Philadelphia Union – Match Report vs New York Red Bulls 20/10/19

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average, don’t follow up

Jack Elliott

Player profile:

  • Nationality: English / Scottish
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 25/08/1995
  • Current Club: Philadelphia Union
  • Career: South Florida Surf, Philadelphia Union
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Preferred foot: Right

Jack Elliott was a rock at the back for Philadelphia as they beat New York Red Bulls in the playoffs. At 6’6″, his obvious strength is in the air where he dominated in defence and should have scored from a corner at the other end, before eventually nodding home from a rebound later on. He is tall but slim in build, making him fairly lanky but he used his height well and was strong and firm in the tackle. The 24 year old made some important tackles and covered well for his team, sweeping up many loose balls.

In the defensive third Elliott was a no nonsense defender, taking no chances and clearing long or out of play on a number of occasions to avoid losing the ball in a precarious situation. When in more comfortable possession, the central defender played some nice progressive passes to the midfield and full backs, and at times attempted some fairly ambitious switches of play that had mixed success. Elliott was a leader at the back and as his team chased the game he increasingly played long balls to the forwards, managing to find the channels quite well at times. Overall, a solid game at the back for Elliott to see his team progress to the next round.

Rating: B1

Sergio Santos

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 25
  • Date of birth: 04/09/1994
  • Current Club: Philadelphia Union
  • Career: América Mineiro (Y), Audax Italiano, Philadelphia Union
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary position: 10 / Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Sergio Santos had an impressive game from striker, making himself a constant thorn in the side of the New York Red Bulls’ defence. The 5’11” Brazilian showed great pace, a powerful runner constantly chasing down through balls or opposition defenders and used a good level of strength and aggression to win and retain possession. On the ball, Santos was full of tricks and flicks that worked well for the most part, allowing him to beat the defenders regularly.

He was able to leap very high and hang in the air and was unlucky not to score from a header, putting one off the crossbar and another into the keeper’s arms. His energy, pace and strength caused a lot of problems and his willingness to chase down what seemed like lost causes made him a constant nuisance and allowed him to retrieve the ball and put in a good cross to assist Union’s equaliser. On occasion his aggression and eagerness got the better of him with some reckless fouls and at times he overplayed with the ball at his feet.

This was a very exciting performance from the Brazilian who seemed to be full of confidence and played a big part in his side’s fight back.

Rating: B1

Kai Wagner

Player profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 15/02/1997
  • Current Club: Philadelphia Union
  • Career: FC Augsburg (Y), SSV Ulm 1846, Schalke 04, Würzburger Kickers, Philadelphia Union
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary position: Left Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Kai Wagner had a decent game, showing some promise yet also making a few mistakes. At times he was beaten too easily and lost possession with some loose passes, whilst he was caught out by balls in behind once or twice. However, he also read the play well on occasion, nipping in front to win the ball and making some important interceptions and last ditch tackles. The 6 foot left back is built well and showed good strength in challenges and duels, often coming out on top.

In possession he liked to get forward, with some effective link up play and drives towards the opposition penalty area, despite not having many chances to, the German put in a couple of good deliveries and had a stinging shot from 25 yards that demonstrated good technique palmed away by the goalkeeper. Aerially Wagner seemed composed and in general he went about his job in a professional manner. Overall, a performance that illustrated his quality for periods of the game but also highlighted a couple of areas to improve.

Rating: B1

Brenden Aaronson

Player profile:

  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 22/10/2000
  • Current Club: Philadelphia Union
  • Career: Philadelphia Union
  • Position: 10
  • Secondary position: Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Youngster Brenden Aaronson had a solid game in midfield for his team, although at times he struggled to get involved and impact proceedings. He had some nice touches and seemed to have decent close control, but he struggled to release the ball at times, failing to either shoot or pass and eventually being dispossessed. When he did get a pass or cross off they were generally to a high standard, with some dangerous deliveries from corners.

He showed good energy and work rate, making some clever third man supporting runs or running in behind, whilst defensively his work rate allowed him to track back well for his team. Aaronson showed a good burst of pace but struggled physically, being muscled off the ball too easily or not being able to compete in challenges. On the whole, the 19 year old showed some promise yet struggled to have an impact.

Rating: B2

Mark McKenzie

Player profile:

  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 25/02/1999
  • Current Club: Philadelphia Union
  • Career: Philadelphia Union
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Secondary position: Left Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Mark McKenzie had a relatively strong game defensively, but struggled when in possession. The six foot tall central defender won some good aerial duels and showed nice composure when defending, making some strong tackles, good blocks and important tracking runs. McKenzie is very strong and quite fast but sometimes failed to close down the striker quick enough and showed evidence of miscommunication for the Red Bulls’ third goal as he headed it out of his own keeper’s hands.

However, it was on the ball that McKenzie seemed to be at his most vulnerable, making some very poor passes that were picked off or went out of play. He was reluctant to make many forward passes, electing instead to often pass sideways to his centre back partner and seemed very tentative when attempting anything else.

A promising defensive performance that was somewhat let down by McKenzie’s ability on the ball on the day.

Rating: B2

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