We're halfway through the MLS season and the Philadelphia Union are at the top of the Eastern Conference and in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. Can't ask for much more. Fans have been faithfully rating the players after each performance, and it's time to take a breath and see who is rated the strongest - and of course, weakest.
First, some house cleaning. We need to review the results of the 4-3 win over the Chicago Fire as well as the 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. If you recall, it was the Roland Alberg show last week. He put across four goals and completed over 90% of his passes from the 10 position. The fan voting is compared with the ratings from Philly Soccer Page, Whoscored and PhillyVoice.
Alberg's rating of 9.4 was the highest given by the fans all season. He took seven shots and put six of them on target, converted three goals, had 95% pass completion and added two key passes. Just wow.
Blake is taking the brunt of hits from the pundits for his subpar goalkeeping, but fans gave Tribbett the lowest rating for that opening gaffe against the speedy David Accam.
Let's quickly move past Vancouver where Alberg was the top player for the third straight league game and fourth game in a row overall counting the US Open Cup.
The fans were underwhelmed by Sebastian Le Toux's performance, but again the pundits voted for Blake and the three goals allowed as the weakest performance. Good to see Fabinho having a strong game against the Whitecaps despite the three goals allowed. The defense has been a shambles as of late but the offense has been clicking. If the Union can tighten up the back they will keep their momentum this season.
So here are the player by player totals across the ratings we've been tracking:
|Player||Avg Fan Rating||Player||Avg PSP Rating||Player||Avg WS Rating|
|Andre Blake||7.5||Tranquillo Barnetta||6.9||Fabinho||7.11|
|Tranquillo Barnetta||7.4||Vincent Nogueira||6.5||Chris Pontius||7.06|
|Vincent Nogueira||7.0||Andre Blake||6.4||CJ Sapong||7.01|
|CJ Sapong||6.9||Brian Carroll||6.4||Tranquillo Barnetta||6.99|
|Richie Marquez||6.7||CJ Sapong||6.3||Warren Creavalle||6.99|
|Keegan Rosenberry||6.7||Sebastian Le Toux||6.3||Keegan Rosenberry||6.99|
|Chris Pontius||6.6||Chris Pontius||6.2||Ken Tribbett||6.87|
|Josh Yaro||6.2||Fabian Herbers||6.1||Sebastian Le Toux||6.78|
|Sebastian Le Toux||6.2||Richie Marquez||6.1||Richie Marquez||6.77|
|Brian Carroll||6.2||Josh Yaro||6.0||Andre Blake||6.77|
|Ken Tribbett||6.0||Keegan Rosenberry||5.9||Brian Carroll||6.74|
|Roland Alberg||6.0||Ray Gaddis||5.8||Ray Gaddis||6.72|
|Warren Creavalle||6.0||Ken Tribbett||5.8||Vincent Nogueira||6.69|
|Ray Gaddis||5.9||Warren Creavalle||5.5||Roland Alberg||6.54|
|Fabian Herbers||5.7||Leo Fernandes||5.0||Leo Fernandes||6.42|
|Leo Fernandes||5.3||Fabinho||4.9||Fabian Herbers||6.33|
Despite the rough stretch for the Union defense, the fans have still voted Andre Blake as the top player so far this season. PSP gives the nod strongly to Tranquillo Barnetta, while the fans have him in second place. I don't have the energy to mock the whoscored algorithm but I will say that it has a love affair with tackles and interceptions, two stats that Creavalle and Fabinho excel at.
It really saddens me to see Nogueira so high on the fans' list. The team and the fans will miss his command of the ball and the middle of the field. Let's hope the Union make a move to help replace that loss that can not be overstated.
For kicks I thought I'd look at how consistent each player has been this season. Here are the ratings variances for each player. The higher the rating, the more variability in the scores from game to game.
|Player||Fans Rating Variance||Player||PSP Rating Variance|
|Roland Alberg||1.7||Roland Alberg||5.3|
|Warren Creavalle||1.3||Leo Fernandes||3.6|
|Andre Blake||1.2||Brian Carroll||3.4|
|Ken Tribbett||1.1||Ken Tribbett||3.3|
|Chris Pontius||1.1||CJ Sapong||3.0|
|CJ Sapong||0.9||Keegan Rosenberry||2.5|
|Tranquillo Barnetta||0.8||Warren Creavalle||2.4|
|Brian Carroll||0.7||Chris Pontius||2.3|
|Ray Gaddis||0.7||Tranquillo Barnetta||2.2|
|Vincent Nogueira||0.6||Andre Blake||2.1|
|Josh Yaro||0.6||Vincent Nogueira||2.0|
|Sebastian Le Toux||0.6||Josh Yaro||2.0|
|Leo Fernandes||0.4||Sebastian Le Toux||1.1|
|Fabian Herbers||0.4||Fabian Herbers||1.0|
Not surprisingly, Alberg has been the team's most inconsistent player. He's been non-existent in games and also had the best offensive performance of any player this season. The most consistent player has been Fabian Herbers but that's not really a good thing because his ratings have been quite low. It looks like Richie Marquez and Ilshino are the most consistent performers with decent ratings, but Nogeuira is/was there as well.
Thank you for rating the players so far this season. Hopefully the Union keep up the good work and bring us an exciting second half.