Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Columbus Crew 0-0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Philadelphia Union entered their matchup with Columbus with a heavily rotated squad and short bench due to international call-ups. Looking to rebound from their 1-0 loss in Chicago on Wednesday, the Union struggled to find many offensive chances and were forced to defend much of the match. A draw was probably a bit fortunate for the Union, and rather unfair for the home Crew side.

On to the ratings.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 8

Of course Andre Blake makes the penalty save, and much of the attention deservedly goes to that. Blake however did make 2 other big saves over the course of the match keeping the clean sheet.

Olivier Mbaizo – 5

An alright outing for Mbaizo after not seeing game action for quite a while. Didn’t drive offense down the right as we are used to seeing with him, but did make some defensive recoveries which is an improvement from the past.

Stuart Findlay – 5

Findlay didn’t really stick out, which is hard in a 5 man backline. Wasn’t really a threat on set pieces as much, which is disappointing. Good to see him get some game action though.

Jakob Glesnes – 5

Glesnes put in a ton of blocks and interceptions in his own half , but like Findlay, wasn’t really a threat on set pieces. Attempted a patented “Norwegian Rocket” from 30 yards in the 88th minute that just went to the right of goal.

Jack Elliott– 5

Some good blocks from Elliott during the game to snuff out attacks, and was good with his passing. Unlucky to get a yellow card in the first half, but also couldn’t finish any of the Union’s numerous set pieces.

Kai Wagner – 6

Played in a lot of good crosses and corners into the box, but nothing really came from them. Was never really caught out on his side in defense either.

Alejandro Bedoya – 5

A quiet night for the captain, who was a prime candidate for squad rotation after playing so many matches but still played the whole game. Involved in some offense but not enough.

Daniel Gazdag – 4

Lineup changes did not hurt anyone else like they did Gazdag. Difficult for an attacking midfielder to create offense with 2 strikers he doesn’t have chemistry with. Much more lively in the last 2o minutes when changes were made.

Leon Flach – 6

A good defense outing for Flach, who still made some questionable offensive decisions. Did a good job of keeping Nagbe at bay, but was also bailed out by a VAR call on the goal.

Cory Burke – 4

Burke just isn’t as effective in the starting lineup as he is off the bench. Doesn’t appear to have any real chemistry with Gazdag, and a new strike partner certainly didn’t help him.

Chris Donovan – 5

Can’t be too tough on a young guy making his first MLS start, and Donovan was good at winning corners for the Union and attacking 50/50 balls. Wasn’t very involved though due to the disjointed lineup.


Mikael Uhre  – 5

Helped Gazdag be more productive in the 20 minutes of action, but didn’t have any real chances on goal. Was effective in the press though

Julian Carranza – 5

Similar to Uhre in helping Gazdag, and also got a very good look late in the game but couldn’t get his shot past Eloy Room.

Nathan Harriel- N/A

A late sub for Mbaizo to help see out a draw.


Player of the Match – Andre Blake

In a 0-0 draw it has to go to a goalkeeper, and Blake made 2 big saves in addition to his penalty save. A pretty easy choice on the day.

Geiger Counter

Nima Saghafi – 3

If this rating of Saghafi is too harsh, I too will be getting a yellow card. Saghafi was too strict with his yellow card decisions, even handing one out 10 seconds into the match. A soft penalty call adds to the low rating, his only consistency was the amount of cards given to each side.


  1. Andy Muenz says:

    I think the 5-3-2 was part of the issue for Elliot and Glesnes. There were several times when one or the other would pick up the man with the ball and the other was in no man’s land, not knowing who to pick up or what to be doing which led to open Columbus players.
    I think Ale was gassed and that led to his persistent fouling yellow card.
    I liked Donovan’s poise when he found himself with the ball 1 on 3 and no help in sight. Instead of forcing anything he was able to play it off a defender for a corner.
    The team still needs to work at linking play between the defense and offense to get fast breaks.
    I do think Saghafi’s rating is a bit harsh. The yellow 10 seconds in was blatant enough that it had to be shown. He was pretty consistent with the cards he showed and the players needed to adjust to that. Much better than a ref where no one knows what’s OK and what’s not. The PK was soft, but was also a lazy play by Gazdag. There was possibly a similar play at the other end which wasn’t called (but I think was reviewed) but we never saw a replay of it to know if it should have been called.

    • McMohansky says:

      Agree on all counts.

      Liked MBaizo’s game. I just love his toughness and I always gravitate to watching him. Harriel’s had a great start to the season and clearly hit a wall a bit. I certainly don’t mind letting MBaizo run out a few games.

  2. Tim Jones says:

    I would add one point each to Daniel Gazdag, Leon Flach and Alejandro Bedoya for playing every minute of a game two Sunday’s ago, a game last Wednesday, and a game last Sunday. 3 full games each, 180 minutes each, all in eight days.

    • Deez Nuggs says:

      Something’s up with your math there… 3 games would be 90 * 3 or 270 minutes each. Plus some stoppage.

  3. Not sure how the CBs get only 5s for a shutout match in which the opponent didn’t even have many chances. The PK was on Gazdag. I thought they covered the Crew quite nicely and deserve at least a point higher, maybe 2.

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