Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 3-0 FC Cincinnati

Photo: Paul Rudderow

It took over 150 minutes of play, but Philadelphia Union were finally able to break down a lesser than FC Cincinnati Wednesday night at Subaru Park.

After playing out a dreadfully dull 0-0 draw in Ohio during their first meeting of the season, a goalless first half had the feel of more of the same.

Instead, the Union got a break. A deflected shot found the back of the net, becoming the first of three Philadelphia goals in 20 minutes.

In a bounce back game, which players stood out?

Player ratings

GK: Andre Blake — 8

Another match, another clean sheet. The Jamaican keeper picked up his seventh shutout of the season and his third in the last four games.

RB: Olivier Mbaizo — 5

His standout moment of the match was a rocket of a shot that caught just enough of the keeper’s fingertips to stay out of the net. Other than that, there were some good crosses and some poor giveaways.

CB: Jakob Glesnes — 4

An early giveaway almost gave Cincy the game’s opening goal. More importantly, credit is deserved for an actually extensive concussion check. Even still, it shows that head injuries aren’t always immediately evident.

CB: Mark McKenzie — 7

Continuing his run as one of MLS’s standout center backs, Mark McKenzie is starting to be held to a higher standard. It was a good game, but a misplay here and there keeps this score at a seven.

LB: Kai Wagner — 7

Returning from injury, Wagner whipped in a few crosses that were reminiscent of 2019. In a stop-and-start season, he hasn’t quite recaptured last year’s form. Tonight, it looked close.

RM: Alejandro Bedoya — 7

It was a captain’s shift. With defensive midfielder José Martinez’s sudden departure to the Venezuelan national team, The Union had shifted to a 4-2-3-1 lineup in a gameday tactical shift. Bedoya needed to defend more, and he did. Oh, and his clinical finish gave Philly a much needed cushion.

LM: Jamiro Monteiro — 7

Monteiro was pinging passes around the pitch, and a beautiful free kick earned a deserved assist. Still, it seems like he missed the cover of Martinez if ever so slightly.

RW: Brenden Aaronson — 7

Shifting from attacking midfielder to the wing, Aaronson took a little bit to get going. But when he did, it was the youngster who seemed to lead any fluid attacking moments. Five key passes and an assist is a good night’s work.

CAM: Anthony Fontana — 6

Who would have thought before the season we’d be talking about Anthony Fontana having the most dangerous shot on the team. Fontana came close twice to two more bangers, and looked the most likely to score before being replaced by Ilsinho early in the second half.

RW: Sergio Santos — 4

It wasn’t a productive night for the winger offensively, so let’s highlight a great defensive sprint in the 35th minute. Santos came all the way back to pick Cincinnati’s pocket in the final third. Those are the kind of things that can go unnoticed. Great play.

F: Kacper Przybylko — 3

One shot in 90 minutes. Pryzybylko has struggled in two games against Cincy’s center backs.


Jack Elliott — 7

Welcome back, Jack! What a header in Elliott’s return from injury.

Ilsinho — 7

Usually flashy, the Brazilian will take that deflection to open the scoring. His foot broke the game open.

Warren Creavalle — 6

Creavalle helped see out the lead and earn three points for the Union.

Andrew Wooten  & Matt Real— N/A

Entering in the 85th minute with the match decided, there wasn’t much for either to do.

Geiger counter

Jon Freemon — 6

Always good when there isn’t much for a referee to decide, but Freemon did a decent enough job controlling the match, albeit with a few missed decisions for both sides.

Player of the game

Alejandro Bedoya

Bedoya wasn’t the best player on the field. But I give credit to the captain for maintaining the Union’s shape, defensive structure, and seeing out a much needed win to keep the Union in contention for the top seed in the Eastern Conference


  1. These seem a bit high given the way the team played for the first 60 minutes or so. It wasn’t Santos and Kacper making most of the poor passes that led to turnovers, it was Mbaizo, Wagner, Bedoya, and Monteiro.

  2. Monteiro looks better today, and he put up great stats, but man sometimes he lingers on the ball too much. I feel like he never keeps it simple, too many times he was bumped in midfield and had to expend so much energy just keeping the ball.

    It worked out fine last night but thats the type of stuff that can really hurt us against good teams.

  3. I’m sorry, but other than the goal from bedoya, he played at about a 4 for me. He made quite a few mistakes and seems disjointed all night. Yes, Aaronson got an assist, but he had 3 square miles of space, nobody stepped to him, and he still hesitated in the critical moment. Also played at about a 4. Fontana was better than both of them last night and inexplicably got subbed off. Not sure how you have him rated lower than both of them.

    • Agreed on Fontana. I thought he was probably the best player on the team not named Andre Blake during the time he was on.

    • Agreed. Fontana was their most threatening player in the first half.

    • Bedoya was late to every press…..that’s what got him a yellow. He also saved a stone first touch on that volley……he did not mean to pop that ball up from Aaronson. Monteiro was the best player on the pitch for the Union……….Fontana a close second. I don’t jive with these ratings….almost like we watched a different match…….

      • Agree with Alicat that Monteiro was our best player. He looked like his old self from last year, for the first time in a long time. (He did make too many hard fouls though.)

    • Agreed on all points.
      IMO the best part of Fontana’s game last night was his D. In previous games he’s looked like he has no desire to win the ball from his man. He put on just enough pressure to get his guy to pass and no more.
      Last night, not only did he look like he wanted to win the ball, he took a little piece out of guys once or twice. I’m not in favor of playing dirty, but I am in favor of aggressive D.
      If BA is really leaving, and Fontana wants to lock down the #10 under Curtin, he will need to continue to play D like that to compliment his obvious offensive abilities.

  4. Can you take 1 point away from Mbaizo for giving Glesnes a possible concussion?

    • Andy Muenz says:

      That was on Glesnes. He shouldn’t have gone up when Mbaizo clearly had positioning on him 🙂

      • I disagree. Mbaizo was moving backward, while Glesnes movement was forward. I think Glesnes had better positioning on that play.
        I think the better question is whether or not Glesnes called Mbaizo off… if he didn’t, it’s on Glesnes; if he did, it’s on Mbaizo

  5. In Tanner We Trust says:

    As some mentioned above, Monteiro was the best player on the field. Aaronson was very quiet most of the night. Bedoya had a very bad night based on his standards, glad he could at least get a goal. And yes, Fontana was the biggest threat to score before being subbed off. Przybylko was absolutely nowhere to be seen, and at times he was extremely lazy in the press. When Burke is available, I think they need to give Burke and Santos a few starts together. Between their combined speed and strength, they offer so much potential.

  6. Five key passes is an insanely high number of them, in my experience of looking at OPTA stats in USLC, acres of space and poor defense or not.

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