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Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 2-3 Orlando City SC

The Union scored first with a nice Mikael Uhre finish only to fall behind 3-1 at home. A PK by Dániel Gazdag got the Union to within one, but a second Gazdag-taken PK was saved and the Union fell 3-2 to Orlando City SC for a third straight home defeat. Here is how the Union players rated Saturday night.

GK Oliver Semmle – 4

Semmle started his sixth match in Union blue, conceded three goals, and failed for the sixth time to keep a clean sheet. It is hard to blame Semmle for the scoreline and loss, though he did have an average-at-best night for a keeper brought in to replace Joe Bendik and salvage points when Blake is out.  The first goal was a nice header from Duncan McGuire. The second goal was a wicked left-footed shot from Luis Muriel. McGuire almost had a second in first-half injury time, if not for a save from Semmle, though one that hardly inspired confidence in the keeper. The third goal was a defensive meltdown, but a shot that Semmle should have been better positioned and prepared for as it came only twenty seconds into the second half.

CB Damion Lowe – 3

Lowe had a rough night, as did much of the defense. McGuire escaped Lowe for an open header for Orlando’s first goal. The third goal found Lowe trailing the play while signaling for an offside call that was not to come, which is inexcusable twenty seconds into the half. Lowe’s downfield passes were often off target, he did not win a ground duel on the night, and he frankly looked better bringing the ball upfield than he did on defense. A correct VAR review saved Lowe from a red card, but the fact remains that his lack of positioning led to him chasing the play to begin with.

CB Jakob Glesnes – 4

Glesnes too had a rough night and was caught unaware as Murriel got behind him and outraced him to the ball and scored Orlando’s third goal.  Frankly, from a view in the stands, Glesnes looked tired on the night, slow to get back in coverage and a step behind his man more than once. His passing was more accurate than Lowe’s was and he looked better on the ball, but there is no denying it was a rough night for the center back.

LB Kai Wagner – 6

Wagner got upfield and got crosses in (half of which were accurate), though no one was able to put a finishing touch on one. Same with his corners, though it was a second attempt on a corner that led to Uhre’s goal. While Wagner made few defensive blunders, he was chasing the defensive game much of the night, having to make nine recoveries.

RB Nathan Harriel – 7

While Harriel had an average defensive performance, it was his offensive chops that earn him a 7 on the night. Harriel set up Uhre for the first goal, and later was taken down in the box earning the team a penalty kick that was ultimately saved.  

DM Jose Martinez – 5

An average performance from the defensive midfielder, who was not at fault (at least not solely) on any Orlando’s goals. Martinez was fouled as more than he fouled (two to one) and generally kept his emotions in check. He wasn’t as much a defensive stopper as usual, as the second goal found McGlynn stranded on an island without any help and the third goal was a sprint up the middle of the field. 

RM Alejandro Bedoya – 6

Bedoya played another full game, and his age is showing. Still positionally aware, and still giving 110%, but in this writer’s opinion it is time to accept Bedoya is more effective as a 45 to 60 minute player. Bedoya did have a great header back to Sullivan, who appeared to score, but Bedoya was adjudicated offside and the goal disallowed. 

LM Jack McGlynn – 6

McGlynn did his job while on the ball, completing more passes (70) than anyone in the game. As usual, his left foot was able to change sides of the field more than once, with nice passes to Sullivan and Harriel. His crosses were all accurate and he won three out of four ground duels. It was McGlynn’s hesitation off the ball, however, that allowed Muriel to get off his screamer of a shot for Orlando’s second goal.

AM Dániel Gazdag – 7

Once again Gazdag stepped up to the penalty spot in the 66th minute, and once again he converted, cutting the lead to one. However, a second PK taken in the 89th minute was saved, and “Mr. PK” also missed the follow-up. Gazdag played the distributor well, but he missed numerous chances in front of the net that could have tallied him another goal.

FWD Mikael Uhre – 7

Uhre got on the score sheet early with a 12th minute goal, his first goal in nearly a month. Unfortunately, it was his best touch of the night, as his remaining shots either went directly at Pedro Gallese or Orlando’s defense smothered his chances. To be fair, he had some nice passes and lay-offs for teammates that were not converted. While he did score, more was needed from him in his first start in a while. 

FWD Quinn Sullivan – 6

Sullivan started in his less-favored position of striker, and as we have come to expect he was less effective than when he starts in midfield. What would have been a nice goal was chalked off for offside, but that was not Sullivan’s fault. 


(80’) Chris Donovan – 6

Subbed on to replace Martinez in the 80th minute, he brought fresh legs and offense to the game as the Union chased a point. 

(90 + 7′ ) Tai Baribo – 5

In his first MLS appearance this year, Baribo was the last pure-striker option left on the bench, and was called upon with 8 minutes left in injury time. Looked decent in terms of positioning and had a couple of nice passes, but was not on the field long enough to make a difference.

Geiger Counter

Referee Tim Ford – 7

A decently called match, though perhaps Ford let Orlando get away with some flopping and too much time-wasting. Ultimately got the VAR review on the handball and rescinded red-card correct, though Bedoya certainly appeared onside when he headed it to Sullivan and no review was made.

Player of the Match – Cavan Sullivan? OK, Mikael Uhre.

It’s hard to give kudos to any one Union player in particular, as no one really stood out (in a good way). The crowd was most enthused on the night by the introduction of Cavan Sullivan as the drum-banger, but Uhre did score and also had some some nice passes which earn him MoM honors.

What’s Next…

The Boys in Blue are back at Subaru Park on Wednesday night to take on New York City FC at 7:30 p.m.


  1. Eric Boyle says:

    I will have to disagree on Martinez. His turnover in our defensive third lead directly to an Orlando goal. It was very similar to his turnover in the Seattle game.

    Also, Gazdag needs to put that rebound in the net. That chance shouldn’t go begging. Definitely a rating deduction there.

    • SoccerDad says:

      I agree on Martinez, his way too easy give away left McGlynn one-on-one defending giving up that first goal. Should McGlynn of done a better job defending maybe, but he was in the position because he was the deepest player on that side as Wagner had pushed up to attack. The direction change is tough on a turnover where the ball is played directly to the other team.

  2. Martinez way too high. One thing to recall is that when we were beaten, both McGlynn and Sullivan ran full speed back and blocked several passes or stole the ball. The kids are getting better in recovery. Unfortunately, we have two guys right now (Martinez and Lowe) who want to attack and constantly are caught out of position. I thought Harriel was better on defense than given credit because of all of his picking up the slack for others on D. Jacob is a shell of himself. Slow, indecisive.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    The Union lose at home to the team that was 14th out of 15 in the conference and the average rating is 5.5 among the Union players is 5.5? I’m not going to pick on specific players, but I think the ratings need to reflect the result and it’s hard to say that 8 of the 13 Union players had an above average game.

    • Although I do agree the ratings are a bit high here and there overall I could see how this aggregate score comes in a loss as it reflects that the union actually generated a ton of xG and held Orlando to a low xG. Just in the wrong side of several key moments

      • Andy Muenz says:

        If the xG are that high and the team isn’t putting the ball into the net, then the offense shouldn’t be averaging a 6.5.

  4. Also a valid point @AndyMuenz

  5. If 5 is an average performance I do not agree that any of the defense should rate even as high as 5. The defense is leaky and as a u it currently disfunctional. Martinez specifically looked the whole match as if he couldn’t care less . What’s up with that?

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