Player ratings / Union

Player Ratings: Philadelphia Union 3 – Portland Timbers

Photo credit: Marjorie Elzey

Three goals, clean sheet, and an easy three points for the home team. Simple and to the point the Union played a complete game against lesser opposition and got the result they were supposed to. All told, that’s good news, though it does make player ratings a bit more tricky. Since Portland never seemed to ask much of the Union, we didn’t really get to see anything out of the ordinary from most Philadelphia players. Which isn’t a bad thing, but does make these ratings a little soft across the board. With that said, as always each player starts with a score of 5 and points are added or subtracted from there.

Player ratings

Andre Blake — 7

Hard to find fault in a clean sheet. But Blake also bobbled a couple saves that could have gone poorly for the Union had the opposition been a bit sharper, so it was a far from flawless performance.

Kai Wagner — 6

A relatively quiet night from the German, other than a spectacular volley attempt in the twelfth minute.

Jack Elliott — 8

Jack in the Box strikes again! More than once he showed his decision-making to be top-notch, and he’s got the phyisical gifts to be a truly great defender. With his European passport, he may be the next Union defender heading for greener pastures some time soon.

Jakob Glesnes — 7

Honestly Glesnes is lucky the opposition was only Portland on Sunday night. On more than a few occassions it appeared he failed to communicate with Elliott or Mbaizo, which resulted in dangerous situations like Felipe Mora’s shot in the fifty sixth minute. Luckily nothing came of those missteps, but we know Glesnes is capable of better, and he’ll need to be come August.

Olivier Mbaizo — 5

Not a great game from Mbaizo, who is still showing growing pains despite having over twenty appearances for the Union. Specifically, he let his temper get the better of him in the fifth minute of the game, earning a justified yellow card for throwing the ball to delay a Portland throw-in. The offense itself was over in a flash; but having to play with a yellow over your head for ninety five minutes is limiting for any player.

José Martínez — 8

A good game for Martínez, who more than anyone else on the field took advantage of the diminished competition to try stuff that normally wouldn’t be advisable. With acrobatic volleys, and dogged possesion in the face of multiple defenders, he opened up the game in the second half, and gave everyone a glimpse of what is possible when he’s trying stuff.

Leon Flach — 8

An almost flawless game from the new guy, who’s shown some spectacular game awareness for a player still not old enough to drink. Brave tackles defusing Timber attacks, and reinforcing teammates in a way that makes you wonder if he can read their minds. An unfortunate handball meant he’s yet to score his first goal for the Union, but it’s hard to imagine that not coming some time soon.

Alejandro Bedoya — 6

This game was a particularly poor showcase for Bedoya’s skills. Not that he did anything wrong by any means, just that the Timbers’ decision to only defend in their own eighteen yard box meant there wasn’t much for a box-to-box player like the Union captain to do.

Jamiro Monteiro — 6

Likewise, when Portland built a stockade in front of their own goal they pretty much wrote Monteiro out of the game. He doesn’t have the size or the strength to break through a palisade wall like that, so through no fault of his own his impact on this game was minimal.

Sergio Santos — 7

He was hustling this game, and the hustle paid off in the thirty first minute when he was in the right place at the right time to give Portland’s Ketterer no chance to stop his shot. Hopefully getting subbed out in the sixtieth was just an act of precaution, and not another injury relapse for the striker.

Kacper Przybyłko — 8

There’s no evidence that Kacper’s feet have become more confident, but the man’s forehead remains one of the most dangerous things in MLS. All through Sunday’s game he used his height to his advantage, scoring goals, setting up teammates, and generally smashing through Portland’s bunker face-first.


Cory Burke (for Santos in the sixtieth minute) — 7

Elliott’s the one on the score sheet, but the Jamaican did all the work to earn the Union’s third goal of the night. He’d be a player of the game contender, had he not over-thought his one-on-one with Portland’s emergency-signing goalkeeper in the ninetieth.

Paxten Aaronson (for Flach in the eighty-ninth minute) — Pass

While we’re all very excited about his potential, his short minutes mean the biggest talking about around P. Aaronson’s first appearance for the Union has to be how long the man had to wait at the sideline before getting subbed in.

Anthony Fontana and Quin Sullivan (for Przybyłko and Bedoya in second-half stoppage time) — Pass

Hard to give any meaningful assessment to players who’s primary role in this game was to eat up the clock by being subbed on.

Geiger Counter

Robert Sibiga — 4

I’m not sure any of the decisions Robert Sibiga made were bad. Sure, a different ref could have called them differently, but none of them were the kind of inexplicable interpretations of the rules that can have people foaming at the mouth. Instead, Sibiga’s biggest flaw was inconsistency- he made some soft calls, but he also refused to make calls that would have served the interests of player safety. If there is anything worse than an unfair ref it’s an inconsistent ref, and Sibiga was nothing if not inconsistent on Sunday night.

Player of the Game

José Martínez

In a game where the Union could be content to take the “easy” win, Martínez was out there competing for every ball, pressuring every pass, and squeezing every ounce of possibility out of the game.


  1. Great One says:

    Didn’t Wagner have 2 assists? Quiet night defensively, no pressure from his side, 2 assists and nearly a third? Meh 6 and Lower then the CBs. Just nit picking and having fun, what a win.

    • Well, one official assist. The Santos flick-on goal does not get an assist, but he is deserving of credit for that goal as well.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    Also going to question Kai’s rating. Basically he put the ball in play all 4 times the ball went into the net and I don’t recall any dangerous plays for Portland coming up his side of the field. I think Wagner should have had an 8 (and could easily be the player of the game for me)
    I also think Sibiga is getting too much of a break. It wasn’t just his inconsistency, it was being inconsistent in such short periods. It’s one thing to let things go early in the game when it is still 0-0 and call things tighter when it is 3-0 to make sure things don’t get out of hand. But there were multiple times when he would let something go at one end and then call pretty much the same thing at the other. It didn’t go unnoticed that he was wearing Portland green.

  3. In Tanner We Trust says:

    Had to scroll down and comment before reading any further. I fully disagree with Wagner’s 6. He played a great game and I think deserved somewhere around 8.5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: