MLS / Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: FC Dallas 2-0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

The attack looked stagnant and the new midfield a step off as the Union dropped their 2020 season opener in Dallas, 2-0. There were promising signs as the high press did well to keep Dallas pinned in for portions of the match, particularly in the second half. But Jamiro Monteiro and Brendan Aaronson didn’t seem to have to have the chemistry quite yet figured out in linking with Sergio Santos and Kacper Przybylko.

New signing Jakob Glesnes looked assured but made the crucial mistake in backing off Zdenek Ondrasek on the opening goal. Matt Real looked the part of an MLS left back but the Union clearly missed some of Kai Wagner’s offensive prowess down the left flank.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 4

Blake started the poor sequence that led to the Dallas opener, kicking the ball out of bounds. The strike from Ondrasek was a fine one, but a shot we’ve seen Blake keep out as well.

Ray Gaddis – 5

A reliable performance from the right back, who did well defensively (though rounded once quite easily by old friend Fafa Picault) but offered little to an attack that needed something extra.

Jakob Glesnes – 4

Decent debut for the Norwegian, who came into preseason camp and seemingly won a starting role from Jack Elliott, one of the star performers from last season. Not afraid to throw in a tackle and was reliable in possession most of the match. Made a big mistake when he backed off of Ondrasek when the striker was in shooting position for Dallas’ first goal.

Mark McKenzie – 5

Battling performance from McKenzie who was seemingly in the wars all night. Six recoveries, three clearances and some big tackles throughout the night.

Matt Real – 5

Looked the part of an MLS left back but didn’t offer the attack we’ve seen from Kai Wagner in that position. Did finish with four recoveries, including two in the attacking half, which Jim Curtin will be happy to see.

Warren Creavalle – 5

Had a strong match in the #6 role, having seemingly won the starting spot from new recruits Matej Oravec (not in the 18) and Jose Martinez. A typical Creavalle performance in which he closed space quickly and did well to harry ball carriers but offered little in the passes forward category.

Alejandro Bedoya – 5

Seemed the cleanest on the ball of the Union’s midfielders. Had a few decent shooting opportunities blocked and a scuffed half volley straight at the goalkeeper. Work rate was consistent from what we’ve seen of the captain of the year.

Jamiro Monteiro – 4

An okay performance but not a DP performance from Monteiro. Was tidy on the ball but failed to create much for Przybylko or Santos. His set pieces rarely found a Union jersey.

Brendan Aaronson – 4

An uneven performance from the second year player. Had probably the best chance of the first half, firing a shot wide that he should have hit the target with. His hustle can’t be denied and he’s a great fit for the press, but he’ll be judged for his decisions going forward this year and didn’t quite fire in Dallas. Should have intercepted the pass that led to the first Dallas goal.

Sergio Santos –  3

Poor outing from Santos. Found the ball in some good areas but misplayed his pass more often than not. Just felt a stop off the pace for most of the match. Failed to find many opportunities to use his speed to get behind the Dallas defense. Stupid yellow card.

Kacper Przybylko – 4

Popped up in good spots and generally looked like the Kacper of 2019, which is a good thing. Only found two shots, and just one shot on target, from well out.


Ilsinho – 4

Little impact from last year’s super sub. Dallas seemed ready for tricky Brazilian and he saw few touches in meaningful areas of the pitch and had almost no opportunities to go one on one with Dallas defenders.

Anthony Fontana – 4

Jim Curtin’s second sub also found little opportunity to impact the match, but did complete all 10 of his passes on the evening.

Jack Elliott – n/a

A late cameo for the center back at… center forward?

Geiger Counter

Robert Sibiga – 4

Not too many big decisions, but Sibiga was buying what Dallas was selling (and they were selling, particularity after going up 1-0).

Player of the Match: Zdenek Ondrasek

Came up with the best piece of skill in the match with a clever first touch and a strong finish from distance to beat Andre Blake.


  1. Agree with your Geiger counter. I won’t make any excuses for the Union, who didn’t do anything to deserve a win, but Dallas shithousery was about as shithouse as I’ve ever seen. They had someone on the ground for nearly every other minute of the second half. It was ridiculous. Helped contribute to a match that was poor all around.

    • SilverRey says:

      They did a good, if not cynical job of closing down the game with their consistent fouling. Beyond all our bizarre formation changes, and more than partially because, we didn’t have any rhythm down the stretch with the whistle blowing every 10 seconds.

  2. Section 114 (Former) says:

    The entire slate gets about a point too much. Nothing was average or close to average from the team, in what was a pretty mediocre showing. Yes, it was on the road, the first game, new players, etc. But there was some mediocre play and no moments of joy, art, magic, or other positivity to outweigh the periods of blah.

    I remain concerned that the team basically brought back the same side, with a few replacements to shore up defensively, while not doing anything at all to add to the offense or spark. I fear a lot of this for a while.

  3. When your RB, LB, and 6 both end the ratings with a “… but they sucked in offense.”, you are screwed. We don’t have an elite DP striker or 10 to make up for missing offensive contributions from 3 players.

  4. So I’m an avid STH who follows and checks this site regularly. What does it say when you google Oravec and Jose Martinez for the Union, all that can be found is that we signed them. And then when rthis site gives its ratings, all they can say is that Creavalle “seemingly” beat them out a starting spot. So I assume these guys aren’t good enough? Which to me is a huge red flag and we should already have plenty of questions. Nothing against Creavalle, I think he’s a solid backup. But the idea was to replace Medunjanin with a quality sure-starter. Fans like myself will not accept regressing after making so much progress last year.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    Really need answers from Curtin this week as to why Oravec wasn’t even in the 18 and Creavalle was your choice to play. That just pissed me off from the get-go. I feel like Jim punked out, got scared, and started a defensive lineup for god knows what reason. It’s Dallas Jim… not LAFC. Oh god, we pay them this week… he’s gonna start Creavalle again isn’t he…

  6. Andy Muenz says:

    I thought Blake reacted a little late on the first goal and that was costly. I also think you are giving too much credit to Creavale. The play that sticks out in my mind for him was one in the first half where he was standing around with the ball and got stripped from behind. I believe that led to the chance where Blake had to make a great save. While Medjunanen wasn’t perfect I don’t remember him getting stripped while just standing there.
    Overall, if you compare this team to the one that played the majority of last season, we have a likely lateral move at CB, a downgrade forced by injury at LB and a definite downgrade at CDM. We need to see one of the new signings step up there.

    • Tim Jones says:

      Recommend following Mike Servedio’s suggestion, above.
      Not sure exactly what Curtin is looking for to go with players with a higher offensive ceiling than Creavalle at the 6, he doesn’t say specifically, but clearly he wants them to practice together more before he puts them out on the field.
      It could be that he was trying to protect Real a bit against Barrios’s pace. And Gaddis for that matter.
      Real will have Carlos Vela next week. I’d build in some extra protection there if I could.
      They’ve got to ride Real for several weeks at left back. They cannot afford for him to get torched and lose his confidence.

  7. Tim Jones says:

    Observation on Aaronson. He did very well holding the ball in tight spaces under double teams, but then would lose the ball.
    His next step is to hold and find a pass.
    I had the instinctive sense that if we had had a Borek Dockal at the 10 we would be much better.
    I assume the purpose of this year is to find out whether Aaronson can become something like a Dockal at the 10, offensively. He’s already better than that defensively.

  8. I understand that Dallas had speed at both wings, but the line-up and the way they played was a total capitulation. In the game I saw, neither Gaddis nor Real took on a single player on the dribble. Nor did Crevalle. He also chose to stand still or move away from the ball in situations where the fullbacks were looking for him to check to them for a square ball to link the midfield. I get that we want to counter, but every ball cant be a long ball and you can break lines with passes from d-mid too – just like we’ve seen for the last two years.
    Gaddis and Real should be a point lower and Crevalle two points.
    Glenses should be a point higher. He battled the forwards had all night and was actaully positive with the ball at his feet – a 6 for sure, with a 1 point deduction to a 5 for watching the goal.

  9. Blake Blows says:

    What’s the managers rating?
    5-1 LAFC takes it.
    That team will run circles around this midfield. We looked like diesel trucks with our buildup in a league with Indy cars. Somebody better fix this ASAP or we’re in for a long year.

  10. Great One says:

    Jim’s comments at least mean he’s not hiding from it, but really it was a punk out, one that will inevitably be coming against LAFC again. Creavalle is fine and even great to have on a team, but he will never ever be a starter. Pair that with both outside backs being stuck behind midfield and we were doomed. I may have underestimated Medunjanins meaning to this team moving forward.

  11. SilverRey says:

    I would bump up Blake some. He had some nice stops mixed in there. Sure he booted the ball out of bounds off the GK multiple times, and maybe should have had his positioning a little better on the second goal.
    I don’t really put either of those goals on him. Glesnes stepped back?!?!? from Kobra before he shot, and neither Bedoya or Fontana tracked back to help on the second goal – both less than 10ft away. Pomykal is going to be fun to watch in 3wks for Olympic Qualifying!

  12. New system = no offense so far.

    most telling and bad sign of night was Curtin putting Elliot in as forward in the late stages of the game. wow that is so sad they better get a real forward fast. (not to take away from elliots ability as a weapon on corner kicks), but I don’t remember if he was subbed on during a corner kick.

    Ilshinio was not effective at all. I don’t know if it is their new system or he lost his mojo.

    offense did not look threatening the whole night.

    Cant win any games if you score no goals. Even if you don’t lose all season the best you can do is end with 36 points.

  13. If neither of the 2 CDMs we signed is ready for the starting job, then the guy who should be starting in the 6 hole is… Jamiro Monteiro. He would make a great midfield destroyer.

    Also, I find it very hard to believe that Jack Elliott doesn’t deserve a starting spot. I didn’t see the much, but it sounds like Glesnes and Mackenzie did… OK?? Which sounds to me like less good than Elliott did last season.

  14. Elliott should talk to Trusty and Rosenberry about how to deal with being in Curtin’s doghouse. Maybe unauthorized tweets to motivate a trade to a team that appreciates your skills?

  15. The Truth says:

    No one rated above a 5, that’s fair. Poor showing from all involved. I’m not staying up for LAFC. Looking forward to Monday’s report/comment.

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