Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 1-0 New England Revolution

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union advanced to the quarterfinals of the MLS is Back Tournament with a 1-0 victory over New England Revolution in Orlando.

The good? The Union have now kept a clean sheet in two of the four games since returning to action and have yet to concede multiple times in a match.

The bad? The offense isn’t clicking. They’ve been off since returning, managing just one goal in three of their four tournament matches.

While the points no longer count, Philadelphia will need to step up offensively against Sporting Kansas City Thursday night if they want to reach the final four.

With the preamble out of the way, let’s dive into the player ratings.

Player ratings

GK: Andre Blake — 7

The Jamaican international was again outstanding, but with limited opportunity to shine brightly. Blake read the game well, and his moment of the match came in the 34th minute. The Revolution’s winger Tajon Buchanon found room in the box, but Blake rushed forward to make a sliding fingertip save on the lifted attempt.

RB: Ray Gaddis — 7

While unable to really contribute going forward, Gaddis was rock solid defensively. There isn’t much to say, which is exactly what the Union want from their full back.

CB: Jack Elliott — 6

Similar to the rest of the back line, Elliott had a quiet performance. The only knock comes from a moment in the 66th minute, where the center back allowed a free header after losing his man in the box.

CB: Mark McKenzie — 9

It almost feels like McKenzie won’t lose a one vs. one battle. There wasn’t a moment where the Homegrown defender seemed out of place or troubled. The most worrying moment was also his best. McKenzie stopped playing assuming a foul would be called on New England’s Adam Buksa. The center back was still able to win the ball even after his momentary pause in play.

LB: Kai Wagner — 5

For the most part, Wagner was solid. He created the Union’s best chance of the first half playing in forward Sergio Santos just before the whistle. But Wagner completely lost Buchanon on the aforementioned opportunity. Is it fair to knock him for something that was ultimately nothing? Well, this whole thing is subjective anyway.

DM: José Martinez — 6

The defensive midfielder did what was needed, even playing a cleaner game than usual. He protected his defense well made life difficult for the opposition. Going forward, Martinez’s play wasn’t crisp. His passing was a little loose, and he too often searched for the final pass over the smart one.

RM: Alejandro Bedoya — 5

It was a quiet night for the Union’s captain. While overall fine, his absence in the forward movement was noticeable.

LM: Jamiro Monteiro — 8

Philadelphia’s positive moments also seemed to come from their No. 10. Monteiro’s sublime lofted pass produced the match winner, and a through ball to midfielder Brenden Aaronson could have ended the game in the 74th minute.

CAM: Brenden Aaronson — 5

It wasn’t the best game for the Union’s attacking midfielder. On a positive note, Aaronson’s off-ball movement was impressive. Unfortunately, he saw too little of the ball during the match. A better touch on the Monteiro pass was needed.

F: Kacper Przybylko — 4

The Polish striker was off in this match. On counter-attacking opportunities, Przybylko couldn’t quite produce the clinical touches. As always, his hold up play was great, but one shot as a striker isn’t good enough.

F: Sergio Santos — 7

Santos was the final piece in Philadelphia’s most dangerous moments. With four shots in 64 minutes, the Brazilian was productive. It felt like Santos missed his moment after failing to trouble goalkeeper Matt Turner after Wagner played him in. But on his final touch, Santos was ruthless. His tight-angled finish helped the Union advance in this inaugural tournament.


Ilsinho — 4

The supersub was likely introduced to produce a match-winning moment of magic, but Santos saw to that just before his countryman replaced him in the 64th minute. Ilsinho’s only real contributed was an attempted through ball that just missed its mark in the 89th minute.

Warren Creavalle — 7

Creavalle’s job was to see out the final ten minutes of action without the Union conceding a tying goal. That mission was accomplished after replacing Aaronson in the 83rd minute.

Andrew Wooten — N/A

Wooten replaced Przybylko after the attacker limped off the field in the 88th minute. There was little time for the U.S. international to affect the match in his first appearance of the 2020 season.

Geiger counter

Ismail Elfath — 6

It wasn’t the most physical match, so the referee’s influence wasn’t needed. There was some inconsistency both ways, but the ref’s score was lowered after the Revolution’s Gustavo Bou and Antonio Mlinar Delamea both escaped warrented yellow cards.

Player of the game

Mark McKenzie

Another game, another standout performance for the center back who seems destined for European soccer.



  1. Another quiet night for Kai. Is he so good that teams are game-planning against him now to pin him deep or has he just been really off so far this tournament?
    Agree with most of the ratings but think Gaddis is too high. Yes he wasn’t abused all night like Nani did last game, but in an offense that counts on the backs getting forward to contribute not sure a 7 goes to a back that was “unable to really contribute going forward.”

    • I get it, but Curtin doesn’t want both of his fullbacks pushing up together. If Wagner pushes, Gaddis stays home with the center backs shifting to cover.

      That tends to be the preferred style, but I can’t say they always play that way. Just insight I once gained from chatting with the coach.

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      They play so right-sided that it’s not often Wagner is involved since everyone is bunched on the other side of the field and he’s staying home near the midfield circle.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    I would probably give Kai an extra point for the interception that led to the Union goal.

  3. I would definitely give Kai a higher rating. He lost his man once, but otherwise he was rock-solid on defense, and he did spring us out for the eventual game-winning goal. Otherwise I agree with almost all the player ratings.

  4. In Tanner We Trust says:

    I notice that individually the majority of the team is playing very well, or at least have their moments. But it needs to be more cohesive like last year and even 2018. Monteiro’s distribution has been very good, but in general they haven’t had those eye candy team goals so far this year, outside of the winner against Miami.

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