Yeah, it was an ugly game, marred by wind, snow and long passes heaved like snowballs. The Union and Fire combined to launch 156 passes of more than 25 yards. Combine those prayers with a pair of brain dead tackles by Warren Creavalle and a moment of slack defending and you have yourself an ugly 1-0 affair. In this week's ratings the fans handed Creavalle the dreaded worst player of the week. His 3.4 rating was not a season low, however. That award still goes to Fabinho from the first game of the season.
This week the fans gave Ilshino the nod for best player. He was clearly the most creative of the bunch even if his ball defense was slack on the assist to Igboananike. Here's how the ratings turned out along with ratings from Philly Soccer Page and Whoscored.
Blake narrowly missed the best player of the week despite seeing very little action. He's finished in the top two all four weeks of the survey. Fabinho and Brian Carroll continue to lurk near the bottom from the fans perspective. CJ Sapong and Richie Marquez continue to be voted near the top.
Man versus Machine
The Whoscored ratings are calculated by an algorithm and this week's look at how the computer saw things differently than us humans stares straight at Andre Blake. Whoscored rated Blake's performance as the second worst on the team behind Creavalle. I can't get my head around this one. Sure he only made one save but that's not a reason to ding the performance. But he also completed 84% of his passes, which is a very high rate for a goalkeeper. He completed 9 of his 12 long passes, also an exceptional number. Otherwise Blake really can't be blamed for the lone goal as the ball was quickly and squarely struck giving Blake almost no time to react. I think I have to give this one to the humans.
The first four games
Four weeks in we can start to see how the different sites rate the players by game:
PSP is far more pessimistic in the losses than the fans. Keep in mind the Whoscored ratings are on a different scale. Players start their score at 6 and almost always increase from there and very rarely do players get above an 8.5. So we'd expect their range of outcomes to be less volatile. All of the sites agree on the relative quality of the games played by the Union so far. The Dallas game was unanimously the worst and New England was unanimously the best.
This week the Union take on Orlando City SC in a battle of teams at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Even though the game will be played in near freezing temperatures expect a more attractive bit of soccer. Orlando looks to keep possession and commit numbers forward and the Union will likely also look to be proactive at home.