MLS / Player ratings / Union

Player Ratings: Philadelphia Union 2-1 Chicago Fire

After the weekend win against Toronto to move into first place, where it felt like every player on the pitch could have earned a 10 in the ratings, the Union put in a collective 5 performance in a sloppy win over the 10 men of the Chicago Fire.

The good news that you can take from a match where the Union labored to defeat a Fire team forced to play much of the game with 10 men and where they lost Andre Blake to a hand injury is that both Kacper Przybylko and Cory Burke tallied important goals. The win also keeps the Union in poll position in the Supports Shield Race. The game itself was a frustrating one where the Union looked sluggish for one of the first times this season. But on a night where the result was the most important thing, the team gritted out the three points.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 6

Made a fine first save on the Chicago goal and can’t probably take too much blame for allowing a header from 4 yards. The big story is how quickly will the Union get back their #1 goalkeeper from his hand injury.

Ray Gaddis – 4

Adventurous 45 mins for Gaddis. His cross led to the Union penalty kick. But his complete whiff of a tackle on the edge of the box directly led to the Chicago goal.

Jakob Glesnes – 6

So powerful in the air. Won almost every header on the night. Was a step slow finding the danger man on the Chicago goal after the scramble in the box. Well hit free kick that was just wide in the first half.

Mark McKenzie – 5

Could have stepped up faster in the build up to the Chicago goal and lost an aerial duel on a good Chicago chance in the second half. McKenzie’s usually consistent passing also seemed off for parts of the night

Kai Wagner – 5

After a dominant night in acres of space against Toronto, Wagner was less involved coming down the left side against Chicago. Caught up field on the Fire goal but still two huge blocks at the end of the match when he was needed.

Jack Elliott – 6

Could have scored with a powerful header from a corner in the first half. Another decent performance at the holding midfield position. Even with Warren Creavalle getting healthy, Elliott might be the preference until Jose Martinez is back.

Alejandro Bedoya – 5

Typical gritty performance from Bedoya. Seven recoveries, five of which came came in the offensive half of the field as the captain fought to get the ball back all night.

Brenden Aaronson – 6

Good performance from Aaronson who had 3 key passes on the night and notched a secondary assist on the game winner. I thought his set pieces were decent in place of the suspended Jamiro Monteiro and he could have an assist on Elliott’s saved header.

Anthony Fontana – 4

Quiet night for Fontana who really couldn’t find the ball. Only attempted 7 passes in an hour on the pitch.

Sergio Santos – 5

Similar to Fontana, Santos just couldn’t find a way to get himself involved on the ball. Ran tirelessly, but only ended up completing 5 passes in an hour of time.

Kacper Przybylko – 6

I’ll be that penalty felt good. Confident finish from the penalty spot to get the Friendly Striker back on the scoresheet. Probably should have notched a second when he was played in by Ilsinho in the second half but his shot was well saved.


Olivier Mbaizo – 5

Quality cross that led to Burke’s game winner. But a wild ride of lost possession and poor touches in an inconsistent night for the second half sub.

Cory Burke – 6

An immediate impact, scoring just 5 minutes after coming on, a confident header to give the Union the win. Would be a huge boon to have more goal scoring fire power coming off the bench heading into the final games of the season and the playoffs.

Ilsinho – 6

Positive performance from Ilsinho who gave the Union a boost after coming on. Could have an assist when he did well to beat his man and play in Przybylko.

Andrew Wooten – 7

Most of the time players don’t even get a rating entering after 87 minutes, but how important could that late game goal line clearance be?

Joe Bendik – 4

Replaced the injured Blake in the 90th minute and almost made a huge mistake as Chicago searched for an equalizer. Let’s hope he’s got it out of his system.

Man of the Match – Brenden Aaronson

Hard to choose. Przybylko and Burke’s goals make them obvious candidates. But Aaronson’s possession play and key passes drove the match for the Union.

Geiger Counter

Guido Gonzales Jr. – 2

I thought the red card was harsh on Calvo and Chicago. Inconsistent all night from the man with the whistle, who seemed to arbitrarily award yellow cards in a match that finished with 37 fouls between the two teams


  1. Chris Gibbons says:

    Those passing numbers for Fontana and Santos are borderline unbelievable. No wonder it felt like the team couldn’t link the back to the front…. they couldn’t.

  2. I think most of these were a bit high, although Bedoya should get some credit for the play that led to the red card.
    2 is about 3 too high for the ref. He stole a breakaway from Corey Burke just before stoppage time when he thought it important to stop the play to award a yellow card to the player who fouled Bedoya rather than honor the advantage with Aaronson finding Burke through the defense. There was at least one other play when he took away a Union advantage to stop for a Chicago injury with no hint of it being a head injury.
    Even if the red was harsh, it should have been a second yellow as Calvo should have gotten one for the handball (given that Bedoya got one in a similar situation in DC.

  3. Jonathan Tannenwald is reporting in the Inquirer that Andre Blake’s hand is broken, that he is possibly out for the season and that Joe Bendik is likely starting on Sunday. Time for the back line to close ranks and prevent anything from even getting close.

  4. I would like to see Fontana at striker, his link play isn’t too promising, but his nose for attacking and goal are what make him valuable. Although with the return of Burke, there aren’t a lot of minutes there to go around.

    Also appears we’ve found our star center back of the future in Wooten!

  5. As Andy said, Blake is out with a fracture. Not good indeed. Bendik has a well known record for letting balls get past him when he was with Orlando, and he has had barely any appearances since 2018. Both aspects seemed on display in his late appearance where Chicago nearly evened the score in the few minutes he was on the pitch. He also played for Columbus before we picked him up so they’ll know how to play and shoot against him.
    . . .
    What’s the thoughts on the GK situation? Start with Bendik or with Matt Freese? How should the team strategize with the keeper issue?

  6. Looks like the red card was rescinded but Calvo was still fined for not leaving the field in a timely manner.

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