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Game Grades: Crew vs. Philadelphia Union

Here’s how the Crew players performed in the 1-0 loss to Philadelphia.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Philadelphia Union Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Crew’s three-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday night in a 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union in Chester, Pennsylvania. A rebound goal from Jamiro Monteiro is what separated these two teams, who showed off their strong defenses once again.

Despite the loss for the Black & Gold, head coach Caleb Porter did speak positively about the performance. Here is how the Crew graded out for the team’s performance against the Union.


Eloy Room (6) – The Curaçao goalkeeper returned to the net after missing Saturday’s match against Chicago due to a mandatory quarantine. Against Philadelphia, Room had very little to do with the Union registering just five shots for the 90 minutes. The one shot on target for Phildelphia went in to give the home side the three points.

Harrison Afful (7) – Afful was among the most active players for the Crew throughout the match. The right wing was utilized primarily to generate attacks with Afful overlapping all game and getting crosses in. He also had a couple of shots and had a strong showing against the Union.

Jonathan Mensah © (6.5) – Because of the lack of offense generated by Philadelphia, Mensah didn’t face any situations that required clutch defensive plays. Mensah had one blocked shot and didn’t have to make a tackle all game.

Vito Wormgoor (6) – Wormgoor, who got back in the lineup for the first time since May 29, had a similar performance as Mensah. The Dutch center back had 95 percent pass accuracy and made one tackle but received a lower rating because he was booked in the 51st minute.

Pedro Santos (6) – Santos’ streak of MLS Team of the Week nods at left back sadly comes to an end after an average performance against the Union. He did make a few tackles and found space to run forward on the left but Santos was caught out of position during the Union’s attack that led to the goal.

Liam Fraser (6.5) – For the second game running, Fraser showed off good defensive abilities and a knack for intercepting opposition passes. The Canadian led the team with four interceptions and helped transition the Crew into long spells of possession. The one downside of the match was Fraser being out of position on the Union’s goal.

Darlington Nagbe (7) – It was another Nagbe-like performance for the central midfielder. Of his 62 attempted passes, Nagbe converted 61 of them. He was essentially never dispossessed and found acres of space in the middle to run forward and pass to the wings.

Derrick Etienne Jr. (6) – With Afful getting into the offense quite a bit on the right, Etienne wasn’t as involved in the offense as fans are used to seeing. A theme for the attacking players that the Haitian falls under is having zero shots in the match.

Kevin Molino (6) – It was a difficult first start in Black & Gold for Molino against one of the best defenses in MLS. In the 45 minutes on the pitch, Molino saw very little of the ball and wasn’t able to enact his offensive flair into the game.

Alexandru Matan (6) – The Romanian got into the attack often in the first half. He showed off his speed and agility with instinctual one-touch give-and-gos. Despite all the great movement forward, Matan didn’t get a shot and received a yellow card in the loss.

Gyasi Zardes (6) – Zardes entered the match back in form with three goals in his last two matches. He was shut down by the Union for all 90 minutes with no shots and just 34 touches all game.


Lucas Zelarayan (6.5) – Zelarayan came off the bench to start the second half and made a positive impact. The Argentine playmaker generated fouls and crosses for the Crew as the team pushed for the equalizer throughout the second 45 minutes. Alas, Zelarayan couldn’t spark the offense to a goal.

Milton Valenzuela (6) – Valenzuela got 30 minutes on the pitch in his first game in two months. He’s building towards full match fitness again and had to play on the left wing due to some other injuries. It was a solid showing for Valenzuela who was one of the few Crew players to register a shot.

Marlon Hairston (6.5) – Hairston made his Crew debut and almost had a dream start to his Black & Gold career. He had the best chance of the game thanks to a perfect first touch that gave him space for a shot inside the penalty box. Andre Blake was in net and Hairston was denied.

Waylon Francis (6) – The Crew bench was full of defenders and Francis entered for the last 14 minutes of the game. The Costa Rican helped provide some extra defense and fresh legs in the Crew’s second half push.

Head Coach

Caleb Porter (6.5) – It certainly caught the eyes that Porter’s lineup consisted of some rotation choices in a game against one of the Crew’s fiercest rivals in the Eastern Conference. The Crew played positively offensively and controlled the game without Zelarayan on the pitch for the first half. It was a good performance that Porter said would yield wins more often than not.


Who was the Crew’s Man of the Match against the Philadelphia Union?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Darlington Nagbe
    (12 votes)
  • 40%
    Harrison Afful
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    Lucas Zelarayan
    (1 vote)
  • 8%
    Marlon Hairston
    (2 votes)
25 votes total Vote Now