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Sporting KC

Philadelphia Union vs Sporting Kansas City: Player Ratings

High marks in defense in this week’s match ratings after a shutout draw, but questions remain elsewhere on the pitch.



Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City played a physical and lively game against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night that still somehow ended in a 0-0 draw. There were many new names in the starting XI and I am curious to see how my thoughts match up with other observers. So without further ado lets rate the boys in blue.

My scale:

1 – Never Play Again. You shall be cursed to the fifth generation for your travesties.

5 – Your play was completely unoffensive. You are a cream wall in an office park building.

10 – You are the chosen one! They will forever sing of your aptitude! You are the most interesting man in the world!

Starting XI

Tim Melia – 8

Got off his line quickly to break things down and command his box. Also had a few spectacular saves and really kept SKC in this game. While I think I still slightly prefer Pulskamp getting games between the sticks, it’s hard to say he could have played to the same level as Timmy.

Graham Zusi – 5.5

Looked good going forward but a lot of the Union’s offensive moves came down his side.

Dany Rosero – 7

A very impressive first outing. Showed a good sense of when to step up into the passing lane and when to contain the attacker.

Robert Castellanos – 5.5

Gave away a few fouls but generally looked solid defensively. Had a nice ability to switch spots with Robert Voloder when defending the box a few times.

Robert Voloder – 5.5

Looked much more defensively solid than any outing by Ben Sweat this season but also lacked the ability to progress the ball and many of his passes went straight to Union players.

Nemanja Radoja – 6.5

Looked really good in his 30-minute start before coming off injured. The most striking thing was how good his field positioning was which made his ability to break up plays look effortless.

Remi Walter – 7

Was doing his typical thing by getting all over the field breaking up attacks and distributing the ball well with quick short passes. Was really liking his play at the 8 before being forced to once again take up the role of the 6 when Radoja came off.

Erik Thommy – 3.5

Thommy looked good in the first half before falling off a cliff in the second. Held up the ball far too long and his passing really lacked something on the counter. Was directly responsible for many of the attacking plays in the second half falling apart.

Johnny Russell – 4.5

Looked pretty good for his first start this season. He seemed like he was holding back a bit on the run but he combined well with his teammates and got a couple of nice shots off.

Willy Agada – 4

Lots of effort and still makes great runs but your starting center forward needs to get more than one shot off.

Daniel Salloi – 4.5

Was combining really well with his teammates and I liked him occasionally swapping sides but again you need your attackers to be testing the keeper and he was not.


Roger Espinoza – 3

Looked flat-footed all night. Not sure what Peter was thinking putting a slow older player into this game given the frenetic place it was being played at.

Alan Pulido – 5

I am not totally sure what to make of Pulido. He showed off a lovely control of the ball and nifty combination play but he was also never where I expected our number 9 to be. Maybe he should be played in the midfield?

Khiry Shelton – 2.5

Was immediately obvious when he came on that the attack could no longer really progress if he was involved. He was also ineffective at the things he is supposed to be good at which are pressing and interceptions. I don’t get why Peter still brings him in.


Peter Vermes – 4

Peter overhauled the starting lineup but still does not trust his young players which really showed in his subs. All of whom besides Pulido were a disaster. The only real positive was it was obvious that the work rate was high this week and the team fought for every ball.


A few bright spots on defense but overall, this team still looks clueless in attack. I was hoping Pulido and Johnny would change that and they still might, but that outing did not give me a ton of confidence. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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