Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 0-2 NYCFC

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

It was another disappointing outing for the Philadelphia Union after a big win midweek in the CONCACAF Champions League.  Even for the brief 15 minutes that the Union and NYCFC were even on the field, Philadelphia did not seem prepared for City at all. To the ratings….

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 6

Made good saves to keep the scoreline reasonable, had no chance on the first goal. Second goal probably could’ve told Glesnes to boot it out, but an odd play.

Olivier Mbazio – 4

Didn’t really have many City attacks down his side, but also struggled with his passes and helping push the offense up the field. Put in a tough spot down a man.

Jakob Glesnes – 4

Still has some trouble in possession, which is becoming a trend 5 games into the season. Was doing alright before that catastrophic decision that led to the second goal.

Jack Elliott – 4

Wasn’t personally liable for any of the goals, but also struggled in possession and passing. Probably bailed out by a few Andre Blake saves.

Matt Real – 3

You could tell this was Real’s first start of the season, as NYCFC attacked his side from the start. Could have done better on the first goal, but was basically playing a 2 on 1 with City overloading that side. Struggled to get anything going forward.

Jose Martinez – 1

Deserved red card after being warned by the referee not even 5 minutes before. Missed a tackle and was slow recovering on the first goal, partially leading to the overload on the left side.

Alejandro Bedoya – 4

Basically invisible most of the match and chasing the game. Tough ask for all the midfielders when losing their anchor.

Jamiro Monteiro – 4

Same as Bedoya, was clearly losing his temper as the match went on. Got a needless yellow after a tackle out of frustration.

Anthony Fontana– 3

Almost didn’t hear his name at all in the first half, even before going down a man. Was expecting more from Fontana after not starting Tuesday, but tough to drive offense down a man

Sergio Santos – 4

Like the rest of the Union, couldn’t find any offense, which isn’t good for a striker. The one attacking chance the Union did have Santos decided to shoot into 2 New York defenders instead of finding an open teammate.

Cory Burke – 3

Didn’t offer much of anything up top. Timing looked off and looked like a guy who hasn’t played much soccer recently.


Kai Wagner – 5

Didn’t allow too many attacks down his side after coming on for Real. A brief 30 minutes for the German left back.

Leon Flach– 5

Brought some bite and physicality to the midfield, which was needed after the Martinez dismissal. Set up a good Union chance by drawing a foul outside the box.

Jack McGlynn– 5

A good cameo for the youngster. Didn’t seem out of place on the field even a man down, brought some good energy.

Kacper Przybylko – 4

Like Santos, was struggling to find anything going offensively due to being a man down.

Quinn Sullivan – N/A

A brief cameo for Sullivan, useful for experience and getting a run out against an MLS side.


Player of the Match – Maxi Moralez

Drove the NYCFC offense all night, even before the red card. Union had no answers on how to stop him and lsot track of him too many times.

Geiger Counter

Ismail Elfath– 6

Got the red card correct after review, and even warned El Brujo before it. After the dismissal, was quick to give out cards looking to squash any attempts at retaliation. Overall a good night for Elfath.


  1. Has there ever been a Union match where the highest rated (well,tied for top rated) participant is the referee? I don’t disagree, and am wondering if we’re witnessing a historical player ratings post today.

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      I disagreed with some of his calls, but like the post said, he kept control of a rivalry game that could’ve gotten ugly. Very rare that an MLS ref deserves more than a 5. So yeah, might be historical

  2. UnitedPenn13 says:

    I don’t know if it’s historic or not but it was pitiful. I think you were a bit generous with the rating for Mbazio. He was terrible and has not impressed me at all this season. Not a good start to the MLS season. Maybe having this team compete in the CCL and MLS is a bit much to ask of them.

    • T.Coolguy says:

      Its not uncommon for teams playing in the CCL to stumble out the gate in MLS, and some squads much deeper than Philadelphia have struggled with this (such as Seattle in some past years). They generally go on a tear once the CCL part of the schedule dies down, so hoping for the same from Philly.

      Agree with you on Mbaizo. I was pretty unimpressed with him last year, but his performances against Saprissa had given me some hope. But he’s looked bad since.

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      I feel the same way about Mbaizo but Curtin has said he felt he’s been incredible. I would love some data on that, or at least some perspective on what he’s seeing that we’re not.

      • I think a lot of people are overlooking how well Mbaizo has done defensively so far this year. I know in this system fullbacks are expected to be contributors on offense and that Mbaizo has potential to be very exciting there, so naturally fans are a bit disappointed with how inconsistent he’s been in possession. But I think there’s been a lot less of a drop off in 1v1 defending than people might have expected as compared to Gaddis. Can’t think of a time he’s been beaten on the dribble by a winger yet this year.

    • That seems true of all MLS teams though. Look at the CCL teams’ position in the MLS standings and you’ll see that all of the teams fighting on 2 fronts are doing worse than their usual standard in MLS play.

      I’d think to chalk that up to MLS being a salary cap league, as teams can’t afford the level of quality depth needed to compete in multiple competitions. However, most teams that aren’t in the established global elite (Barca, Chelsea, PSG, et al.) suffer when trying to win in both league and continental play. Think of how poorly the league campaign goes for teams like Wolves/West Ham/Burnley when they make it into the Europa League.

      • The reason you don’t see Mbaizo beaten 1v1 very often is because he’s rarely in them..he takes such terrible angles that he’s beaten before it’s 1v1

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