MLS / Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Columbus Crew 1-0 Philadelphia Union

photo: Paul Rudderow

The Union dropped their first match since the regular season resumed in Columbus on Wednesday night. An even match between two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference was decided by a deflected Lucas Zelarayan shot just before the hour mark. While always disappointing to lose, I for one don’t think it’s time to worry after losing to the best defensive team in the league and having created enough chances to win or draw.

Columbus has only conceded two goals in regular season play this season and they proved a tough nut to crack for the Union. With Kacper Przybylko not finding the game easily,  Sergio Santos decision making not the sharpest on the night, Ilsinho with a constant double team around him, we have to start wondering how the Union adjusts their attack when Plan A and Plan B aren’t working.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 7

Not a lot Blake could do to get to Zelarayan’s deflected shot that flew into the top corner of his net. Decent save to deny the Argentinean in the first half.

Ray Gaddis – 6

Good night defensively for Gaddis who had to deal with Mokhtar and Valenzuela on the Columbus left. Seven recoveries, 5 of which came inside the Union box.

Jack Elliott – 6

Five clearances and six recoveries in a decent night for Elliott.

Mark McKenzie – 6

Denied by Nagbe on the goal line when it looked as if his shot would open the scoring in the first half. Unlucky to see the Columbus goal deflect in off his foot but perhaps a step slow to step out to Zelarayan.

Olivier Mbaizo – 5

Surprising start for Mbaizo at the left back spot. Looks uncomfortable driving down the line to pass with his left foot, but was reliably defensively matched up against Harrison Afful and Pedro Santos. Not a lot of room to get forward.

Jose Martinez – 6

Martinez has run a ton over the last few weeks and looked a little tired in the center of the park against a Columbus team that kept the ball for long stretches

Alejandro Bedoya – 6

Did well to work the goalkeeper from distance in the first half with a good shot. Found a lot of the ball in an hour on the field and finished with one key pass. Looked tired for maybe one of the first times in his Union career.

Jamiro Monteiro – 6

The most involved midfielder for the Union on the night. Still missing some cutting edge in the final third but showed some decent chemistry with Mbaizo.

Brenden Aaronson – 4

Tons of running for the youngster who found himself matched up against the tireless Darlington Nagbe for much of the match. Only completed 10 passes in just about an hour of playing time, his shortest shift this season.

Sergio Santos – 4

He had to square that ball for Kacper to tap home in the second half. He had to.

Kacper Przybylko – 5

Quiet night for the friendly striker who found it difficult to find space with the powerful Jonathan Mensah patrolling his area much of the time. Have to think he could have tapped in that chance where Santos chose to shoot.


Ilsinho – 6

Found himself against 2 or 3 defenders almost every time he found the ball. One of the biggest problems he faced was where he received the ball – closer to midfield than the Crew 18 yard box.

Matt Real – 6

More room to get forward than Mbaizo had with the Union chasing the game. A few times found himself isolated against 2 or 3 Crew defenders late on, and did well to fling in some crosses from those match ups.

Warren Creavalle – 5

Difficult position for Creavalle to be in with the Union chasing the game for the entire time he was on the pitch.

Andrew Wooten – 3

With some Union fans asking what Plan B might be, we can be sure it’s not Andrew Wooten.

Anthony Fontana -n/a

Late cameo for Fontana.

Player of the Match – Lucas Zelarayan

Scored the only goal of the game and was involved in most of Columbus’ best moves.

Geiger Counter

Robert Sibiga – 2

Poor outing from the referee who was inconsistent from the off. Not a lot of big calls thankfully, but way too inconsistent both ways.


  1. A bit too hit for both midfield M’s. It seemed like there were a bunch of forced passes to teammates 20 yards away where a Crew player was able to read in intercept 5 yards before reaching the target. This was especially so after the team went down a goal and really needed to maintain more possession. Plus Monteiro needed to be smarter and not take the unnecessary card while 2 away from suspension.

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