Player ratings / Union

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 4-2 Toronto FC

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

It was a dark and stormy night.

The Union, somehow both struggling to maintain even a semblance of continuity from last year’s rarefied heights while also simultaneously re-summiting those shortness-of-breath-inducing ones from two years ago, exorcised some demons. Toronto FC were the sacrificial lamb and their leader, American soccer mage Bob Bradley, could only look on in disappointment and disbelief.

Neither team was perfect, but the home side could certainly feel like they left the field with wind in their sails toward the real contest Wednesday night, a date with LAFC.

On to the ratings.

Author’s note: As was and will again become custom here, a rating of 5 represents an average performance – and specifically average for the player in question.


Andre Blake – 5

Nothing superhuman from the oft-caped wonder. Unhappy with the late gaps in his defense, and didn’t face a single shot for forty-four minutes. 

Kai Wagner – 6

Handled one of the Italian Stallions, Federico Bernardeschi, with aplomb. His forward runs still seem off, but his shift was solid. 

Jack Elliott – 5

Elliott’s run of form lately is out of character. Saturday was better, but there were still too many gaps in the final half an hour to feel great about the outing. He was responsible for lots of chances snuffed out though. 

Jakob Glesnes – 5

A match in which the Norwegian had a laugh with Lorenzo Insigne about how much smaller the latter was than the former and then was otherwise almost anonymous the whole night – but in a good way. What’s Norwegian for tidy?

Nate Harriel – 4

His task was a tall one, no question, but Harriel was up to it only half the match. Eventually Insigne found the cracks and the holes in the Union wall and, come l’acqua, worked his way behind the ball-watching homegrown – and eventually found a goal. 

Jose Martinez – 5

Rocket from outside the box, just over the bar? Check. Massive role in holding Toronto’s entire attacking formation at bay? Check. Maddeningly casual giveaways as time wore on? Check. 

Jack McGlynn – 7

The kid can split lines like Ozil, shift hips like Busquets, and rattle crossbars like… who’s famous for rattling crossbars? Enjoy him while he’s here Union fans – this guy is the next local darling destined for Europe. 

Alejandro Bedoya – 4

Maurice Edu called Bedoya’s effort “a Captain’s performance.” While that’s fair – and Bedoya was good for more than a half, dirty running, winning balls in the air, et al… – sometimes it feels like he is also ready to go down with the ship. He should’ve been off at the hour mark, and wouldn’t have been doubted he had made the call himself. 

Daniel Gazdag – 7

The Union didn’t entirely click in this match, but 4 goals is hard to argue with. Both truths are partly on their string-puller. Too many chances went wanting for Union fans, but Gazdag created nearly all of them – and on both sides of the ball. If the U need a volume guy to make it work, Danny G is starting to turn it up to 11. 

Julian Carranza – 6

This score was very nearly lower, considering the striker’s yellow card and almost-yellow-carded reckless challenge late in the game. But his effort on the team’s second goal to move Sean Johnson and his inch-perfect pass on the fourth to Uhre on the back post mean that even an outing with flaws still seems beautiful. 

Mikael Uhre – 9

His first hat trick in a Union shirt (which seems impossible given last year’s firework stretch), and in only two thirds of a match. If Uhre is off and running, so too will this team be. 


Quinn Sullivan – 4

He’s pressing. The shot from 40? Hard, low, solid. The rest of the match? Not enough. The quality is there, as is the opportunity (Curtin has said as much), and now the patience and poise need to come to make it work. And given Sullivan’s vast skill set, it should. 

Leon Flach – 4

Something is up with Flach. He looks a step slow and out of position – things no one could’ve said about him last season or the one before. He’s still very, very young though, with time and training enough to work it out.

Andres Perea – 5

Not much other than he did his job seeing the game out, and the two late goals are less about him than they are about eyes on Wednesday.

Jesus Bueno – 5

The last half an hour of this match was like a long Italian goodbye, lots of hugging and smiling, ribbing and reopening already closed doors. Bueno’s hospitality was notable, as he did his best to help see visitors off. 

Geiger counter

Alex Chilowicz – 7

The man the middle dealt with a difficult assignment nicely, eschewing delays and calls for VAR, some dives and some chippy play, without putting himself center frame. His bright pink ensemble stood out on Apple’s 4K display as though he’d been pasted on the screen.

Man of the match – Uh-re, Mi-kael Uh-re, la la la la…

What is there to say? When the best players on the team do what they were signed to do, they earn the match ball. This week, that trophy goes to Uhre.


  1. With Wednesday’s match looming, I don’t understand why Ale wasn’t subbed off shortly after Uhre put them up 4-0 in the 56th minute. With so many soft-tissue injuries to starters already this season, I’m concerned about our captain spending “unplanned time” on the sideline.

  2. santo bevacqua says:

    His bright pink ensemble stood out on Apple 4k display as though he’d been pasted on the screen,,,,,how poetic never seen a referee described this way……Grade you a 9.5.

  3. McGlynn a 7 and Martinez a 5? I think you switched these numbers by mistake.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like McGlynn, but he’s in danger of the same overhype Aaronson gets among us Union fans. Sure, he’s a great passer, but he’s slow (can’t be fixed by coaching) and almost as lightweight as Aaronson. Are you anxious to see him matched up against Vela on Wednesday? I thought so.

    The danger, as I see it, is he’ll get killed by the hype. Brendan isn’t exactly burning up Europe…10 goals and 13 assists in 5000 minutes since he arrived. Let’s be a little more cautious judging players’ level at age 19 or 20.

  4. Deez Nuggs says:

    First, can we not call him ‘Danny G’? Like, at all? Overall, I am not sure the numbers factor in the coordinated team press enough, which was the real key to a dominant performance. Also, Martinez for me was far more on his passing game than other matches. I think he gets a hockey assist for the second goal.

  5. McMohansky says:

    Laughable rating for Martinez. The Union played their best half in ages primarily because of him. Hard to argue against hat trick Uhre as MOTM but those goals don’t happen without #8.
    The continuing disrespect for him here is more than baffling.

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      He’s the best defensive midfielder the team has ever had, one of the best in the hemisphere. He did exactly what he needed to do and got a 5 for it, which is what that means in PSP parlance.

      • That rating system of holding different players to their own standards isn’t very interesting. It begs the question. Why rate them at all? It just reduces it to what form they are in rather than what impact they had on the match. Which as the comments belie. Many want. With this system it flattens the abilities of different players and leaves you with no idea who impacted the game.

  6. For everything that Curtin has done well and brought us success with, his one major major flaw is substitution patterns or lack there of. You can almost set your watch to a 60 min sub and then maybe one around 75-80, with the third unused or only for a couple mins. This year it will stand out more with all the extra games. Up 4 goals, all 5 subs should have been used very early in the second half for key players, especially in the rain.

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