In the grand scheme, it doesn’t really matter the way the Philadelphia Union did it or how well they played to steal three points from the hottest team in Major League Soccer last night.
The moment of brilliance from Jay Simpson and Fafa Picault to pressure Stefan Frei into a costly turnover Picault was able to convert into three points in second half stoppage time is really all that matters.
Anything Picault did or didn’t do leading up to that point was forgiven the instant the ball hit the back of the net and he did his dance. Ditto for Simpson, who made his first appearance in MLS play since April.
Any other result from the long midweek trip to Seattle — a game that was originally scheduled for March but moved to aid the Sounders’ Champions League campaign — would have been understandable, especially without Borek Dockal on the field. A scoreless draw would have been a positive despite the anger we’d be expressing over VAR.
That the Union were able to overcome a sluggish first half where just about the only player you couldn’t be unhappy with was Andre Blake, a VAR reversed goal from Cory Burke and a second yellow from Jack Elliott made those three points even more meaningful.
But how do we evaluate player performances in a game like that? Do we forgive the first half for what transpired in the second?
Weigh in with an up or down vote on each player (and Jim Curtin) in our community player ratings below or at the Ranker website.