NYCFC 0-2 Union Player Ratings
The Philadelphia Union travelled to New York City FC and ended Saturday on top of the Eastern Conference. First-half goals from Ale Bedoya and Daniel Gazdag ensured that Jim Curtin's team came away with their first-ever win at Yankee Stadium.
Here is how I rated the Union's performance:
Andre Blake- 7
Excluding the one save at the beginning of the game, Blake had very little to do. He did well to deny Talles Magno in the early stages from close-range, and apart from that, he only had to make a couple of comfortable saves. He commanded his box well and kept a clean sheet to cap off an easy afternoon.
Nathan Harriel- 9 (Star Player)
Harriel was the man of the match for the Union. He provided the assist for Gazdag's goal with a superb cross. He produced a low-drilled ball across the face of the goal, which allowed the Hungarian to latch onto the end of it at the back post unmarked. In a game against an opposition with plenty of talent, it was expected that they would try and exploit the righthand side, but he did not get overwhelmed by it. He dealt with all of the pressure that came his way. Harriel also came up with a crucial goal-line clearance at the beginning of the second half. His awareness to get back and head off the line certainly ensured a more comfortable second half defensively.
Jack Elliott- 7
Elliott had a solid game, but it could have been so different if VAR had not deemed a handball in the lead up to the initial penalty and red card which was awarded against him. His excellent sliding tackle helped set up the opening goal as Wagner was fouled just seconds later. After the red card, he regained his focus and set up a good defensive wall that meant NYCFC had half chances until the end of the game. He was also a nuisance in attacking set pieces, and it could be argued that he should have scored a goal.
Jakob Glesnes- 7
Glesnes was a non-factor in the game in the sense that he was not a player that was focussed upon much or heavily involved in the action. Defensively, that is the perfect game for a defender who dealt with a lot of the pressure that NYCFC threw the Union's way, especially in the second half. His partnership with Elliott continues to go from strength to strength.
Kai Wagner- 7
Wagner had a typical game for his standards. He was solid down the left, and his set-pieces caused trouble for the NYCFC defence. His free-kick for the Bedoya goal was an accurate one that was guaranteed to cause some havoc. Wagner also curled a beautiful cross towards the back post, which Elliott should have done better with.
Jose Martinez- 7
Martinez had a solid performance, where he protected the Union back four throughout the game. He got stuck in when he needed to and kept things simple. A proper holding midfield performance and he also did not get booked!
Ale Bedoya- 8
It was a proper captain's performance from Bedoya, who has had a fantastic start to the season. Jim Curtin said that this was the fittest he had ever been, and it showed throughout a game that saw the Union have to press hard and work their socks off. Bedoya did not stop running and managed to play the entire game. He also added to his goal tally with a smart first-time finish, having met Carranza's knockdown.
Leon Flach- 6.5
Flach worked hard but was pretty unnoticeable during the game. He and Bedoya did well to help lead the high-press, and they were worked hard throughout the game.
Daniel Gazdag- 7
Gazdag is continuing to improve weekly and is highlighting his attacking qualities inside the penalty area as well as creating chances. His goal was a good example of that. He gambled on there being a great ball towards the back post as he managed to get there undetected before slotting into the back of an empty net. That attacking intent and eye for goal is something that the Union have lacked getting into attacking areas the last couple of seasons. We are starting to see the true Daniel Gazdag.
Sergio Santos- 6.5
Santos proved to be a nuisance for the NYCFC defenders all afternoon, with his pace causing them problems. He even managed to carve out a couple of good half chances for himself, and he was unlucky to not have scored the third goal but was just offside. It looked as if he was going to play his second full 90 minutes in a row, but he had to come off in the 78th minute due to being fatigued.
Julian Carranza- 6.5
Carranza came back into the line-up and led the line well with Santos. He did well to get a leg on the end of Wagner's free-kick, which proved to be the assist for Bedoya's goal. He was booked again, and that perhaps hurt the intensity of his performance after what happened in Montreal. It also explained why he was taken off in the 65th minute.
Cory Burke- 6
Burke has had a solid start to the year, having scored twice for the Union. However, this was not his kind of game. With the Union having to sit deep and defend throughout the second half, it left Burke isolated upfront. He struggled to get involved with the game.
Quinn Sullivan- N/A
Sullivan came on for Santos when he was forced off with fatigue. He came on during a period where it would be tough to make an impact in an attacking sense. However, the effort and work rate he showed to help out the team defensively did not go unnoticed. Jim Curtin praised Sullivan's energy and willingness to track back in his press conference.