner for getting the yellow card. When you are one away from suspension, you have to be extra careful with your play or it will hurt your team next game (and we can’t ding him there since he won’t be getting a rating).

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      I wanted to address this. Is there ever a “good” time to be suspended for a yellow? I’m thankful it’s not against Houston with Elis, or Eastern Conference threats like Atl or DC. Montreal is slumping, and he can’t play too careful and passive for the rest of the year, right?

      • Andy Muenz says:

        If he goes 5 consecutive games without a yellow, 1 comes off his tally (up to 3 times during the season). Both Bedoya and Elliott are currently in danger of missing a game with their next yellow, but if they make it through next week without getting one, they’ll be back in a safe zone as they both haven’t received one since NYCFC.

      • In Tanner We Trust says:

        Oh thanks for explaining. I like that rule. Also, we’d be in serious trouble if Elliott was absent for a game

    • Thought Wagner’s yellow was very soft.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Soft are not, unless it was something which should have been a complete no call, he has to avoid giving the ref a chance to show yellow when he is one away from suspension.

  9. SoccerDad says:

    I think I like the premier league Yellow Card rules better then MLS’.

    Prem :
    Any player earning five bookings from his side’s first 19 Premier League matches will have to serve a one-match ban in the same competition. Players who accumulate 10 yellow cards in Premier League matches up to and including their sides’ 32nd fixture will serve a two-match suspension in the competition.

    MLS :

    Player accrues five yellow cards: $250 fine and a suspension from his next MLS Regular Season Match.
    Player accrues an additional three yellow cards (eight total): $500 fine and a suspension from his next MLS Regular Season Match.
    Player accrues an additional three yellow cards (11 total): $750 fine and a suspension from his next MLS Regular Season Match.
    Player accrues an additional two yellow cards (13 total): $1,000 fine and a suspension from his next MLS Regular Season Match.

    GOOD BEHAVIOR INCENTIVE: A player will automatically reduce his yellow card accumulation total by one yellow card each time he appears in five consecutive matches without receiving a yellow card, red card or supplemental discipline in such matches. For clarity, a player cannot have a negative yellow card accumulation total; the Good Behavior Incentive can only reset to a zero-card total. This incentive will be automatically applied a maximum of three times throughout the course of the MLS Regular Season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *