Player ratings

Player ratings: Philadelphia Union 0-2 Charlotte FC

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Saturday’s match against Charlotte FC marked Philadelphia’s third game in eight days, prompting Head Coach Jim Curtin to make changes to the starting lineup. After playing in a 5-3-2 on Wednesday, Curtin reverted back to a 4-4-2 diamond that featured Tai Baribo and Mikael Uhre up front, Jeremy Rafanello back in the starting group as the No. 10 with Quinn Sullivan, and  Jesus Bueno and Leon Flach rounding out the midfield. The most notable change, howver, was the Union debut of 18-year old Homegrown goalkeeper Andrew Rick.

Despite the Union starting off aggressive on both sides of the ball, a pair of second half goals from Charlotte FC proved the difference, keeping Philadelphia winless at home since March 30.

Disclaimer: Jim Curtin said it best in his post-match press conference…. “We’re a little bit desperate and having to put them (young players) into situations where development doesn’t happen because it’s hard and you’re chasing a game and it’s not an ideal way to get confidence or get better.”

That being said, I rated players with less minutes with a grain of salt when comparing them to their more experienced counterparts. A rating of 5 is considered average and as always, ratings are subjective.

Player ratings: 

Andrew Rick – 6.5

An impressive start by Rick; he was decisive in his choices and made 2 amazing saves late in the second half to keep Philadelphia in it. While he let 2 Charlotte goals in, they seemed to be the types of shots even Andre Blake would have had trouble handling.

Kai Wagner – 5

A consistent night for Kai numbers-wise, albeit one lacking in any sort of magic. Wagner was subbed off in the 77′ as a result of some muscle tightness.

Jack Elliott 3.5

A couple of quick scrambles from Elliott got Rick out of trouble, but Elliott was ultimately beat by Agyemang on Charlotte’s first goal. He’s got the speed to compliment a high press style of play (sometimes), but still finds himself in unnecessary situations too often for my liking.

Jakob Glesnes – 3

Some nice moments from Glesnes at the start of the game, but the team’s style of a high pressing back line has cost the Union multiple times this season when players are ultimately caught going the other way. Case in point: Glesnes got caught lagging on the build up to Charlotte’s second goal.

Nate Harriel – 5

Harriel shifted back to his natural right back position for this game, and immediately made a big stop within the first three minutes of the game.  A nice strike towards the end of the first is proof that while the team may not be winning, the young guys are improving.

Leon Flach – 6

Maybe you didn’t hear his name much on the broadcast or in the stadium, but Flach continued his trend of providing consistency in the midfield. Right about now, I’ll take all the stability we can get.

Jesus Bueno – 5

Coming off a game where he scored his first goal in a Union shirt, this performance probably pales in comparison. Some aggressive moments throughout, but unfortunately Bueno was unable to make anything out of his chances.

Quinn Sullivan – 5.5

An opinion that may make me unpopular with the Sullivan fans: too often Quinn attempts fancy footwork or sly passes, only to be dispossessed. Unlike some of the other young guys, Sullivan has played enough minutes that unnecessary mistakes add up. A dangerous pair of strikes from Quinn were saved, but prove to me he can play in a  straightforward, no frills manner.

Jeremy Rafanello – 5

Smart thinking and quick movement to intercept the ball early on and set up a potential goal for Baribo. He’s got some growing to do, but the patience and intelligence he shows is promising. With how energetically Rafanello started the second half, I was surprised to see him be one of the first players subbed off.

Mikael Uhre – 4

A pretty quiet evening for Uhre–can’t help but wonder if Baribo’s electric presence causes the Dane to shift his focus more onto creating chances for his teammates rather than finishing them himself. While I appreciate the sentiment, I’d rather he do both roles well than just one perfectly.

Tai Baribo – 7

Sneaky play and great thinking from Baribo early on stealing the ball from Kahlina and shooting for goal. Even better, when the play didn’t go his way, Baribo still hustles downfield to help the defense. In the 2 games he’s played, Baribo appears to be the maestro, guiding teammates and providing support on both ends of the field, slowly but surely smoothing over the rough edges of the Union’s choppy play.


Olivier Mbaizo – n/a

CJ Olney – n/a

Jack McGlynn – 6

As usual Jack was tasked with providing precision and making something happen. Tough enough as is, but even tougher when playing from behind. How much can we expect from a kid?

Chris Donovan – 3

Brought on to relieve Uhre and was somehow more invisible than the Dane.

Geiger Counter:

Alexis Da Silva – 6 

Typically, if you don’t notice the referree, it means they’re doing a good job. Or maybe I was just too distracted by whatever the Union were doing?

Player of the Match: Andrew Rick

Say what you want, but experiencing his Union debut just two weeks after his high school graduation from YSC Academy and putting up that kind of performance? If there’s a silver lining anywhere, let it be that.

What’s Next

The Union will have a full week to recover before their last match of the month, where they will visit CF Montreal for the second meeting of the season between the two clubs. Kick-off from Montreal is set for 7:30 PM ET on Saturday, June 29, with the action on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.


  1. Andy Muenz says:

    The one I’ll disagree with is Bueno. I mentioned this in my post game comments, but I think he spent a lot of the game not playing his position and that made any attack on the left side difficult…as well as helping lead to the second goal. In the future, he needs to play at the 6 or on the right side of the diamond.
    Early on I commented to my wife that I was surprised at the positions of Bueno and Flach. Flach can handle either defensive midfield or the left side of the diamond. Apparently Bueno is not suited to the left side of the diamond.

  2. Ratings over 4 for anyone on the team is generous. They can’t score nor defend. Can’t understand why when they lose match after match the ratings still reflect any level of acceptability.

    • +1 Dead Legs after 1st half. Thank God they did not have to a face a team with better offense. Still waiting for the announcement they signed a quality veteran striker or attacking midfielder from a top tier league. Waiting waiting , still waiting.

      Too late…. another defeat… another press conference….. Meanwhile Sugarman is vacationing in the South of France… whoops wrong team same scenario.

      Pathetic Owner , Coach Speak, GM missing in Action Empty Seats but wait theres fireworks.

  3. I think Sullivan’s been caught being indecisive – he’ll get the ball and dribble it around for 5-10 seconds while the defense gets set. That’s the habit of his that has come back that’s more frustrating to me than when he takes on a defender 1:1 and loses it.

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