Player ratings / Union

Player Ratings: Philadelphia Union 1 – 2 Real Salt Lake

Photo: Paul Rudderow

The Philadelphia Union let two golden chances go begging as they lost a physical game against Real Salt Lake at home, ending their undefeated start to the MLS season. Despite creating numerous opportunities, the Boys in Blue were unable to mount a comeback and ultimately gave up an 89th minute winner. Let’s get into the ratings. 

Player Ratings:

Andre Blake – 4

It seems that Blake might be lacking sharpness after an injury riddled beginning to the season. While the first RSL goal was a bit unlucky, it was one most would expect Blake to usually save. The second was an outrageous strike. He was able to make a great save in injury time to keep the game within reach. Hopefully, he will stay healthy and get back to his usual brick-wall self ASAP.

Kai Wagner- 5

Wagner had a busy night on both sides of the ball. He was involved in a lot of attacks but also had his hands full on defense. His matchup with Gomez proved difficult. He got beat a few times and then seemed hesitant to step for the rest of the game. Set up Gazdag’s shot that should have been a goal.

Jack Elliot- 5

Elliot had an OK game. Generally, if you don’t notice a defender, that means they’re doing their job. There were some miscues, like a badly shanked clearance in the first half. But he also had a great last ditch tackle in the box that stopped an open shot. Got very unlucky with the bounce following his attempted tackle on Arango for the opener.

Jakob Glesnes- 6

Generally, a good performance from Glesnes. He was very active in spraying long balls across the field. He was decisive in dealing with loose balls. Could have done better on the clearance leading to the winning RSL goal however. 

Nathan Harriel- 6

Harriel had a good game. Not only did he make a number of tackles and interceptions, he was also effective going forward down his side. He made an excellent play in the second half that should have seen Uhre finish the opportunity. 

Jose Martinez – 4

A mixed bag from Martinez. He had an energetic start but seemed to gas himself earlier than usual. Perhaps this played into some of the poor decisions he made which led to a few turnovers. 

Jack McGlynn- 7

Yet another demonstration of McGlynn’s growth and development. His vision and passing are a joy to watch and it’s clear he’s been able to work on his defensive game too. Pulled the strings behind a number of Union attacks. 

Alejandro Bedoya- 6

Another gutsy and gritty game from the captain. He did a whole lot of dirty work, popping up all over the midfield to make a tackle or interception. Bedoya was clearly dealing with tired legs by the end of the match, which affected his ability.

Daniel Gazdag – 6

Highs and lows for Gazdag. It took him a little to get settled into the game after some heavy first touches in the opening stages. Scored a slick back heel but this was followed up by a shocking miss from about 5 yards away. If he had scored, he would have overtaken Le Toux and become the club’s top scorer. 

Julian Carranza – 4

Carranza was the subject of the defense’s special attention which led to a predictably physical matchup between him and various RSL defenders. He won several fouls but gave up even more, eventually getting booked. He tunnel visioned in on a chance in the box when there were options he could have passed to. Overall, he lacked his usual predatory instincts in front of goal.

Quinn Sullivan – 6

As is becoming the new norm, Sullivan was the most creative player for the Union last night. It’s refreshing to see how inventive he is with the ball at his feet. He was rewarded for his efforts with the assist on the lone Union goal. Unfortunately, he did not seem to be on the same page with his teammates in the final third at times, as there were a number of missed connections on cut-back passes. Additionally, the larger RSL defenders were able to effectively body him off the ball several times.


Uhre- 2

Bad miss right after coming on. Ended with six touches and went 1 out of 3 passes complete. Ugh. 

Jesus Bueno – N/a

Late sub for a gassed Martinez. Didn’t have enough time on the pitch to impact the outcome either way. 

Donovan – N/a

Late offensive sub to try and salvage a point, but to no avail.

Geiger Counter:

Malik Badawi – 5

While the refereeing might have been frustrating from a fan’s view, there didn’t seem to be any major mistakes made by Badawi and his crew. Both RSL and the Union are very physical teams and aren’t afraid to foul. Badawi chose to be very strict and blew his whistle constantly. However he treated each team fairly, and this is reflected by the fouls called (18 on the Union and 16 on RSL) and yellow cards issued (3 on the Union and 5 on RSL). 

Player of the Match: Carlos Gomez 

The dangerous winger’s pace and dribbling was on full display. He acquitted himself well in his matchup with Wagner and seemed to have the beating of him. Grabbed the goal on RSL’s opener and generally was a menace down the right flank. 

What’s Next:

The Union have the benefit of being able to immediately right their wrongs with another home matchup, this time against a struggling Seattle Sounders side. They have a quick turnaround after that and will go on the road to face DC on the weekend. After a bye week, the grind has resumed and now, it’s up to the players on the field and the coach to prove to everyone that this team is capable of delivering on its promised successes. 


  1. Andy Muenz says:

    I’m OK with most of these. A little harsh on Uhre considering a 2 is a REALLY bad rating and he only made one significant mistake while having some hold up play on other occasions where he was able to keep possession for the Union while giving teammates a chance to join the play.
    The one major disagreement I have is with McGlynn. I thought he had a subpar performance with several poor touches that gave the ball away. For me he was no higher than a 4 rather than the highest rated player on the team.

    • +1 on both the McGlynn too high and Uhre too low.

    • Shot headed to goal blocked by Bedoya’s body he completed lots of diagonals, I think he deserves the grade.

    • Unionrocks says:

      You don’t like mcglynn, we get it. Bashing him all year without any context. 15 completed passes in the final third almost every game. Name another player in MLS that does that? He is far from perfect but our most forward thinking player in a ugly style of play that doesn’t suit his skillset. 75% of the union team has bad touches and you call out the player with the best touch?

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Huh? I don’t think I’ve been negative about McGlynn at all before this. I just thought he had a subpar game with several poor first touches where better touches could have led to Union scoring opportunities.
        I’ve been a fan of McGlynn since the first time I saw him play with Union 2 back in 2020.

  2. Bedoya should have been subbed. Bad mistake by Curtin to leave him in.

    • +1. I thought Uhre should have come in for Bedoya, and then shift Sullivan to midfield. Push for a lead while RSL was on the back foot. Get a lead and then bring Bueno or Flach in for more defensive bite in midfield to close out the game.

  3. Bedoya is the smartest guy on the team and sees defensive problems and offensive opportunities before anyone else. Unfortunately, he can’t run enough to do anything about it. He definitely shouldn’t be starting. How bad must Baribo be not to get into a game like Saturday?

    • This was definitely the wrong game to play baribo in. Whole team had a 2 week rest. If he is gonna play at all he should play Tuesday, seeing as some players will need rests.

  4. Bedoya’s soccer IQ makes him very valuable out there. More than once he was the only player to identify Arango drifting in late unmarked around the 18 and sprinted back past other jogging union players to cut him off as an option.

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