The Brotherly Game staffers selected Chris Pontius as this week's Philadelphia Union MVP, but the fans have dissented and for the second straight week have selected Andre Blake as the best in the Blue and Gold. Philly Soccer Page punted on the debate, giving both players an eight out of ten this week, and throwing Richie Marquez in that mix for good measure. Here's how the fan voting when down this week in reaction to the 2-1 upset win against Columbus Crew SC .
Fabinho dug his way out of the cellar this week, but not by much finishing ninth. The fans were not impressed with either Brian Carroll's performance or that of Leo Fernandes. Sebastien Le Toux's nice ball to Ilshino, which resulted in Pontius' second goal did make you wonder why we've been watching Leo for these last two games.
Even though Pontius only lost by a half a point to Blake, 50% of fans gave the nod to Blake while only 13% of fans picked Pontius as the better player. The rest picked them as a tie. Here is the distribution of votes between the two players.
Here's how other sites voted:
Philly Soccer Page was mostly aligned with the fans, giving a little more credit to Carroll, Rosenberry, and Marquez while agreeing with the weaker performances of Fabinho and Fernandes.
Man vs. Machine
The Whoscored player ratings algorithm agreed with the humans and picked Carroll as the weak link, but picked Pontius as the team's most valuable player. The surprise of this week was that the machine calculated a poor performance for Ilshino, giving him the second lowest score. He completed 82% of his 22 passes (which is not a alot for 74 minutes), but he failed to deliver a key pass (a pass that leads to a shot) from the 10 spot. He also turned the ball over 4 times in his 37 total touches. Definitely a meh performance from a statistical perspective, but the Union did not generate much offense other than Pontius' two opportunistic goals.
The composite ranking puts Pontius and Blake in a tie, so it is undoubtedly a close call. The debate over what is more important, defense of offense, will have to wait another week.