Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 3-1 New York City FC

Photo: Stephen Speer

Julian Carranza, Daniel Gazdag, and Cory Burke were all on target as the Union stormed back from going down a goal down to defeat NYCFC 3-1 on route to their first Eastern Conference Championship and a trip to MLS Cup. Philadelphia look to cap their phenomenal season with a win in Los Angeles on Saturday in a marquee matchup between MLS’ best two teams.

The Union looked to be on top for much of the first half and Gazdag had a headed effort disallowed for offside after it had looked like he’d given the home side a deserved lead. But a well worked NYC goal from Maxi Moralez gave the visitors the lead in the 57th minute, momentarily quieting the Philly faithful. Andre Blake made what may have been his most important save of 2022 to deny Alexander Callens on the hour mark with a brilliant diving stop to keep the game within reach.

From there, a well worked play from a set piece set Carranza in on goal to equalize in the 65th minute. Union talisman Gazdag wouldn’t be denied on the night, blasting home a flowing move featuring a lovely lofted cross from Jack McGlynn and an even lovelier cushioned header from Carranza. Substitute Cory Burke would put the game away in the 76th minute with a great individual effort in which he won the ball back 40 yards from goal, drove forward into the box and then finished into the upper corner after the ball deflected back into his path.

Player Ratings

Andre Blake – 8

Moralez’ opener was well struck and tucked neatly into the low corner and it is hard to blame Blake for failing to stop it. His save on Callens was of the highest quality, getting down low and getting a firm hand to keep the score at 1-0. Otherwise, terrific game management from the goalkeeper.

Olivier Mbaizo – 7

Did well to keep the width on the right side. Won close to 80% of his duels on the night. More advanced than Wagner much of the evening, did well to create space for McGlynn with some thankless running in the second half.

Jakob Glesnes – 8

Such a smart pass to grab the assist on Carranza’s goal, great awareness from the center back. Strong in the air and good distribution out of the back for the Defender of the Year.

Jack Elliott – 7

A little flat footed as NYC broke for their goal, but otherwise a stalwart night for Elliott who was strong in the air and hardly let Heber get a sniff in the Union penalty box.

Kai Wagner – 7

Less advanced than we’ve seen Wagner at points this season. Quality set pieces as usual and unlucky not to get an assist on Gazdag’s offside goal. Good work limiting Pereira’s opportunities on the NYC right.

Jose Martinez – 6

Sucked forward a little bit on the NYC goal and Moralez gets into space behind him to shoot. Took his yellow card on a silly foul in the first half. Covered a ton of ground and did his best to quiet the extremely active Moralez.

Leon Flach – 7

Strong performance from Flach, coping with the dangerous Tinnerholm on the NYC right. Mostly got the best of the wing back outside of the NYC goal, which was a well worked move. Almost nabbed his second goal of the playoffs with tenacious pressing of Johnson late in the match, indicative of the midfielders perpetual motor.

Alejandro Bedoya – 6

Gave it a go, but it was clear by the midway point of the first half that the captain just wasn’t quite right. Gutted it out without being a detriment on the right side.

Daniel Gazdag – 8

Fractionally offside to be denied an opener in the first half (he should have realized it was a free kick and not a corner and stepped back). Gave Johnson no chance with the game winner, blasting home from Carranza’s header. With so much time to think about that opportunity, his coolness to make sure he beat Johnson is underrated. Two key passes on the night and he won 88% of his duels – exactly what you want from the midfielder at the top of the diamond.

Julian Carranza – 9

Carranza might be one of the most annoying strikers to play against in MLS and I love him for it. Pestered and harried the NYC backline all match. His first goal since August was a timely one and drew the Union level, a clever run and an excellent finish. His cushioned header to grab an assist on Gazdag’s matchwinner was a thing of a beauty and expertly done.

Mikael Uhre – 6

Struggled a little bit to get involved. Forced Johnson into a decent save with a shot from a bad angle in the first half.


Jack McGlynn – 7

A little slow in the rotation on NYC’s goal. Made up for that with a perfectly weighted cross to Carranza’s head on Gazdag’s game winner. Kept the ball moving down the Union right and didn’t seem overmatched for the occasion.

Cory Burke – 9

Magnificent performance from the substitute. Physical, powerful, impactful. His goal was his best of the season, strongly winning the ball back near midfield, putting NYC defenders on their heels with a direct run forward, and then when the chance looked like it might be gone, sniffing out the ball and finishing with aplomb into the top corner.

Man of the Match – Julian Carranza

A goal and an assist for Carranza gives him the award for the night. The goal was very well taken and the header for the assist an understated pass. Shouts for Gazdag who was involved in most Union attacks and Blake for the outstanding save on Callens.

Geiger Counter

Allen Chapman – 4

I’ve never been impressed with Chapman as a referee and remained unimpressed after Sunday. Let NYC slow the game too much in the first half. Called a few bizarre fouls – the foul he called on Bedoya after the Union man was tossed to the ground around 20 minutes was just so blatantly wrong. At least he had few big calls to make.


  1. Chapman is very weak as a center ref in every game, little match control followed by bizarre decisions

  2. Burke’s number is too low. He was amazing off the bench!!

  3. FCdelcofella says:

    I thought Wagner was a bit off. Flach too. They’ll all need to play 9’s and 10’s vs LAfC. The crowd was a 10. I’m convinced the “UNION”chant, along with Blake’s save, propelled them to tie and eventually win the game. Not that my opinion means anything…. If they win Saturday, which they can!!!!! I’ll be partying all weekend. Go U!!!!

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      Got chills seeing that from home and wishing I was there. The day one fans, who for years had no reason to believe, are 100% behind this team and even if we’re 2 down in the 75′ against LAFC, we all still believe a miracle could happen. Union don’t quit

  4. Good ratings except I’d knock Bedoya down a notch. I disagree that he wasn’t a detriment. His injury basically turned him into a statue in the last 15 minutes of the first half, and should have been subbed out earlier.

    • I think you have to look at context of his shift too. Even if having the Captain back didn’t provide his teammates with a boost in morale, his 45 minutes let a fresh Jack McGlynn work the midfield in the second half, and his relative freshness showed.

      Considering the extent of his injury, Bedoya even dressing was an amazing commitment to his team. He wasn’t great, but Bedoya gave the Union 30 solid minutes and then did 15 more on the pitch when he really needed to leave. If I’m deducting points from anyone for Bedoya’s last 15 min, its Curtin for not taking him off.

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