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Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 6-0 Colorado Rapids

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

I texted a friend at halftime of the match on Saturday and said, “It’s kind of amazing that every home is just another chance to score five.”

Philadelphia Union didn’t really seem to need to get out of second gear to beat the ten men of Colorado Rapids behind a hat trick from Daniel Gazdag and a goal apiece from Julian Carranza, Cory Burke, and Matt Real.

You can say that Colorado didn’t really field their first team, but the Union can only play the team in front of them. In another week with three matches, a routine home win to start the stretch was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 7

Just two saves for Blake, but the save he made in the first half (where it did appear that he was fouled) was just a reminder of how good Blake is when he has to be.

Kai Wagner – 8

Grabbed an assist on Real’s goal, a completely unselfish play, and was unlucky not to grab an assist on Gazdag’s opener, as his long ball got deflected. More than that, was industrious down the left side all night, intercepting passes, starting counterattacks and putting in quality services.

Jack Elliott – 8

Strong performance from Elliott who broke up what little attack Colorado could muster on the evening. His distribution was also as good as we’ve seen from him in a while.

Jakob Glesnes – 7

Routine evening for Glesnes, who like Elliott and Wagner got in the way of what Colorado did muster going forward. The only disappointment was maybe that he didn’t oblige the home crowd daring him to shoot from anywhere on the field.

Olivier Mbaizo – 7

Active night down the right wing for Mbaizo who played high up the field for much of the night. The penalty he drew was fairly dubious in my opinion, but the run and movement on the play was quality. Needed to release the ball a little earlier in the second half when the Union broke 5 v 2 after a Rapids corner.

Jose Martinez – 8

Squashed any Colorado possession in the center of the park and moved the ball with fluidity. Seemed really up for it on the night, and knowing El Brujo, was probably disappointed the Rapids couldn’t muster that much.

Alejandro Bedoya – 7

Was perhaps the least involved of the Union midfield on the night. But still hard to fault the industry and commitment of the captain.

Leon Flach – 8

Strong night for Flach down the left. His chemistry with Wagner seemed on all match.

Daniel Gazdag – 10

The hat trick hero was tremendous on the night. The first and third goals were of a player who is brimming with confidence and his finishes were of the highest quality. He’s become pretty automatic from the penalty spot too. But more than that, it’s the movement, the passing, and the chemistry that is driving the Union attack.

Mikael Uhre – 8

Didn’t score on the night but did just about everything else. His movement was fantastic and he did really well to set up Gazdag’s first goal with a creative pass off his chest. And the ball into space that led to Gazdag being pulled down for the first penalty was so, so smart.

Julian Carranza – 7

Fine finish from the spot, but Carranza could have had another hat trick if he had taken all his chances on the night. Just missed with that sliding opportunity in the first half and could have had one with his head after that.


Cory Burke – 8

Burke’s goal pushes him up to seven goals on the season, a really respectable tally for a player who generally comes off the bench. His directness is a decent change of pace when he does come in. Did well to follow in McGlynn’s shot to slot home on the night. Notched an assist as well. Editor’s note: Burke’s turn and pass to spring Wagner on the way to Real’s goal was HIGHLY note-worthy.

Jack McGlynn – 7

Typical McGlynn performance in that he found the ball in good spots, kept it moving, and picked out a handful of passes that few players on the field would have seen.

Paxten Aaronson – 6

Popped up in a few good places but couldn’t really find the chemistry up top to get in on the goal scoring action with a goal or an assist.

Matt Real – 7

Nice to see the infrequently used Real pop up with a goal coming off the bench. It was a well taken goal at that, finishing the play with a hard run and slotting home really well from the top of the box.

Quinn Sullivan – 6

Similar to Aaronson, had a little trouble finding the game after coming on. Not an easy match to come into with the result already in hand by halftime.

Man of the Match – Daniel Gazdag

An easy one this week. A hat trick and just a fantastic overall performance from the Hungarian.

Geiger Counter

Allen Chapman – 3

Not a great evening for Chapman, who really didn’t have that much to do. Hard to argue with Vallecilla’s second yellow but thought the first was a little soft. Seemed a clear foul on Blake early on that wasn’t called. The second Union penalty didn’t seem like a foul at all, as Mbaizo was already going down if there was any contact at all. Strange that it wasn’t reviewed at that.


  1. Not much to argue of any of these! Quite an accomplishment for a referee to get a in a totally lopsided game that was effectively over about 25 minutes in, but Chapman achieved it. The Vallencia foul and ball toss is probably a warning and no card most of the time, the Mbaizo foul for a PK seemed incorrect, and there’s no way the Blake play isn’t a foul.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    I think Aaronson should be given more credit for multiple takeaways in the offensive half of the field which led to scoring chances.
    Regarding Chapman, I think he is generally a terrible ref (although it’s the second time this season he’s benefitted the Union…he also called the game in Portland), but the first yellow has to be called. The player picked up the ball and threw it downfield. There is no reason for that and he paid the price. Regarding the Mbaizo foul, I thought it was a PK live (albeit from 50 yards away) and it wasn’t until I saw the replay today that I realized how soft it was. So that one is more on VAR. Still, a 3 seems about right for Chapman.
    Not surprisingly, Gazdag made Team of the Week along with Wagner.

    • Aaron skwidman says:

      My only thoughts on the pen is that he took out the foot mbaizo was balancing on. If he gets pushed lightly and Mbaizo falls its soft. But what is a player gonna do if hes mid juke and you take out his plant foot?

  3. Aaron skwidman says:

    Honestly would have given burke a 10.

  4. The first yellow for throwing the ball away has been a point of focus for Pro Refs from MLS this season. They’ve been told to crack down on flagrant/blatant time wasting/preventing restarts.

  5. John P. O'Donnell says:

    I’m a fan although it took a while to understand the thinking. The idea that you grade based on a scale that limits the amount of points you can offer just didn’t seem fair. After all the work and the accomplishment seem to be equal and should be judged the same. After thinking on it I started to see the wisdom. All pizza isn’t the same and Dave Portnoy keeping a scale for different styles made sense. After all he clearly doesn’t like one style of pizza and definitely believes pies are better when they are well done and crispy.
    This year for the first time in the history of MLS a team has won by six goals or better four times. The fact the Union accomplished this over ten games is absurd. At the end of the day though you can’t reward grades the same as you would most bar style pizza’s. This is history of your highest order and well giving Gazdag a perfect ten is just to high. Let’s face it as he finished the hat trick against a team down a man. Also he scored on a penalty kick but him giving up a penalty kick to his teammate was not even mentioned. His play was impressive but I think when it comes to six goal games you take off a point right out of the box. So starting at nine and no one gets a perfect score I believe an 8.5 is a great score.
    Out of the four games this was probably the best opponent. Colorado losing a man changed it in my ranking though. To many times I’ve seen the Union not take advantage of being a man up which was happening for most the game again until Gazdag broke them just shy of fifty minutes later. The next two goals were a pleasant surprise. Mostly because Burke continued in his role he’s found and the steady growth of McGlynn. Surprising they won by six but the goals at the end were scored on a tired defeated team.
    So I imagine that DC on the road after they lost to LAFC 1-0 in the road might rate the highest of the four. They had a new manager and revenge on their mind and still got spanked. Houston would fall second and the first DC game forth.
    I believe in the future there should just be a point deduction for any Union win of six or more goals when rating players. Unless of course they do it in MLS Cup.
    Wink wink kidding

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Normally I don’t like to give full value for scoring a PK but given that Gazdag also drew it, he pretty much gets full value in my book.
      Also, given that it was 3-0 before Colorado went down a man, the Union could be forgiven for taking their foot off the gas for awhile (especially since it allowed them to expend less energy ahead of tomorrow night’s game).

      • John P. O'Donnell says:

        Although this is in jest, taking the foot of the gas is out for me. It’s right up there with prevent defense in football. This is the stretch drive and when you have a team down you put them away and give them no hope. I never understand changing what brought you success in a game by taking off the pressure they couldn’t handle.
        That killer instinct this team has is like blood in the water for sharks. Let them feed all they want. I want teams thinking they have no chance before they even step on the field.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Normally I would agree with you regarding taking your foot off the gas, but with 3 games in a week there’s something to be said for conserving energy and turning the game into essentially a practice once it’s in hand like that.
        Unlike a prevent defense, the Union taking their foot off the gas means more ball possession rather than less so is not likely to cost a 3 goal lead when up a man. It’s just keeping the possession safe rather than vulnerable to a counter.

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