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2016 Player review: Ilsinho

The Brazilian winger was enigmatic, being the most exciting player on the pitch - when he played.

Philadelphia Union vs New York Red Bulls Photo Gallery
Ilsinho sits in the tunnel after receiving a red card against the New York Red Bulls. Like a boss.
Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

2016 Summary: Ilsinho gave the Philadelphia Union fans a lot of hope at the beginning of the season. He has an impeccable pedigree, winning a UEFA Cup with Shakhtar Donetsk and representing his native Brazil on their national team, and it was the hope that this would only add to the Philadelphia Union’s offensive prowess. He did - however not as often as he could (or perhaps should) have.

What did he do right?: Ilsinho brings a level of technical ability that is unparalleled in MLS. When he’s out on the wing, the opposing left back is going to run the risk of being on the wrong end of a highlight video.

Ilsinho showing off his technical mastery.
Poor Taylor Kemp.

His two goals and two assists in just 1,286 minutes are proof that when he plays, he can be a weapon on the right side of the pitch.

What did he do wrong?: Ilsinho’s fitness issues dogged him for the entire year. He came into the Union training camp late and out of shape, and never seemed to be able to catch up to his teammates. He only started 14 games and only appeared in 25 - that’s not going to cut it for a guy who made $478,333.33 in Guaranteed Compensation. He also was a defensive liability, which was the reason given for shipping Cristian Maidana off to Houston. If he can get healthy and fit he’ll be able to get back on defense - and into the starting lineup - more often.

Most memorable moment of 2016: Remember that time he dunked on Michael Harrington of the Chicago Fire?