For the third time in this young season Andre Blake has been player of the match according to the most recent survey. Sure Tranquillo Barnetta's Top 10 SportsCenter game winner handed the Union two points, but while fans were still hugging in the aisles Blake saved a point blank shot and put those two points in his (and the Philadelphia Union's) pocket. Fans continue to reward a defense that so far has allowed just five goals per game compared with nine at this point last year. M'Bolhi anyone?
Notice down below in the subs area getting the second highest score for his wundergoal is Barnetta. He's the only sub this year that registered anything of note on the fans' vote. This week fans were least impressed with the play of Sebastian Le Toux and Roland Alberg. PSP basically agreed although they lumped Pontius into the poor category signalling a weak effort overall from the attacking midfielders.
This week's sign that Artificial Intelligence is not ready for soccer, and therefore the world
Whoscored does not like Vincent Nogueira. It's just flat wrong. I argued last year that Noguiera should have been an all-star. Despite his injury he is basically playing like his fabulous self. Whoscored rated him the worst player on Friday night. He attempted more passes than any Union player and completed 84% of them. Any player who patrols the middle of the field, takes on that much possession and moves the ball successfully deserves a better rating. Whoscored has some work to do....
Overall top 5 after 5
At this point last year the Union had earned 2 points and had a goal differential of -4. This year they have 9 points and +2 goal differential. Improvements can be seen on both sides of the ball. Certainly consistent spectacular goalkeeping has been the showcase but the offense and defense are notably improved. Here are the top five players by score system so far this year.
Barnetta's goal sneaks him into the top 5 despite just two substitute appearances but it's likely he stays in that top five as the season goes on. The fans are PSP are identical on who is in the top four so far this year with Blake, Barnetta, CJ Sapong and Richie Marquez taking honors. The fans and PSP quibble over Ilshino and Le Toux for the last spot. Meanwhile someone spilled coffee on the Whoscored servers. Their algorithm has Fabinho as the third best Union player despite his debacle in the opening game and a few shaky performances in the ones that followed.
The Union travel to Seattle next week to take on a struggling but always dangerous Sounders crew. Who will be the hero for the Union next week?