The games came fast and furious before the league's Copa America break, and the Philadelphia Union handled the stretch without defeat. A wild 2-2 draw down against Orlando City, followed up with a dramatic finish with the best team in the league the Colorado Rapids, and then a fun 3-2 win at home against the crumbling Columbus Crew SC. Let's take a look at the heroes and zeroes from those games. Here are the results from the Orlando draw with PSP, Whoscored and PhillyVoice alongside the fans vote.
Tranquillo Barnetta snagged top honors from the fans for his opening goal but Ken Tribbett, who came off the bench for the injured Joshua Yaro and sprung an assist and equalizing goal on Orlando won the compiled ranking. It's a close call for sure. Fabinho's performance was universally panned, even by the robots at Whoscored who have a love affair with his defensive stats. That's the third time that Fabinho was rated least valuable player on the field.
On to the defensive battle in Colorado, where Brian Carroll's heroics helped the Union earn a big point against the best in the West. That left footed strike combined with another fine defensive effort just in front of the back line earned Carroll universal support as MVP. Here are the results:
According to Whoscored Carroll also tagged on eight tackles, two interceptions a clearance and a blocked shot. Clearly deserving of the praise received. Sebastian Le Toux and Chris Pontius were rated the lowest as the pair failed to contribute any meaningful attack to the effort. Overall, CJ Sapong rated 10th among the starters, and it's worth noting that his once consistent perch at the top of the fan voting has slipped. He was ranked 7th and 8th by the fans for these road games, and he slips again in the next match against Columbus as you can see below.
Perhaps it's just a dry run for Sapong but in a game where the Union scored 3 times, Sapong registered just one shot (off target) and a mere 21 touches.
Barnetta was voted top player by the fans against Columbus, but it was Chris Pontius who received the overall nod for his opening strike and assist on the Nogueira goal. It's worth noting that it's the 4th time in 14 matches that Pontius has been the overall best player, but he's never been voted best player by the fans. Brian Carroll received a second consecutive best player selection from PSP. It's worth a look because Carroll completed 95.7% of his 47 passes, including 7 for 7 of passes more than 25 yards. That's an exceptional performance.
Matt Jones' first start for the Union could have been better, as he edged out Fabinho for least valuable player. He certainly looked shaky but overall I think showed good promise.
Five points was a solid result for the first place Union who open their US Open Cup account on Wednesday night and then travel to Yankee Stadium to take on 4th place New York City FC on Saturday. We'll send out the fan vote right after each match.