- The River End
- ⚽️ Back to the Drawing Board
⚽️ Back to the Drawing Board
+ Grading Performances Against Nashville
LAST MATCH: Union 0 - Nashville SC 0
NEXT MATCH: vs. New England Revolution, Saturday, Oct. 21, 6 p.m. | Apple TV - MLS Season Pass
Good morning. Heading into the international break, the Philadelphia Union are coming off a less than inspiring scoreless draw with Nashville but sit in third place with one game to play.
In the email today:
1) ✍️ Back to the Drawing Board for the Union
The Philadelphia Union returned to the draw column with a disappointing scoreless tie with Nashville SC on Saturday night in their last regular season home game of 2023.
The result was not entirely unexpected.
Nashville is a very organized team and playing on the road in a place where just one team has won this season always meant they were going to take a more conservative approach. They conceded more of the ball and the chances and were content with not creating many of their own.
That of course didn’t make the result any more palatable.
The Union fired off 14 shots on the night and nearly half of them (6) were blocked. Jack McGlynn had three of the shots that were blocked, Julian Carranza had a pair and Jose Martinez looked like pre-2023 Martinez with a shot blocked and another skied shot well high of the mark.
“Passing you know sometimes when we should shoot, shooting when we should maybe pass,” head coach Jim Curtin said summarizing things post-game. “We were a little bit off tonight.”
Our take: Though it doesn't quite feel like it, it was only the Union's eighth draw of the season. Half of those draws, however, have been scoreless draws at home. It makes some sense that the enthusiasm coming out of the Atlanta win may have hit a little bit of a thud after this one. Is a team that doesn't lose but also can't seem to remember how to win still a team capable of winning it all?
2) 📈 Player Grades from Nashville Draw
🧤Andre Blake - B+
Andre was required to catch one ball, and he did that. His passing was calm and accurate, but simply had no work to do.
👟 Nate Harriel - A-
Nate was very very solid on both sides of the ball. He led the game in created chances while putting in a defensive shift. He has been fantastic recently.
🎣 Jakob Glesnes - B+
2 tackles won, 2 blocks, 4 recoveries and a clean sheet. A very solid outing from Jakob, although he appeared a tiny bit shaky in a few moments.
🇯🇲 Damion Lowe - A
Led the match in tackles, duels, recoveries and more. The eye test backs up a phenomenal night for the Jamaican.
💪 Kai Wagner - B+
Looked shaky in the opening half hour, but was very good afterward. Moved the ball well and sparked some chances while defending well.
🪄 Jose Martinez - B
A very solid outing from Jose, who like the back line, did exactly what he needed to defensively. Only large flaw is that he picked up a yellow card which keeps him out of a massive final fixture.
🛡️Alejandro Bedoya - B+
A very solid 90 minutes from the captain. Was honestly one of the match's biggest attacking threats, and managed the middle well. Finally looks back to his full ability fitness-wise.
📐Jack McGlynn - A-
Jack had the ball on a string, and helped facilitate the attack well. I felt he almost did some of Gazdag's job for him, intentional or not. Overall, a very good performance that showcased his attacking ability well.
🇭🇺 Daniel Gazdag - B-
Dani was fine. He moved the ball well and created some chances, but lacked the playmaking ability that a DP 10 needs to show in these games.
🇦🇷 Julian Carranza - C
Did well in his limited action, but played 90 minutes and touched the ball the least of any player who did so. Failed to find his way into the game, and didn't make up for that with anything of note.
🤩 Quinn Sullivan - C+
Quinn just seemed to try and do too much when he had the ball. Failed to find the ball much, and when he did, it rarely resulted in anything. This is the kind of game where I would have rather had Uhre or a more natural 9 up top.
🧱(SUB)Mikael Uhre - C
Uhre touched the ball 6 times in 33 minutes. Sure, not all of that is on him, but with fresh legs, he needs to find his way into the game at least for a moment, right?
3) 🙋♂️ Above the Playoff Line But Eliminated?
being above the playoff line but also being eliminated is MLS heritage
— nascar watcher (@atlutd_kyle)
Oct 8, 2023
DC United is above the playoff line with their season complete but eliminated because Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls play on Decision Day and someone has to finish with 41 points. How MLS is that?
4) 💧 Water Cooler: Kai Wagner Outcome
What's Happening to Kai Wagner in the Offseason
Have additional thoughts? Reply directly to this email to comment, and see if we include your response tomorrow.
5) 🔗 Link Roundup:
🐐 Poor one out for Apple: The MLS Playoffs will not include Lionel Messi or Inter Miami this year.
❌ Wayne Rooney is done at DC United after they were eliminated from the playoffs.
👋 Long-time Minnesota United manager Adrian Heath is also out of a job.
🟨 Captain Alejandro Bedoya was recognized for making his 200th start for the Union against Nashville on Saturday.
Thanks for reading!