Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Club America 2 – 0 Philadelphia Union

Photo by Marjorie Elzey

The Philadelphia Union made their first foray into Mexico and The Azteca Thursday night when they faced Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. Philadelphia came out with a very defensive game plan, looking to hit America on the counter attack, but America was content to keep possession and play out of the press, finding chances early and often

Onto the ratings.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 7

An overall good night for Blake, didn’t have a shot on the America goals due to a massive deflection in front and always a tough ask to save a penalty. Made the big save in the start of the game off the header.

Olivier Mbazio – 5

Not much for Mbazio on the night as he only played 30 minutes before coming off.

Jakob Glesnes – 6

A strong night for both centerbacks, who didn’t give a lot of open play looks. Glesnes did have some bad giveaways at times, and some nervy sliced clearances, but overall an okay night for the Norwegian.

Jack Elliott – 6

A strong outing for Elliott, who was composed with the ball and didn’t give any looks at goal. Was a threat on corners and set pieces, just wasn’t able to get them on target.

Kai Wagner – 5

A quiet night for Wagner, had some good clearances but wasn’t able to get up into the attack as much as the Union would like. Had some good set pieces, also felt like he rushed some.

Leon Flach – 5

A quiet night for Flach all together, did a lot of running and got in some advanced spots. Recovered defensively but nothing flashy.

Alejandro Bedoya – 5

A lot like Flach’s outing, and more dirty running from the captain. Had that headed chance at the end but was hit right at Ochoa.

Daniel Gazdag – 6

Anything that resembled a Union attack usually had Gazdag’s involvement. Set up Przybylko’s backheel half attempt and delivered nice swinging corners into the box. Recovered well defensively.

Jose Martinez – 4

Seemed a step slow today in the center of the park. Not knocking him a point for the penalty, which was harsh, but he did give away the ball to start the chance. Got an early yellow which hindered his play.

Kacper Przybylko – 4

Not much of anything happening for the big man up top. Didn’t have very many looks and was clearly frustrated prior to his substitution, which was deserved.

Sergio Santos – 4

Santos is at his best running onto balls on the counter attack. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, they didn’t spring many counters. Santos didn’t really get many touches, and didn’t starting using his body till the second half.


Alvas Powell – 5

Brought on in short notice for the injured Mbazio, but held his own for the most part. Did lose his man on the right on occasion and isn’t involved in the attack as much as Mbazio, a much more physical player though.

Ilsinho – 4

Ilsinho hasn’t had that super sub magic since coming back from injury, and didn’t show any in his brief stint. America plays too quickly and can easily double Ilsinho, making him ineffective.

Cory Burke – 5 

Had a brief stint coming in for Gazdag and helped in the holdup play. Could argue he could have won a penalty at the end, but no VAR review came.

Player of the Match – Mauro Lainez

Lainez was causing problems down the right for both Mbazio and Powell all night. Didn’t get a goal but should have had a few assists on the night.

Geiger Counter

Walter Lopez Castellanos – 4

Called a very tight game, almost too tight. Gave out a few yellow cards, which were deserved, but didn’t send anyone off. Calls felt in favor of America, especially the penalty decision and the Burke no call decision.


  1. Got to disagree with a lot of these. I’ll buy the 7 for Blake, even though if he had guessed right the PK would have been an easy save.
    Probably a point to low for Mbaizo. Was doing some good man marking and should have drawn a dangerous free kick on the play he lost his tooth.
    Bedoya too high as he was consistently beaten for speed. I know he gives it his all, but he may need to sit in the rematch.
    Gazdag too high as he definitely seemed gassed. A couple of balls that he just seemed to give up on when he could have had a good chance if he got there.
    Way too high for Martinez. He is 90% of the reason the Union are not down 1-0 and didn’t contribute much positively.
    Santos, probably a point too low. He was the one who sprang the play in the 2nd minute. He was hustling all night more than just about anyone else out there.
    Burke, at least a point too low. The Union had much the better of the chances once he came on, more than they had most of the night.
    Way to high on the Geiger counter. He did not hand out nearly enough cards. Every single stoppage, Club America was kicking the ball away. Even when he drew a line at 10 yards, they would move a yard or two forward as soon as he turned away. There was at least one free kick that was blocked by a player standing 5 yards away that was taken after the Union got tired of asking him to move back. Completely missed the foul when Mbaizo’s tooth came out. Hand to the face is illegal, even if not intentional. Won’t even get into the VAR calls.

  2. Man I thought our CBs were the weak link. Their passing was way below par and they looked slow.
    As mentioned in the broadcast Curtin says the team goes as the CBs go and that was the case last night. They couldn’t initiate anything going forward and Elliot especially seemed to panic with the ball at his feet, just hoofing it upfield to no one in particular.

    This team needs the line-spitting passes from deep to stretch the opposition. Our midfield offers little in this regard. Occasionally Martinez, that’s it though.

    Wagner and Santos were the best Union players for me on the night.

    Eventually Gazdag has catch up in fitness and hustle for 90’, right? Not nearly the player Monteiro is.

  3. In Tanner We Trust says:

    I agree with most of what the 2 commenters above me mentioned:
    Blake 6
    Mbaizo 6
    Glesnes 3
    Elliott 4
    Wagner 7
    Martinez 3
    Flach 5
    Bedoya 4
    Gazdag 5
    Santos 7
    Przybylko 5
    Powell 5
    Burke 6
    Ilsinho 3

    • Dave Greene says:

      Agree except for Flach 4. He cannot do anything productive with the ball. Santos worked his socks off and we have no quality in midfield to service him and Burke late in the game.
      We needed an away goal and the kids for 10 minutes might have given us the spark like in every other game.
      I guess we will never know.

      • In Tanner We Trust says:

        Exactly, instead of creativity it was “hey Sergio, chase this!” And he’d have to run the ball down in the corner. He gave it his best effort but the service he was getting was poor to say the least.

  4. Elliott a 6????? He got exposed last night!

  5. Good article, fair ratings.

    The impact of Mexixo City being 1 mile high,like Denver,I believe was a major factor in many who were ‘gassed’.

    I know personally the affects the Mexico City altitude has on performance not to mention the impossible Mexixo City air pollution that covers the city is ridiculous in 2021.

    Not sure when they arrived in MC, but if the Union didn’t have at least 2 days to acclimate, it definately was a factor in performance and the loss. America is a good squad, in early season form. But we can beat those guys. We can.

    • I’ve always heard when competing at altitude, best is either arriving as close to game time as feasible or way early. Quick search found one source:

      “ Message #2: The best times for sea-level athletes to arrive at a high-altitude competition are either within 18 hours of competition or 7-10 days out from competition.
      From a practical standpoint, arriving the afternoon or evening before a competition the following day is probably the best option for time-crunched athletes. If you have the time to get out to altitude a week before your event, that would be good too. In the latter case, the time at altitude will not give you enough time to acclimate, but it does give your body time adjust respiratory habits, reduces the stress of traveling immediately before racing, and gives you time away from normal life to focus on good habits, recovery, and thoughtful eating. The worst timeframe is arriving 2-4 days before your event, because you’re more likely to be feeling the impact of disturbed sleep, fatigue from travel, and dehydration in this timeframe.”

      I think the Union flew down either Monday or Tuesday, so 2-3 days early. Guess you’d have to ask the players, but it didn’t look to me like altitude was that much of a factor in why they lost ( maybe Bedoya or more likely Gazdag).

  6. Why is Jamiro unavailable? I know he’s seeking a transfer, but we’re still paying him, right? Is this like Carson or Ben Simmons, and he wants “home” so much he quit on the team? That’s what it looks like to me. Disappointing especially at this time of the season with 4 months left… and he’s gotta go?

    I want to know why he quit on this team. The real reason.

    • Personally, I think Herr Tanner’s need to continually upgrade the team MIGHT have upset Jamiro. Gazdag and other midfielders were rumored to be coming, Gazdag eventually signed… and the Kiddie Corp making exponential progress with each match they enter.

      Could it be he’s not necessarily happy having to continuously compete for his job with Herr Tanner’s squad?

      There was a recent match when Curtin substituted for him around 60 min, and he was visibly ‘bewildered’ walking off the field, why Curtin would DARE to substitute him.

      Soon after he was ‘homesick’.

      Anyone else see that too?

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      I try not to reply to things like this but I can’t let people start to believe this is the narrative. Monteiro did not quit on anything. And he’s not in the GameDay 18s because an injury would end any chance he has of being bought. A Monteiro injury in training would be the worst case scenario for the Union and the player himself. Didn’t PSP just make an article this week about showing appreciation for him? Please stop making a story on the contrary.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Not a real good occasion for you to ask this question. Regardless of any other considerations, he was not eligible to play Thursday night due to yellow card accumulation in the first two rounds of the tournament.

  7. Thierry Henry resigned as head coach of CF Montreal because he could not be with his family while remaining the coach.

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