Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: D.C. United 3-1 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

D.C. United easily dispatched Philadelphia Union 3-1 on Saturday night in the nation’s capital. After going ahead through an own goal that was against the run of play, United equalized after a poorly timed Alvas Powell challenge resulted in a penalty kick in the 36th minute.

Yordy Reyna fired United ahead just after halftime when the Union failed to clear their lines after a fine Andre Blake save. Philadelphia finally took the initiative in the match after falling behind, but failed to find many opportunities to threaten the D.C. goal. The hosts added gloss to the scoreline late in stoppage time when Ramon Abila fired home with close to the last kick of the game.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 6

The Union conceded three, but hard to blame Blake for any of them. Made a handful of top notch saves on the evening.

Alvas Powell – 2

The confident, veteran performance against NYCFC looked a thing of the past as Powell never seemed to find the pace of the match. Gave up a penalty with a poor challenge.

Jack Elliott – 5

Five clearances on the night, all of which came from inside his own box. Ten recoveries as well. Elliott was a busy man.

Jakob Glesnes – 6

Put out a series of fires in the first half with some well timed tackles. Seven clearances on the night, with six of those coming inside the Union box.

Kai Wagner – 3

The fact that he was a step slow to step up and kept Abila onside for the third United goal sums up the evening for Wagner. Just never looked up to snuff.

Jose Martinez – 6

Probably the strongest performance out of the midfielders.

Alejandro Bedoya – 3

Off the pace. The captain never found the game in a labored performance.

Jamiro Monteiro – 4

Struggled to get involved no matter what position he was in. The Union were in search of someone that could move the ball between the lines and open up D.C. backline and Monteiro just never found the ability to do so.

Leon Flach – 4

Looked lost in the formation for much of the first half. Continues to offer little going forward and the chemistry with Wagner is still very much a work in progress. Didn’t cover himself in glory with his defending on the United third.

Daniel Gazdag – 3

Still looks like he is trying to to keep up with the speed of the league. Couldn’t find the ball in meaningful positions and did little to create meaningful Union chances.

Kacper Przybylko – 2

The friendly striker has become the invisible striker. Completed only 8 passes and never looked a threat.


Cory Burke – 5

Replaced the ineffective Przybylko but failed to give much more to the Union attack.

Quinn Sullivan – 5

We’ve seen Sullivan look lively off the bench but he wasn’t that against DC.

Olivier Mbaizo – 5

Replaced the tired looking Powell but offered little in the much of ambition.

Paxton Aaronson – 5

Lively without much impact for Aaronson.

Anthony Fontana – n/a

Late cameo, but good to see Fontana back healthy again.

Man of the Match – Yordy Reyna

Fired D.C. in front for good just after halftime.

Geiger Counter

Rubiel Vazquez – 7

Hard to argue with the penalty on review.


  1. The issue I have with Curtins lack of rotation is that he waits way too long to inject some fresh blood, so that by the time we get to this point we look back and go “Wow, we have really been on a bad run of form, huh?”. I would prefer to be a bit too proactive than reactive.

    Przybylko needs a rest. Bedoya should be getting rotated out more often. Gazdag should not have been a “We paid for him so obviously he will start at the 10 right away” type of player. Flach has also been riding his good start for far too long – in recent weeks his offensive inability has really hurt us.

    Obviously this week will be heavily rotated anyway, but it’s a joke that Sullivan has not earned a start in the last month. At this point I’d also want to try Santos-Davos up top once. Maybe having two players who can drag out defenders will help. Aaronson or Sullivan at the 10. If we have Montiero and Martinez at the 8 and 6, then maybe try McGlynn at the other 8, maybe his passing will help open things up for us for a half.

    Or you know, we can just keep doing what we are doing and hope things change!

    • I think squad rotation is really Curtin’s biggest shortcoming. You’re in a league in which almost half the teams make the playoffs. You can shoot for top 6 and “be in the mix.” I can appreciate the philosophy of wanting to always start your best 11, but these guys play a lot of football, travel a ton, etc. I think Bedoya definitely and probably Przbylko or just straight up gassed. They need a break. You can get them in later in games if needed. he deserves a ton of credit for the Union’s successes these last few years, but his stubbornes here has always been a puzzle.

  2. Atomic Spartan says:

    Question: Who is in charge of coaching this offense? I mean JC has got to have someone else doing that, right? JC might be able to provide insights on defensive weaknesses, but somebody’s got to be coaching something other than “cross ad nauseum.” So who’s helping the offense? I don’t expect JC to have the ideas nor the answers. Enlighten me please.
    And someone please take the voodoo off our striker’s feet. Jobu has hogtied our finishers.

  3. Bueno, Ilsinho:
    Blake, Burke, Powell:
    Wagner, Glesnes, Findlay:
    Real, McGlynn, Bedoya, Flach:
    Sullivan, Aaronson;
    Collin, Harriell;
    Turner, Fontana,
    Davo, Przybylko;
    Ranjitsingh, Craig.

  4. The effort against DC United was the poorest of the season. For what it is worth, here are my takes: No. 1 Alvas Powell flat out cannot play at the MLS level–he is an incredible liability. For all of Mbaizo’s mistakes, at least he has the pace to make up for most of them and he is an offensive threat. No. 2 Daniel Gazdag = Ben Simmons. Whatever his talents are (and I am not sure what they are), they are not a fit for this team. I have seen enough. He does not bring the energy to this team that Brendan Aaronson did. The Union need someone to put the ball in the net and it is not him. No. 3 Alejandro Bedoya has been the heart of this team for many years, but he has lost pace. He needs to come off the bench, hopefully when the Union are ahead by a goal. No. 4 Assuming the Union want to play pressure/counter-attack, Przybylko is not a good fit. No. 5 Corey Burke plays with energy, but his skills are lacking. Sergio Santos is a good fit for the style the Union want to play so long as he is healthy. No. 6 Corner kicks and set pieces are great opportunities for this very tall team. They need to take more shots even if they are blocked out of bounds. No. 7, I don’t think the shape matters so much as the personnel, but the shape does need to fit the personnel on the field. It is simple to say this, but obviously the best player on the team should get the most touches. If that is not happening, then the shape should change to make that happen. No. 8 My personal preference is to see energy and effort, and I am OK with players bringing that even if they make mistakes. I cannot abide some of the standing around that I have seen in midfield during some of the games. Yes, I am talking about you Kai Wagner and you Kasper Przybylko and you (on occasion) Jose Martinez. No. 9 Before we crush Leon Flach for being too defensive, let’s see how he plays with some different players who have pace so that he does not have to shoulder quite so much defensive responsibility.

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