Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 5-0 Toronto FC

Photo: Paul Rudderow

In what was most likely the greatest game of soccer in franchise history, the Philadelphia Union soundly defeated Toronto FC, 5-0 on Saturday night to become the best team in the MLS. Yes, Philly is now sitting at the top of the table and on track to win the Shield as of this weekend.

With a hat trick from Sergio Santos, Mark McKenzie’s second career goal, and a beautiful goal by Jamiro Monteiro, scoring was not a problem for the Union. Having controlled the match easily and putting up five goals against the top team in the league, it was a great night in Chester.

But, because we can’t just award everyone with 10’s across the board (however tempting it may be after that performance), it’s time to share the individual grades from that night of utter domination.

Player ratings

Andre Blake — 8

Adding another clean sheet to his stats, Blake was fairly untested all night making it difficult to grade him. His one token Andre Blake style save where he just tipped it over the crossbar to earn his clean sheet combined with his poor distribution is how he earned his grade.

Ray Gaddis — 8

Would have been a great night for a #RayGoal, but otherwise a very solid performance from the right back in his first match back in a month. Gaddis had some nice runs up the sideline and crosses, proving he can attack, but still has room for improvement.

Jakob Glesnes — 7

Glesnes almost had a goal of his own, getting his head on one of the many Union corners on Saturday night. Aside from that, not the busiest night defensively for him, but he still did a good job shutting down Toronto attacks.

Mark McKenzie — 10

This was probably one of McKenzie’s best performances in a Union jersey. From absolute brilliant defending with great clearances and consistent ability to keep his head up to read plays, to scoring his second career goal, it doesn’t get much better.

Kai Wagner — 9

Very good performance from Wagner who was able to deliver great crosses all night as he freely ran up the left sideline. With two assists for the night (Santos’ first and second goals) and his usual strong defending, he gets a nine. He doesn’t get a ten because he was caught too high up once or twice which led to (uneventful) counters for Toronto, and I’ve got to be critical since I can’t give everybody a perfect score.

Jose Martinez — 9

El Brujo’s return showed us all just how pivotal of a player he really is to the team. Martinez just makes the ball move smoother and more concisely. Really, the Union just look better when he’s on the field. He gets an extra point for being fouled all night and not retaliating.

Alejandro Bedoya — 8

Bedoya had some opportunities early on when Philly was still looking to get on the board. While he didn’t capitalize, he still put in some outstanding work. A true captain, putting in the background work to keep his team in complete control all night and get the victory.

Jamiro Monteiro — 8

With a goal of his own and a secondary assist on McKenzie’s goal, Monteiro was yet another player who had a very strong night. My only complaint is that he needs to shoot earlier; he always tries to take on too many players to get the ball as close as possible to the goal and it’s not necessary.

Brenden Aaronson — 8

Strong performance overall, especially when he showed how deserving he was of that “Six Million Dollar Man” tifo by decimating three of Toronto’s defenders in one bout of fancy footwork. But with only one assist for the night and no real chances for a goal of his own, he loses points.

Sergio Santos — 10

A hat trick equals a ten, that’s all I can say. What really gives him a perfect score is that he got the elusive first goal to open the floodgates, which was the most important key to Saturday night’s victory.

Kacper Przybylko — 6

With two near misses early on in the game, Przybylko looks to be returning back to his usual self, but he’s still in a goal drought. Having not scored since September 20th, we need to see more from Kacper, but at least Saturday was a step in the right direction. Starting as a striker and not scoring at least one of your team’s five goals is tough to swallow.


Andrew Wooten  & Cory Burke— 5

Two completely average performances after coming on for Santos and Przybylko in the 69th to play the final twenty minutes. Neither really did anything, so a middle grade for both of them. Great to see Burke jumping back in, although not completely MLS match fit, and Wooten is still the same relatively ineffective player now with a new haircut.

Jack Elliott — 6

Jack went back to the base of the diamond, coming on for Martinez in the 74th which was interesting to see. Jim was most likely looking toward the Wednesday match against Chicago and looking to rest his typical starters a bit.

Ilsinho & Anthony Fontana – N/A

Entering in the 82nd minute with the match already very much decided at 5-0, there wasn’t much for either to do except give Bedoya and Aaronson some additional rest.

Geiger counter

Jair Marrufo — 4

He kept control, despite a few big missed calls and a too-quick yellow for Monteiro in my opinion. Not adding on stoppage time at the end must have been a mercy call for Toronto, but still a bit strange to end it right at 90′.

Player of the game

Sergio Santos

With those three goals, how can he not be considered the player of the game?


  1. Would have had Monteiro and Wagner also 10s (think Monteiro was man of the match even), and think that the yellow Monteiro got is a yellow in 1st minute through the 90th. Must have been difficult not to have a blanket 10 for all though lol.

    • Agreed. Monteiro was awesome and that first Wagner assist was inch-perfect. But I get that giving too many 10s would lead to lots of comments about being too generous. Pretty incredible match all around, and very happy was able to attend this one!

    • Just to show how good this team was, my man of the match would have been Martinez. His secondary assist on the first goal was fantastic. And the difference in pass completions with him in the lineup compared to the last few games was a major difference in the way the Union controlled the game.

      • This may be a medium hot take but Martinez is the most important player on this team IMO. His inclusion at the 6 is what enables us to play Tanner’s style to perfection. Whenever he is not at the 6 this team does not look the same, it does not press the same and it does not transition the same.

        We have enough good players to still win games and look goodish without Martinez, but Martinez at the 6 is what evolves us from a team that wants to play like Red Bull to a team that DOES play like Red Bull.

      • The speed with which El Brujo makes the switch from defending to attacking is the real difference with this team in my opinion. Wherever he gets the ball he’s looking to attack and those long balls sprayed out to the wings are what starts a lot of these quick counters. How many long counters have we seen this year start in the Union half? I can think of several instances of Union players racing downfield starting from our own half.

        Might also take a half point from Santos for poaching that ball in front of goal that Kasper turned on. Santos skied it over the goal and it might have been the one to get Kasper back into the swing.

  2. I would have given the ref a much higher rating. While not perfect, I think he got most of the calls right. As soon as Monteiro committed the foul, I said yellow card. Giving him that card and the Toronto one right after (which I thought was less clear) kept the game from getting too chippy as it easily could have given the ultimate result. There were plenty of fouls, but very few that could have led to injury and I think the early yellow cards help set the tone.
    The lack of stoppage time at the end was a little strange but not necessarily a bad thing (I was expecting 2 more minutes of players kicking the ball around without actually doing anything).

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      I think the lack of stoppage time was the right call. Toronto just didn’t look threatening and I don’t think much would’ve happened in 2 extra minutes, like you said.

  3. My take on sat night is that it showed how good our midfield can be with proper rest (Martinez & Ale) and proper support of healthy outside starting backs.
    Monteiro will have some forced rest on Wednesday.
    Would love to see Ale come out early if the U get up by two.
    The back line and Blake have proven that they can be trusted this season – particularly with Martinez in.
    Gotta win Wednesday, but also have to put ourselves in a position to go the distance with healthy players.

  4. Jeremy Lane says:

    I would bump Kacpar up, maybe, or keep his score the same but be more positive on him considering he got two assists, and was in great positions multiple times. Getting to the spot is like 75% of good striker play.

  5. I love El Brujo’s attitude:
    I’m going for the ball
    I’m doing all I can to get the ball
    If the ref calls me for a foul I’m not going to argue because I earned it
    If the dude gets mad I’m not going to argue because I earned it
    And I’m going for the next ball
    And I’m doing all I can to get the next ball too…

  6. I tried to post earlier..but the phone was having some kind of problem…most likely user error! But if Ray scores this season, he should get a 10 on all player ratings for the rest of the season!!

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