Player ratings

Player Ratings: Philadelphia Union 1 – New York City 2

Photo: Ron Soliman

The Boys in Blue dropped their fourth loss in a row at home, dispatched by a tough NYCFC unit with a score of 2-1. Despite several flurries of chances throughout, the Union never recovered from an early goal and were not able to salvage a result. Let’s see how the players performed. 

Oliver Semmle – 7

Semmle has acquitted himself well this season, especially as a first-year goalie in MLS. He had to make quite a few saves to keep the Union in the game down the stretch. While he was hung out to dry on NYC’s opener, a more experienced goalie likely would have been able to grab or punch the delivery on the second.

Kai Wagner- 4

Silly foul led to a yellow and then a goal after he retaliated against NYC for something that didn’t look like a foul. Involved offensively with a number of crosses, several of which created shots or forced a clearance. His corners were not as productive, unfortunately. He also would have scored if not for the great reaction save from the City keeper.

Jack Elliot- 5

Elliot played better than some of his shakier showings recently. He made for a difficult counterattack to defend on the opener. That being said, far too often this year, the defense has been picked apart too easily and Wednesday was one of those nights. Elliot was able to adjust after the first 30 minutes or so. He did what he had to do to keep the team in it. Unfortunately, his last-minute equalizer was called back. 

Jakob Glesnes- 5

Similar to his partner, Glesnes has looked hesitant and slow this season. Perhaps he’s still mentally recovering from the surgery. It seems the midfield is giving up harder attacks to defend. They certainly did on the first goal. Either way, he still seems off the pace a little. Glesnes did step it up in the second half in particular and was able to play some good forward balls and collect some defensive statistics.  

Nathan Harriel- 6

Harriel has been one of the best players on the team so far this year. Not only is his defense continually solid but his attacking ability has grown. In this game, he found ways to get forward and put in some dangerous crosses, while also making several quality forward dribbles that kept attacks alive and even started them. He was good in the air and took 6 shots, but none were on target.

Leon Flach- 6

Flach made a handful of tackles and interceptions. Generally, his defensive actions were solid, which is typical for Leon. He was able to play a few decent forward passes and even completed a dribble or two. Flach is a great ‘help’ defender but he doesn’t have the skill set to operate as a lone ‘6’. He seemed to get dragged wide, leaving a lot of space in front of the back line. Still, it’s good to have him back, especially as the team’s depth will be tested over the summer.

Jack McGlynn- 5

By and large, an alright game for the youngster. He seemed tired, especially in the second half, as he had a couple of unusually inaccurate balls, including one that started the NYC counter for their opener. Despite this, he was still able to positively affect the offense.  However, he needs to pull the trigger on his shots sooner as he had an opening for a late shot that was quickly blocked. McGlynn also worked up a nice free-kick routine to get an assist.

Quinn Sullivan- 4

Probably the least involved Quinn has been in an MLS game this year. Typically he’s one of the few players on the team who beats opponents via dribbling, leading to many offensive chances. Not on Wednesday however, as it was a very quiet night for him. Consistency is the hardest part of playing professionally, but you’d imagine Quinn will be able to bounce back sooner rather than later.

Daniel Gazdag – 5

It was a bit of a muted performance from the club’s all-time leading scorer. Gazdag was good in the sense that he retained possession well but, frustratingly, he is not a particularly creative attacking-mid. Games like Wednesday show how that can hamper the team’s offense. He occasionally spurned easier pass options by turning into pressure which normally isn’t a ‘smart’ play.

Mikael Uhre- 4

Uhre’s a very hot or cold kind of striker. He averages a little over 1 goal every 3 games, which is great for an average starting striker. But, when he’s the club record signing and receiving $1.7 million per year, he simply needs to score more goals. Only managing one shot, Uhre was decently involved for a guy who typically gets the fewest touches on the field when starting. He set up a few shots and had some decent runs in behind. It’s just not enough right now, he’s far too one note.

Julian Carranza- 7

Carranza ended the night with 9 (!) shots. However, only two were on target. His goal appeared to be the most difficult chance he had on the night. The next two shots, which both happened within 10 minutes of that goal, were a right-footed shot inside the NYC box and header from 8 yards out. Neither was on target. He played well but it feels like he left more goals on the field. 



Alejandro Bedoya- 4

Bedoya did alright. He set up Uhre for a late shot in the box but lost possession into touch near midfield. Possibly guilty of being offside in the buildup to Elliot’s potential goal.

Olivier Mbaizo – 4

Mbaizo was apparently meant to play as ‘more of a right winger.’ He struggled to stay onside but set up a few crosses.

Jose Martinez – 6

A decent cameo from Martinez, as he played some nice passes, including the through ball for Bedoya that nearly resulted in Elliot’s equalizer. The hope is he can return to full form as a starter because the team is currently lacking his normally influential play from the 6.

Geiger Counter:

Chris Penso – 6

Typically, if you don’t notice the referees, that means they had a good game. While there were some tight calls, namely the late would-be equalizer that was called back, there did not appear to be any major errors made by Penso and his crew. So overall they did an alright job of handling the tempers of the two fiery squads. It seemed like the majority of fouls and line calls were correct. 


Player of the Match: Raquinho

C’mon, could it have been anyone else? The pace was electric, the movement: dynamic, the effort: commendable, the elusiveness… unmatched. Besides, just look at that little cutie! That was probably some of the most fun the crowd at Subaru Park has had in a while. 10/10 player of the match, sign ’em to a DP deal.


What’s Next

It’s been a poor run of form for the Boys in Blue. They started the MLS campaign well enough with an undefeated streak of 8 games, but have now lost 4 of their last 5. Bizarrely, all 4 of those losses have come at home. Strangely enough, that means they’re still undefeated on the road. This will be at risk when the Union travels to Gillette Stadium for a matchup with cellar dweller New England Revolution. In theory, even while in poor form, the Union should be able to handle the Revs. If any game would be a locked-in win, it has to be this. And yet, it feels like it’d be unlikely to see that happen. As Curtin said in the presser, it’s entirely on the guys on the field and the coaches to get through it. 



  1. Andy Muenz says:

    A bit too high for Wagner who was also somewhat responsible for the first goal against with a poor pass to no one and no recovery to help against the counterattack.
    Penso did make one major mistake which could have potentially cost the Union (except that there’s really no difference between losing 3-1 or 2-1). On the play where the NYC defender got hurt and had to be taken off, the play should have been stopped immediately rather than allowing NYC to drive downfield. The injury was clearly a head injury (the player and Wagner banged heads going for a header).

    • I could have sworn it was Flach getting his pocket picked from being indecisive that lead to the first goal?

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Flach was open and waiting for a pass to his feet. Wagner made a pass about 5-10 yards in front of Flach and about the same distance as another Union player (I don’t remember who). Neither player went for the ball, both thinking the other would get it, which allowed NYC to get possession and start a successful counterattack.
        So Flach was indecisive about going for the ball but did not get his pocket picked.

  2. I think we are in such a tight spot with Gazdag. I know this sounds weird as he just became our all time leading scorer. And don’t get me wrong, he is far from a big problem at this point. But I still look at him and I see so little from him in open play and possession that I feel like we need better from that spot.

    He is the best defensive 10 in the league and he is on a team that values that above all else. He is money from PKs and back when we were actually a dangerous pressing and transition team, he was pretty good. But now? When our press is not turning anyone over, our transitions are non existent, and we need to rely on standard, normal possession offense to generate chances? He does nothing.

    I’m glad the ratings pointed it out – he has a talent for turning everything into a high risk, low reward outcome. Stupid flicks, backheels, home run passes when we don’t need them. Really weird situational awareness to turn into pressure and dribble towards dead ends. Again, he just provides absolutely nothing.

  3. Again, we lose and the defenders get above average marks. Not seeing it, sorry…

  4. Atomic Spartan says:

    Given so many flat-to-unconscious starts and so many ill-timed and ineffectual subs, it’s time to start rating the coach’s performance.

  5. Jack’s name is Elliott. With 2 T’s at the end

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