Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 3-1 D.C. United

Photo Credit: Earl Gardner

With a strong first half, the Philadelphia Union swept this season’s series against DC United, 3-1 at home on Saturday. The Union’s three goals all came early in one of the best halves they’ve ever played to earn the club a much needed three points.

While there were no ejections this match, Philadelphia once again looked to be the more dominant side, with the youngsters being some of the highlights of the night. The confident return of Mark McKenzie was a highlight, as was Brenden Aaronson’s strong performance. All in all, it was a gorgeous first half followed by a second half that could have left points behind in previous years, but it was a victory nonetheless.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 6

Like this season’s previous roasting of DC United, it was a fairly quiet night for Blake. He had some good saves but looked so shocked by Acosta slipping the ball through Jack Elliott’s legs that the midfielder easily poked it in.

Ray Gaddis – 6

Definitely an improvement from last week’s loss in Chicago for Gaddis. Not a perfect performance since there were a few errors, but nothing that United could fully take advantage of.

Jack Elliott – 6

As usual, Elliott was a dominating aerial force and had some good passes. The only complaint was that he was blatantly nutmegged, basically allowing for DC’s lone goal to slip right between his legs.

Mark McKenzie – 6

Saturday was McKenzie’s first start of the season. It’s been a battle for the second central defender spot between Trusty, Collin and McKenzie, and McKenzie proved he’s a serious competitor in this match. He was confident and comfortable in his return to the Union after some struggles with the Bethlehem Steel earlier this year that he clearly learned from. Good passes, fought for the ball well, and wasn’t caught out of position too often. Should be interesting to see who pairs up with Elliott next week.

Kai Wagner – 7

While it wasn’t the best Kai Wagner match ever seen, it was still pretty great. Wagner almost always puts in a solid shift defensively and can create an attack from the back line. He worked with Aaronson and Przybylko perfectly in the first goal, making the expert passes and runs that are pretty much expected of him now.

Haris Medunjanin – 6

Once again, Medunjanin had a solid background performance. His passes were much better than the previous two weeks, and while he still had some shots from distance on Saturday, they were much better than his wild shots of desperation against Chicago. He was an integral part of the team in moving the ball upfield despite not being credited for any assists this match.

Alejandro Bedoya – 6

Bedoya played a bit deeper than usual, and so, like Medunjanin, he had a solid background performance. Loses (imaginary) points for earning himself a yellow card that causes him to miss the next match against Atlanta, and for not calling out Congress on national television again.

Brenden Aaronson – 8

One of the best performances from the youngster in a while. Great pass to help set up the first goal and a beautiful turn outside the box to bury his second goal of the season. Played with more confidence than any other eighteen-year-old has, and it looked like he finally found his groove again.

Jamiro Monteiro – 7

Monteiro effectively was the Union’s No. 10 this match, just under Przybylko. His passing was much improved, although he was the Union’s best player last week. Helped set up the third goal with a great cross and helped generate some opportunities.

Ilsinho – 7

A bit of a rare occurrence, especially recently, but Ilsinho got the start and lasted over an hour before getting subbed off. Saturday wasn’t his best performance, but he still worked some of his magic and scored a goal. The fatigue definitely hit him in the second half, but his first half performance was what counted.

Kacper Przybylko – 9

Involved in all three goals, Przybylko had quite the night. He scored the first goal early, then beat his defender to give Aaronson his goal and passed the ball to Ilsinho for him to score his goal. Przybylko looked great on the ball and put in the work off the ball to keep getting his team on the board in the first half. Saw less action in the second half, but was willing to track back as DC pressed.


Marco Fabian – 5

Replaced Ilsinho in the 70th. His performance in the previous match against DC was definitely better than this one, but still a good showing for the attacking midfielder in a half that the Union were not dominating. Passes were better, but not a lot of action for Fabian. Expect to see more of him against Atlanta.

Fafa Picault – 5

Came off the bench for about 20 minutes for Aaronson and like many in the second half, wasn’t very involved. He didn’t play against Chicago, though he did have a better time against DC than he did against Houston since passes were all around improved this match.

Warren Creavalle – 5

Only playing the last few minutes of the match, there was very little Creavalle got to do on Saturday night. Was still an improvement from last week’s match against Chicago.

Man of the Match – Kacper Przybylko

Being involved in all three goals earns him this title. The amount of work Przybylko put into this match does not go unnoticed as he adds to his personal stats.

Geiger Counter

Christopher Penso – 7

With just three cards this match, he controlled the match without altering it. Bedoya’s yellow might be depressing to fans, but was the right call by Penso.


  1. I would bump McKenzie up a point or two as I thought he had a better game than Elliott – plus it was fun watching him “dance” with Ola Kamara a couple of times 🙂

  2. I don’t think I’d argue with any of these ratings

  3. Przybylko has locked down his starting spot for the next game, but I’m not ready to keep Wooten on the bench. I wouldn’t mind seeing both of them on the field at the same time against Atlanta.
    Blake will need to put in a player rating performance of 8 or better to take 3 points from Atlanta as well.

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Give some credit for Jim Curtin for starting an attacking midfield line with three starters not being proven as 90 minutes match fit. He knew he would have to sub for Ilsinho, he had to suspect strongly that he would for
    Aaronson as well. He probably figured Monteiro might gut it out the longest as he did.
    And give credit to the guys for realizing that if they were going to win they had to score early and often.

  5. It should not go unnoticed that Ray Gaddis is such a gentleman.
    Prior to the game, Ray was to be honored for his 200th game with the Union. First when the staff brought out Coach Curtin and went to summon Ray for the ceremony, Ray ignored them. His body language said, ‘I’m preparing for a game. Don’t bother me.’
    When he eventually joined Curtin, Ray saw the Hometown Hero being spotlighted. He took the certificate to present to the Sergeant, thanked him for his service and made sure the sergeant’s children got a handshake and a greeting.
    Shamelessly stealing from a current TV commercial, ‘200 is big, serving your country is bigger.’ Well done Ray!

    • O captain my captain crunch is gone says:

      Well said joe. As
      Much as he can drive me
      Nuts on the pitch you can coach being a decent man. Not too many left in the sports world for sure.

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