Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 3-1 Orlando City SC

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union picked up a much-needed three points on Sunday afternoon and scored a much-needed three goals in the process.  The 3-1 win over visiting Orlando City SC pushed the Boys in Blue back over the red line and into the playoff picture.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 6

Another relatively quiet game for Blake.  Had no chance on Ruan’s goal, and made a huge diving save on another header later in the match.

Olivier Mbazio – 6

A better performance for the up-and-down fullback, who picked his spots to get forward and held his own defensively against some adventurous Orlando attackers.

Jakob Glesnes – 6

Teams struggle to attack the Union up the middle of the field, and that’s a testament to the centerbacks’ consistency.  Glesnes did well all match, including dealing with the imposing Daryl Dike in the second half.

Jack Elliott – 6

Ditto Glesnes.  Loved his absolute bomb of a pass to Santos in the second half that nearly led to a red card on Orlando’s keeper.

Kai Wagner – 5

Scored the opening goal — with some help from a deflection.  Then got totally lost on the play leading to Orlando City’s goal, as it was his mark who had time to pick out the perfect header.  Some typically decent service on the night as well.

Leon Flach – 5

Covered a ton of ground, solid defensively, offered very little going forward.  It’s the same every match.  It was nice to see him take one big rip from the top of the box, even if it should’ve been on target.

Alejandro Bedoya – 6

A better night for the captain, who picked up an assist on Przybylko’s first goal.  Emptied the tank in 65 minutes and made way for a substitute — will we see more of that down the stretch?

Jamiro Monteiro – 4

Wonderful skill and tenacity to create the Union’s second goal.  But the rest of the midfielder’s outing was more indifferent, and he still looks miscast as the No. 10.

Jose Martinez – 5

Has committed too many turnovers in recent matches while distributing from the back, a trend that continued on Sunday.  His defensive work is still first-rate, though.

Kacper Przybylko – 6

An eventful afternoon for the striker.  Could easily have been sent off for a violent act in the first half (and wiped out a goal in the process), and he looked lost for most of the match.  But his goal was well-taken — huge, considering how long it’s been.  The penalty was also sharp, although Sergio Santos’s reactions suggests some controversy as to Przybylko taking the penalty.

Cory Burke – 5

Burke worked hard and got himself into good spots, but the finishing just wasn’t there.  He and Przybylko don’t have much chemistry as a partnership.


Daniel Gazdag — 4

Another outing where Gazdag was slightly off the beat from the rest of his side.  Had the ball in the net in stoppage time, but was offside.

Sergio Santos — 7

The Union are a different team when Santos is on the pitch.  His speed and skill challenges opposing defenses in a whole new way, and he was everywhere as a sub on Sunday.  Earned the penalty that put the game away.

Player of the Match – Sergio Santos

It was a good team win for the Union, with strong performances up and down the pitch.  But Santos stood out in his substitute appearance, changing the way Philadelphia looked.

Geiger Counter

Alan Kelly — 6

Quite a few flash points on the night, but Kelly got the big calls right.  (Orlando fans will be mad about the first goal, but the post-match explanation makes sense.)


  1. What protocol do most teams have for who takes penalty kicks? Seems like everyone should know who their best option or two (if option #1 not on the field) are before those situations arrive, and not be fighting over it in the moment and causing a scene. While it’s great that a striker (santos) wants that chance, not a good look in the moment.

  2. I disagree with the assertion that Blake couldn’t have stopped the goal. I haven’t watched the full replay yet, but on the board at the stadium it appeared as though he was poorly positioned way over to one side of the net leaving a LOT of open space.
    Although Gazdag was the one who got called for being offsides, there were several times when the Union forwards couldn’t play the ball because they would be offsides due to mistimed runs (whether it was them moving too quickly or the midfielders waiting too long before making the pass can be debated) and to getting back too slowly from a previous play.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Appreciate the thoughts, but have to support near post there I feel. If a goal somehow gets past him on the near side we’re all like WTF was that?
      In my opinion, sometimes the other guy or team are good too. Lovely goal. Hat tip. golf clap.

      • Having since watched the game again, I’m inclined to agree with you. On first watch it looked like he was much closer to the post than he actually was.

  3. Burke shouldn’t get a 5 for being in good positions. Especially because he killed a number of attacking sequences by failing to get back onside. Forwards in a counterpressing system need to get back onside because the goals are supposed to come from turnovers. Plus, Burke can’t play soccer, so…

  4. On the Kacper red (or not), I think it was close and VAR should have checked. But if they aren’t following the “play on” there’s absolutely no question that Kacper was fouled immediately before the swinging arm. If that’s true, then isn’t the right call a PK on Orlando, followed by a card (red or yellow) for Kacper? Look forward to Charlie Davies’s analysis of that entire sequence.

    • Vince Devine says:

      You’re right. the defender definitely had Kacper in a bear hug. I saw no definitive replay that showed Kacper made contact with the defender’s head. Since the same defender went down claiming a hit to the head at least three times, I suspect embellishment. The fact that the center ref had a better view that the AR and allowed play to continue seems to suggest that. Charlie seems anti-Philly, so he’ll side with Orlando.

    • I think VAR did check on Kacper (along with whether Monteiro contributed to the play when he was in an offsides position on the goal). However, even if they gave the red to Kacper, it should still have been a goal because it was a play where the ref ruled advantage and Orlando subsequently turned it over, not as a consequence of Kacper’s action.

  5. Was great to get a win, but our two 8s generate almost nothing going forward. We are not dangerous enough that way. At least one 8 should be an offensive threat. Its hard to imagine us beating better teams with this roster in this set. As much as I love Brujo, he is in a bad run of form. Would like to see Flach get a start back in the #6 for Martinez and Sullivan start somewhere in the midfield.
    Respectfully disagree on Ref Kelly too. He really let them play in the first half calling almost nothing, then called everything in the second. Yes, he did not favor one side, but he was totally inconsistent between the halves.

  6. Bedoya was favoring an ankle heavily after the match in his walk around and after her had collected his children.
    I would guess that he rolled the bad one again. He has 6 days to heal.
    I thought Gazdag looked more certain sometimes in pressuring the ball defensively from the 10. To me that is sine qua non of his playing the 10. And I saw flashes of chemistry with Santos.
    The other injury concern is Blake. by the end he was noticeably gimpy.

  7. In Tanner We Trust says:

    I wanna give Kelly a 10 for calling a yellow for simulation. We’ve been asking for more of that for years. This game also could’ve gotten more chippy than it was and I thought he adjusted to the game well. I think 6 is a good rating overall.
    Santos came in, worked hard, changed the game, earned the penalty as he likely would have scored otherwise. If Przybylko was lights out from the spot, so be it. But isn’t he like 2/3 even with that make? 50% as he walked to the spot, and he’s lucky he didn’t sky it. I fully believe in giving the guy who earned the pen and DOGSO a chance to finish it, because it’s clearly someone feeling confident.

    • As soon as Kelly blew the whistle and started running towards the players rather than pointing to the spot I knew he was giving the simulation card.
      I’m fine with Przybylko taking the PK since he is the streakier goal scorer and anything to start getting him hot again is worth it.

  8. Is there any way of finding out how many cards have been given for simulation in MLS this season ?

  9. Just put Gazdaq in at the 10 and let him play. He is much better than Monteiro at that position. And he appears to provide a more offense oriented mind set than any of the starting midfielders.

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