The player ratings may appear a bit on the generous side......because they are. Maybe it’s just happiness that the season has finally started, or the home win, or whatever? You get a 7.5 rating, and he gets a 7.5 rating, and everybody gets a 7.5 rating! It feels so good to have meaningful games back!
Note: 6 is the rating given for an average MLS performance
Man of the Match: Thiago Santos (8.3) - Talk about an impressive debut. Thiago delivered on everything that had been said about him. He was a force on defense, with 10 recoveries, five clearances (all inside the box), two tackles, and one interception. He was good enough to get noticed by MLS:
If there was a surprize in Thiago’s play, it was how well he was going forward. Believe it or not, Thiago led all players on both teams with six fouls drawn, while only committing one foul himself, and 79.6% passing accuracy, with many of those passes directed forward into the attacking third. Thiago even made several dangerous runs, none more dangerous than this chance:
If this is the play of a player that is still integrating himself into his new team, then I can’t wait to see what he can do once he gets comfortable.
Jesse Gonzalez (7.5) - It’s hard to believe that Jesse has already reached such a milestone:
Despite 15 shot attempts by the Union, Jesse was never truly challenged, and got the clean sheet while making three saves.
Reggie Cannon (7.4), Reto Ziegler (7.6), Matt Hedges (7.6), Ryan Hollingshead (7.5) - None of the back four stood out above the others, but it was a completed team defensive performance. Even though Philadelphia got off 15 shots, five of those shots were blocked by the back four, and the rest were mostly of very poor quality.
Tanner Tessman (8.2) - Tanner starting two days after signing his HG contract, really got us fans excited. Still, none of us expected a “Man of the Match” type performance. Tanner and Thiago paired so well together, that I just had Thiago barely edging Tanner for the MOTM. Check out Scratching the Chalkboard by Jason Poon, to get an in depth look at just how good Tanner was on the night.
This is an attention getting performance from Tanner, and if he can replicate this a couple of more times, it’s going to be very hard to remove Tanner from the starting 11.
Jesus Ferreira (6.9) - Jesus really wasn’t as involved as we’d like to see from him, but he did have one hell of an opportunity:
Fafa Picault (7.4) - Fafa was a nice complement for Barrios in his debut, but he looked to be trying a little too hard at times against his old team. Still, it was a sold debut.
Michael Barrios (6.9) - Michael was his usual disruptive self, but he had one of those games where he is very active with very little to show for it.
Zdenek Ondrasek (7.8) - Forget the stats, Cobra gets judged on whether he scores or not, and we all know how that turned out:
Bressan (6.8) - Bressan’s entrance ushered a change in formation, from a 4-3-3 to a 3-5-2. While his stats don’t really jump off the page, he gets judged on the fact that it was a smooth transition into the new formation. The team was equally effective on defense with three in the back, and Bressan gets credit for making that possible.
Paxton Pomykal (7.4) - Had Cobra not scored, Paxton would have likely been the MOTM for the sheer impact he had in only 20 minutes of action. None bigger than the game ending goal:
Ricardo Pepi (6.0) - I’m sure we were all disappointed that Pepi didn’t get more than a few token minutes at the end.
Luchi Gonzalez (7.8) - Luchi had an opening match where all his decisions payed off beautifully. Sure it took the team an entire half before they got going, but that’s to be expected when you have three debuting players in your starting lineup.