Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 3-1 Sporting Kansas City

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

On Thursday night the Philadelphia Union advanced to the semifinals of the MLS is Back Tournament with a 3-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City.

Compared to their last match, the Union looked to be much more cohesive offensively, and they still only allowed one goal. Now they’ll face the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, August 5 at 8 p.m. But let’s get into the player ratings from their last match.

Player ratings

Andre Blake — 7

Another great night for Blake, despite allowing a goal right before halftime. Not really his fault for allowing Mexican international Alan Pulido’s header past, as he went on to be a brick wall throughout the rest of the match.

Ray Gaddis — 9

Many have commented on Gaddis’ outstanding performance, including our resident “Ray goal” denier, Paul Catrino. I’ll just leave it at that.

Jack Elliott — 6

Elliott had a solid, quiet performance. Not a lot to knock him for as it looks like he and McKenzie are the two heavy central back favorites.

Mark McKenzie — 7

A staple in the back line, McKenzie had another great match on Thursday night. I wouldn’t even say he was showing off for European scouts, as he’s had a pretty consistent performance throughout the entire tournament.

Kai Wagner — 6

Again, another strong performance from a defender. Like Gaddis, Wagner was once again able to generate plays up the sideline and true to his form, he made the necessary aggressive defensive stops when the time came.

José Martinez — 6

Earning his fourth yellow card in five matches, but not worrying too much because of the accumulation rules of the tournament, El Brujo was his usual aggressive self. Luckily, he wasn’t overly aggressive after his booking, and he looked to be a little bit more comfortable in his defensive midfielder role behind Bedoya and Monteiro. Still, the concern is there that the bookings will limit his time on the pitch further into the tournament.

Alejandro Bedoya — 7

Philly’s first goal only happened with the captain’s run through Sporting KC’s back line. He had a few blunders, awkward touches and passes earlier as the two team’s got a read on each other and settled into the match, but he recovered enough to generate that all important first goal.  A good night for Bedoya.

Jamiro Monteiro — 8

Opening the match with the first goal, Monteiro seemed to always be in the right place at the right time. His goal looked easy as he knocked in a near empty netter, but his positioning was outstanding all match.

Brenden Aaronson — 8

If last match was Aaronson’s off night, he was definitely on Thursday night. I still think about the move and pass he made to allow Santos to score the Union’s third goal of the night. Definitely a great showing for the European scouts. My only complaint is that he once again got subbed out before the end of the match, and he’s still easily toppled.

Kacper Przybylko — 4

It was another off night for Przybylko. He didn’t have great touches, barely got any shots off, and just all around seemed to be half a step off all night. It wasn’t anything terrible, but in comparison to the rest of his team, he was definitely off his game.

Sergio Santos — 8

A clinical finisher and fast footed, Santos had an outstanding night with two goals. He easily finished off Aaronson’s beautiful pass to score the team’s second goal, then capitalized on a bad touch from Sporting KC making a long run to score the final goal for Philly. Not much you can say wrong about that.


Ilsinho — 4

The supersub didn’t look too super this match, rarely getting on the ball. Coming on the field in the 53rd, he had about 40 minutes to do something very Ilsinho-like, but didn’t.

Andrew Wooten — N/A

Wooten came on for Przybylko in the 71st minute. It was Wooten’s second appearance of the season, but he didn’t get much of a chance to do anything in that performance, barely touching the ball as the Union had shifted comfortably into defensive mode in the last few minutes of the match as they held onto a comfortable lead.

Anthony Fontana — 6

Fontana replaced Monteiro in the 86th minute, mostly to give Monteiro’s legs a break and to keep Philly’s lead intact. He did so with no problems, and had a few good touches to keep possession as the clock ticked down.

Matt Real — 6

Just like Fontana, Real replaced Aaronson in the 86th for the same reasons. Also like Fontana, Real had no problems and looked pretty good in his short time on the pitch.

Geiger counter

Ismail Elfath — 4

There were a few missed calls and a few cases where VAR could have been used, like that early grab on Santos in the box that gives him a lower rating. While not biased, he was inconsistent, swinging between allowing some harsher fouls, while carding some softer fouls. It wasn’t the worst officiating of the tournament, but it definitely wasn’t that good and it had an impact on the match.

Player of the game

Sergio Santos

Two goals for the night, you’re winning man of the match. Although, it was tough deciding between Santos, Aaronson and Monteiro.


  1. Fun game to watch and fair ratings overall I would say. Think though that game in and game out El Brujo is consistently being underrated. Yes, he has picked up some cards, but this format allows for that.
    IMO, his overall play is better judged by the game that he was not present to shield the back line. That night the D was porous and disorganized.
    Unless my math is wrong, the U has let in only 3 goals in 5 games with him on the field.

    • El Brujo’s skills on the ball have been a pleasant surprise!!
      I’ve seen him work his way out of situations with patience and composure, then successfully move the ball forward. It’s been fun to watch this year!!!

  2. Boorish Grishenko says:

    Wooten’s score of “N/A” for playing almost 1/4 of the match is a sad statement. His lack of involvement made Kasper’s slumping form seem a 6 or 7 in hindsight. Which isn’t to say Kasper had a good game, it was “meh.” His 4 fits nicely.
    They both need to make significant improvements – Kasper to regain confidence/form/edge, Wooten to just find a way into a game in the first place.

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      I think it’ll take one goal from Wooten to give him the confidence he needs.

    • I’m starting to think Wooten is a bust. Maybe injuries have been holding him back – he has been injured for most of his time with the Union it feels like – but I haven’t seen ANY killer instinct from him yet.

      • In Tanner We Trust says:

        If he were to be sold tomorrow, then 100% he’s a bust. But I think the effort is there, and I keep hoping it’ll pay off. From what I’ve heard he likes it here, and I know he wants a national team call up, so I just hope whatever problem he has, it gets solved.

      • Chris Gibbons says:

        Think about the year he’s spent as a Union player.

        Signed in the summer, which almost never works

        Suddenly Pryzbylko becomes a star, so his hold-up spot is now full

        Minor global pandemic

        Another injury in re-start

        He may yet be a star, but this has been a heck of an unlucky year.

      • For me Wooten was trying to do the right things, but was having to think before doing them, at least that’s how his behavior fit into the overall pace of play.
        The best way to put it may be his anticipation of what would be necessary was a count slow.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    A couple of corrections. Santos’ summary has his 2 goals reversed. The pass from Aaronson was the Union’s final goal of the game.
    Martinez only has 3 yellow cards in the tournament. He was suspended and didn’t play against Orlando and there were no cards issued in the New England game. So if it was a normal tournament, he would have been suspended for the Orlando game after 2 yellows and then any yellow card accumulation would be wiped out after the semifinals which is essentially what has happened.
    Martinez did receive a yellow in March against LAFC.

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