MLS / Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: LAFC 3-3 Philadelphia Union

Those that stayed up late on Sunday evening were rewarded with one of the most entertaining matches in recent memory as the Union battled to a 3-3 draw in Los Angeles against the reigning Supporters Shield Winners. The match featured a full slate of amazing goals, Jakob Glesnes free kick the pick of the litter. The one thing Jim Curtin will certainly be disappointing with was his teams inability to hold the lead, giving it away almost immediately after each goal.

But after a dour opener in Dallas, there’s a lot to like about the Union’s performance in Los Angeles. They executed their game plan to almost perfection, pressuring LAFC all over the field. If the team can play like that most weeks, this should be another successful campaign in 2020.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 8

Rarely does a keeper get an 8 when the team concedes 3, but here we are. Blake was terrific on the night, making a number of clutch saves, with none more important than his save in stoppage time to earn the Union a point. He was fearless coming off his line and even saved a point blank shot with his face. The only reason he doesn’t get a 9 is for that awful flap on the third LAFC goal, which he should have done much better with. Finished with eight saves.

Ray Gaddis – 7

A decent defensive performance from Gaddis, who finished with four clearances and five recoveries. Dreadful much of the night in the attack, none of his three crosses found a teammate and was complete dispossessed on a great Union counterattack in the first half.

Jakob Glesnes – 9

Scored one of the greatest goals in Union history, belting in a free kick from 35+ yards. Go ahead, watch it again, I’ll wait. Came close to recording a brace as well, knocking a header off the crossbar in the second half. More than the offense even, Glesnes was strong in the air and with his tackles.  He finished with 12 clearances and 5 recoveries.

Mark McKenzie – 9

The Union’s best defender on the night. McKenzie looked so smooth and comfortable and read almost every ball played in his vicinity. His 6 clearances all came within 20 yards of the Union goal as well.

Matt Real – 8

Tasked with defending the ever dangerous Carlos Vela, Real was up to the task for most of the evening and kept Vela from creating too much from open play. A solid evening at the back, with four recoveries and four clearances. Fairly tidy with the ball, though none of his crosses found a Union player.

Jose Martinez – 8

Want to endear yourself to the Union faithful? Put in a performance full of tackles while bleeding from the face for much of the match. Martinez was a physical presence as the defensive midfielder on the night. He still looks raw, and the pace of MLS may have resulted in a few mistimed tackles, but there was a lot of good things in El Brujo’s debut.

Alejandro Bedoya – 8

Another game, another hardworking shift from Bedoya on the right side of the Union midfield. Finished with five recoveries and definitely did his part to harry LA on the ball as well as kept the ball moving for Philly in possession.

Jamiro Monteiro – 8

A much better game for Monteiro than the season opener. Finished with a team high 12 recoveries (five in the attacking half). Notched an assist on Santos goal. Only misplaced four passes on the entire evening.

Brenden Aaronson – 8

The Union homegrown put in a terrific performance in the top of the midfield diamond. His defensive work rate was amazing in every area of the field, in particular the attacking half, where he harried LA ball carriers all night. Rewarded with a goal on the night as well. A goal in which he kept his composure ever so well after finding a soft pocket of the LA defense to drift into.

Sergio Santos – 8

A goal and an assist for Santos, just about all you’d want in a stat line from a starting striker. His goal was of the highest quality and we’ll hope there will be more of that. Before Santos’ goal, I tweeted that he looked a little out of sync with the rest of the team, but he certainly grew into the match and his second half was his best of the season so far.

Kacper Przybylko – 6

A decent night for the big striker, despite not tallying his first goal of the season. Przybylko’s hold up play was impressive most of the night and he did well to find space to receive the ball, moving out to the right frequently. His final third passing was a bit disappointing though and a few better placed balls could have seen the Union score 5 or 6. His defensive header in the buildup to the LAFC third goal was particularly disappointing being that he’d been dominant on defensive corners all night.


Ilsinho – 6

Decent substitute appearance for Ilsinho, who managed to complete four dribbles in just about 25 minutes worth of work.

Anthony Fontana – 6

Got about a ten minute run out for the cramping Bedoya.

Jack Elliott – n/a

Late cameo deep into stoppage time shore things up.

Geiger Counter

Chris Penso – 5

Thought he favored the home team with some questionable calls, but got most of the big stuff right.

Man of the Match – Andre Blake

Fine arguments could be made for half the squad, but Blake finished with 8 saves, a few of of which were of the highest quality to keep the team in the match.



  1. Agree with all.. but Blake.. no denying he had a good game, but I think we are still judging him based his 2019 performance… A good goalkeeper makes the saves they are supposed to, and Blake did that except when he didn’t and it resulted in a goal, and he continues to have questionable distribution… Blake played well, but instead of giving him an 8, I would dock a point for the third and give him a 7…

  2. In Tanner We Trust says:

    Some of these feel kinda high. Real did well against Vela for the most part, but he offers little more than Ray going forward. I think he has a lot of potential, but I look forward to Wagner being back for sure. There’s definitely a difference there. And I thought Kacper made a lot of mistakes as well.
    Now on to the positive, Glesnes and Martinez are officially welcomed. I want to see both on the field every game. For Martinez, maybe he locks down CDM, maybe not. But maybe try RB, maybe give him some of Monteiro and Bedoya’s minutes to preserve them. Find a way to keep him on the field. When he picks up the speed of MLS, he will give every opposing midfield nightmares. We matched up well with LAFC because we had Aaronson, Miro, Ale, and Jose harassing the center of the field. I’m very excited for the next few games… if only Aaronson were still around though.

  3. I dunno. There was plenty of good Blake in this game, but there was bad Blake too. A glass half full approach says he single handedly got us a point. Half glass empty says he cost us two points with some peak bad Blake goaltending for that last goal. .
    Also watching our defenders trying to walk the ball out of the back instead of passing or just booting it out had me screaming.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    I think the score for the defense is a little too high, given that the lack of defending on the second goal and the inability to clear on the third. Probably drop Gaddis, Glesnes, and McKenzie a point each (I don’t think either was really in Real’s zone of coverage and the only thing Vela did was off a free kick that was not of his doing). Maybe also drop Martinez a point for the foul that led to the first goal.

  5. Blake was average says:

    Is Blake a vegan or vegetarian? Happy with the draw, however being that 5 defensive players averaged 43 out of 50 points and gave up 3 goals something doesn’t seem right. That’s a bit over 8 of 10/ player. I get that the competition is legit but you still gave up 3…. 2 within a few minutes after going ahead. All things being fair the U will be home on Saturday and I’ll be there with the boys cheering on the squad. Rest up lads and give us 3 this weekend.

  6. A lot of high scores there. And to give MotM to a guy who scored an 8 when two others scored 9 is a head-scratcher.

  7. Kai Wagner clearly will be LB when healthy, so is there a way to keep Matt Real in the lineup? Surely someone can replace Ray at RB. Looks like Jack Elliot, who was in my opinion our most reliable player of last season, just went a notch down in the order after Glesnes’ incredible performance, and will only start with McKenzie out on international duty. Speaking of international duty, what do we do wile Brendan Aaronson is away?

    • Start Oravec at holding mid, move El Brujo to center-mid alongside Bedoya, and move Monteiro to the 10.
      I think the only other options you have for the 10 would be starting Fontana there, or starting Ilsinho there. While I don’t like Monteiro at the 10, I like it better than both of those options.

    • Nah, El Brujo looked better going forward than Real. Real will contribute, but should not start yet.
      Once Oravec is ready to start at CDM, move El Brujo to RB.
      A defensive 5 of El Brujo, Glesnes, McKenzie, and Wagner with Oravec at CDM will give other team’s offenses nightmares, and every one of them can contribute offensively too – unlike Saturday’s line-up.
      Add in Montiero, Aaronson and Bedoya at mids and you have a very fast, gritty and tough pressing team. There are no $6M men, but also no weak spots – which was exactly Tanner’s vision as stated at the end of last year.

      • Brilliant. With El Brujo and Kai providing serious counterattacking threats. Looks like the long ball will be on in a lot of games, with Kacper winning enough duels for santos to scoop up a few. If only Dre was better at kicking the ball lol

      • Kai’s out for a
        Month or so. I don’t expect to see him start until May.

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