Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 4-1 Atlanta United

Photo: Howie Pollard

The Union kept their unbeaten streak at Subaru Park alive as they easily defeated Atlanta United 4-1 on Wednesday night. The front three of Julian Carranza, Daniel Gazdag and Mikael Uhre all notched a goal, which saw Gazdag claim the Union’s single season scoring record. The match was also Andre’s Blake 200th MLS game for the Union.

On to the ratings.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 8

Blake didn’t have much of a chance on the goal, making a great initial save and then having an unlucky bounce for the goal. Made some other good saves in the first half to keep Atlanta at bay.

Olivier Mbaizo– 6

A good offensive night for Mbaizo, who was getting into advanced positions to help hit on the counter attack. Got beat a few times defensively though.

Jack Elliott – 6

A good night for Elliott overall but started slow and was slow to react to the chance on Atlanta’s goal. Rebounded nicely after though.

Jakob Glesnes – 7

A similar outing to Elliott as Glesnes was also slow to react to the Atlanta chance. Cleared out most of the corners on the night.

Kai Wagner– 7

A good night for the German on the left, who was playing in good passes all night long to the front three and looking to help hit on the counter attack.

Leon Flach – 6

A good night for Flach but an overall quiet one, which is never a bad thing for a more defensive midfielder. Played some nice link up passes and covered a lot of ground.

Jose Martinez– 5

A sloppy opening 15 minutes for Martinez, who looked just a step slow most of the match. Docked him an extra point for a needless yellow card after a dust-up with Dom Dwyer.

Daniel Gazdag – 7

A more quiet night for Gazdag after his hat trick on the weekend, but had some luck to get his record-breaking goal. Played some good passes into the attack as well.

Alejandro Bedoya- 6

A quiet night for Bedoya, but did link well with Mbaizo on the right side and linked play well into the attack.

Mikael Uhre – 8

Uhre took his goal extremely well, blasting a low shot through bodies to get ball home. Held up play all night and was looking to set up his teammates on runs.

Julian Carranza – 7

A well taken goal from outside the box for Carranza to start the scoring. Another good outing for the striker who is eager to press opponents in their own end.


Paxten Aaronson  – 6

Although a short outing for Aaronson, he did pick up an assist on Nathan Harriel’s goal. Nice to see production in a short 10 minute cameo.

Nathan Harriel – 7

Helped keep the defense humming as he replaced Mbaizo. Gave an extra point for his first MLS goal to make it 4-1.

Jack McGlynn – N/A

A 10 minute appearance for the young midfielder who linked passes with the attack.

Cory Burke – 6

Don’t know if he technically gets an assist on Gazdag’s goal, but he does get credit for forcing the defensive error. Was also hungry for his own goal making good runs into the box.

Player of the Match – Mikael Uhre

Uhre scored the biggest goal of the match, giving Philadelphia the lead just before halftime. Looking for teammates to link with as well as providing hold up play is a big reason the Philadelphia attack stay hot.

Geiger Counter

Lukasz Szpala- 5

A pretty even game called, which was pretty physical right off the bat. Gave out plenty of cards and kept control for most of the night.


  1. Burke is at least a 7 for me- he deserves the assist and was unlucky not to score his own goal.

    • Burke has shown great hustle the last couple of games leading to the goal Saturday and the assist last night.

      • Burke comes on and is such a physical problem for opposing defenses. He’s a lumbering pest with a hellava shot when he’s on. Thought to myself after he chased down that loose ball and fouled up a defender and goalkeeper, “Atlanta, you have just meet the Burkenator”. Loved his hussle.

    • Most ridiculous score here is Burke’s.

      Then Blake (too high)

      Then Mbaizo / Elliot (one ran the show on the right, the other turned the ball over 3 times directly leading to Atl chances)

      Then Martinez (average game for him but why does his one yellow in 94’ count more negatively against him than, say, McGlynn’s one yellow in 4’?

      • Martinez’s yellow was completely avoidable and outside of the run of play. McGlynn’s was part of the play (and less egregious than when one of the Atlanta players did something similar 70 minutes earlier without getting a yellow).
        And of the two, Martinez is more likely to accumulate enough yellows to be suspended. Plus, it’s hard for a yellow to influence a score of N/A.

      • Everyone agrees the ref did horribly controlling the hard fouls. I give Atl credit for coming in with that physical approach trying to unsettle the U. It worked for a while. Seemed like good preparation for the playoffs. And to their credit, the U handled it well, weathered the storm and rose above.
        I couldn’t see the origins of the dust-up either from 117 but it seems like Martinez was imploring the ref to finally get a handle on things before someone gets hurt (rarely do Union players get hurt btw) and Atl players took exception and got in his face. Normal stuff.
        It dragged on too long for many, including some Union players. Fine. It did waste time and it did deflate Atlanta’s surging momentum. That’s part of the dark arts Martinez is so good at. If that is not part of the ‘run of play’ then fine but it is part of the whole.
        Protecting and shielding and acting as the buffer for his teammates is intrinsic to his value. It easily outweighs the *possibility* of yellow card accumulation.

  2. The negative sign in front of Szpala’s score is missing. He was horrid. The reason the game almost got out of hand with the Martinez/Dwyer dustup was his refusal to give Atlanta a yellow card despite several bad first half tackles and at least one foul to stop a potential breakaway. Most MLS Next refs consistently do a better job with cards than Szpala did last night.
    It was nice to see Elliott recover from poor play on the Atlanta goal to put 2 shots on target.

    • Agree with this. At no point did it feel like Szpala was in any sort of control of the game. I also couldn’t recall a match I’d seen before in which the first card out of the ref’s pocket was for one of the managers.

  3. Vince Devine says:

    Mbaizo looked awful defensively. Refused to close in on opponents allowing them to pass at will. He wasn’t responsible for the goal, but he allowed Atlanta to create a lot of chances.

  4. Corey Burke was on fire last night

  5. Uhre made MLS Team of the Week. Gazdag made the bench.

  6. random question that I think will get answered here…

    Do I remember correctly that both Eliot and Glesnes have green cards? (not listed as international slots) If so, will they get an USMNT call?

    • I don’t think green card status automatically gives you the right to play for a given national team. It’s just a way of showing that someone has permanent residency here. My understanding is that to play for the national team you need to either have citizenship or an ancestor with citizenship.

  7. Elliot should be a point or two lower just for the bad pass/giveaway that led to Atlanta’s goal.
    Gazdag should be a point higher. He makes great runs from midfield into the box that defenders have trouble picking up. He’s also been helping to drive the attack the past 3 months.
    Wagner must be the victim of being the best LB in MLS. Surely he should have at minimum the same score as M’Baizo if not higher.

    • I don’t disagree with your points here but you seem to be saying a body of work, or recent performances, should impact one’s score for any particular match.
      I don’t think that should be so. We should analyze and score only according to match in question.
      Now if you’re saying we should all be conscious of our biases then YES! from the mountaintops.

  8. Attending the game and watching the replay this morning, Dom Dwyer should be disciplined for trying to bait Jose Martinez. Disgraceful… seriously. The FS1 camera was on his back as he ran directly at Martinez who was jawing with the ref, and followed him going back at Martinez twice.

    The need for Bedoya, Blake and Flach to ‘calm down’ Martinez is still a challenge… but far better than in the past.

    Zen, Jose… focus your energy properly!

    Ignore has beens like Dwyer.

    Hosting MLS Cup 2022 in Chester!

    • Martinez was already going with one of the other Atlanta players before FS1 realized anything was happening. They got lucky that their cameras just happened to be on Dwyer so they finally realized something was happening.
      And Dwyer’s card means he’s suspended for Sunday’s game.

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