Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 2-0 Minnesota United

Photo: Ron Soliman

The Union returned to Subaru Park on Saturday afternoon, holding Minnesota scoreless and winning by a two-goal margin. Philadelphia played their most complete 90 minutes of the MLS season, with each player contributing to the shut-out win over the Loons.

Let’s dive into the ratings.

Andre Blake — 7

A shut-out by committee. Blake was solid, notably making a kick save just before half-time to keep his team up by one goal. Blake looked like his healthy self again, but unfortunately, it was short-lived. A collision with a Minnesota United player, while Blake was high-pointing a ball in his box, forced Blake into some discomfort in the 33rd minute. The Jamaican soldiered on, but eventually could not continue with what were reported to be concussion symptoms.

Nathan Harriel — 7

Harriel played a strong game down the right. He didn’t venture forward as much as Kai Wagner, but he was still active offensively — playing a direct brand of soccer with Quinn Sullivan down the right-hand side. Harriel completed 36 of 45 passes (80%) and contributed four progressive passes, springing Sullivan frequently. In possession, it was a tidy performance from the young home-grown.

Jakob Glesnes — 7

The Norwegian rocket-man stacked a second-consecutive strong outing onto his performance last weekend in Portland. Glesnes didn’t flash much and completed just 60% of his passes. But a shutout is a shutout, and he did well commanding the Union back-line against a talented Temu Pukki-led Minnesota attack.

Jack Elliott — 7

A solid defensive performance from Elliott. He logged five blocks on the day, so he did his part in keeping Minnesota off the board. Both Elliott and Glesnes did well in the air, clearing many of Minnesota’s presses before they became dangerous.

Kai Wagner — 7

Wagner was pushed up high for most of the afternoon, allowing him to be active going forward in the attack. His attacking position afforded Minnesota a couple of opportunities behind him, but Minnesota didn’t finish them.

Jack McGlynn — 7

Another quiet but strong performance from McGlynn. His vision and long diagonal passes that switched the point of attack, especially early in the second frame, were pivotal to breaking down the Minnesota press. Jack logged 12 progressive passes and 10 passes into the final third on the afternoon — the most on the team by a wide margin. He should have finished the chance he had late in the match to put the game on ice, but it ended up not mattering anyway.

José Martínez — 8

Brujo was up to his usual ways — breaking down attacks, springing attacks the other way, and of course, a little s!$#-housery to boot.

Quinn Sullivan — 9

Sullivan’s tireless effort down the right was the difference in this match. Jim Curtin said after the match, “We haven’t had a dribbler or a 1 v 1 guy since Ilsinho. Quinn showed a little bit of that today when he got isolated and would show a change of speed to get by someone.” Sullivan was the workhorse today. He logged 11 progressive carries — four more than the next closest Union player. Those dribbling actions forced Minnesota to respect his speed down the right, and even then, he just couldn’t be contained.

Daniel Gazdag — 7

The front three were played much more cohesively on Saturday, and much of that was due to Gazdag’s movement. The Hungarian scored the opener on a low corner kick that fell into his lap — a corner that was worked up in training, per Curtin.

Mikael Uhre — 6

Overall, the most complete performance for Uhre in the young season. His movement was much better, and he effectively found the pockets of space that he was accustomed to finding on the special run in 2022. More of that will go a long way for the striker’s confidence.

Julián Carranza — 8

Another all-around good performance we have grown accustomed to from the Argentine. His finish off, the flicked header from Alejandro Bedoya, was inch perfect — sliced in low and to the far post, just inside the left post.


Alejandro Bedoya — 7

Bedoya came on, and again, seemed to calm things down. “Him putting his arm around [Jeremy] Rafanello… is an example of what he’s about,” Curtin said of the Portland game. “He’s really embraced whatever the group needs.” The team returned to the flat 4-4-2 when Bedoya came on, with Ale sitting deeper next to Martínez. And Ale was rewarded for his flexibility with a beautifully flicked header that fell to the feet of Carranza who potted the second goal on the day.

Chris Donovan — 6

A quietly solid performance from Donovan. His speed as a sub, and his defensive responsibility, make him a perfect sub in numerous game-states.

Oliver Semmle — 7

Semmle came in cold and played solidly, maintaining the clean sheet that Blake started. Semmle played the initial long ball that eventually resulted in Carranza’s goal, which is deserving of a secondary assist in my book (even if the stat sheet doesn’t show it).

Jesús Bueno — N/A

Geiger Counter

Sergii Boiko — 8

Ahhh, it is so nice to have the PRO referees back. The referee didn’t make the game about himself, and he generally let the boys play, which was a perfect fit for the tight playing styles of the two teams. The game management skills were on display and were almost night-and-day from the replacement referees that began the year.

Man of the Match

Quinn Sullivan

Not much else to say about the kid. He was extremely dangerous, took pressure off the rest of his team with his progressive carries, and put pressure on Minnesota all afternoon by driving at the backline constantly. Maybe getting left off the U23 USYNT camp roster last week gave him a little edge? Either way, he will be pivotal to the success of this club in 2024.


  1. Andy Muenz says:

    No major quibbles on the Union scores (although I’d probably give Semmle an 8 for coming in cold and then setting up the insurance goal right after he appeared to give one up (negated by the offsides).
    The one big difference I would have would be the ref. I didn’t really see much of a difference between this guy and the replacement refs. There were several instances where he would call play on at one end and then call a foul on pretty much the same play at the other end, so I never knew when he was going to call a foul and when he wasn’t.

  2. Deez Nuggs says:

    I have to give credit to Jack McGlynn. I’ve been hard on him to start the season with his defensive frailty. But he stepped up this game and defended well. Maybe it is all about not playing him into the ground every three days?
    Brujo with another excellent game keeping the Minnesota danger man literally out of it.
    Wish Blake the best in recovery

  3. Lovely, professional performance. This is what we can expect on decent rest with good health.

    Best wishes to Andre for a quick recovery. I am more calm about our back up goalie situation this year with Semmle.

    Agree on Referee, but with a nod to Andy on consistency. Great to have the regular referees back. Game Management was MUCH better. Looked a little rusty. I did have a couple of quibbles on calls. But I always do, so …

  4. I’m very happy that we have Semmle now. Huge upgrade over Bendik

  5. I must’ve watched a different game because I thought Martinez was pretty terrible. He was out of position a lot, never really sprinted in recovery and literally gave the ball away too many times (once in 2nd backwards diretly to their forward). He’s a great player, but he was off on Saturday.

  6. I struggled at the beginning of the season to see what all the fuss was about McGlynn. I thought he was great in 2023, but seemed to have taken a step back in early 2024. I was wrong. He controls the game so incredibly well, not only for a kid his age but also for any MLS player. He in a way, acts as the metrenome for the union. The biggest controlling piece in the Union puzzle. He reminds of players like Busquets, or Modric. He is not spectacular, physical, or defensive. But when he gets the ball, you know he won’t lose it. An example of this would be martinez, He is great but whenever he gets on the ball in the defensive half my heart skips a beat. Mcglynn though, I am just so confident he will do something good with the ball that I might as well not even think about it. Basically, the kids REALLY special

    • Wracked Opinion says:

      A beautifully astute analysis, Josh.

      As you… and I both… rightly concern for Martinez in possession, at times I concern for McGlynn defensively.

      A wingback necessarily must play more conservatively behind Jack, than Bedoya, or

      It seems that Wagner is now doing so: and not pushing forward nearly as much as in the past.

      Quite different play out of the Union… and Diamond… now: compared to during the Flach and Bedoya era.

      At times it seems that the backs struggle with the less defensively oriented (and capable?) mids.

      But I could be wrong… 😉

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