Based on our Community Player Ratings this season, there’s really no question who the Philadelphia Union’s MVP has been.
Andre Blake has received the highest average rating in the poll 10 times out of 24 games in all competitions in 2020 (Mark McKenzie is second with four). No matter who his replacement was on Sunday and will be next Sunday in the Decision Day match against New England Revolution, there was going to be a drop-off.
Unfortunately for Joe Bendik against his former team on Sunday, the two moments when he was needed most he didn’t deliver after looking shaky as a 90th minute replacement for Blake on Wednesday. Weather conditions aside, it’s understandable in a season when Blake has repeatedly bailed the defense out to assume it would have been a 1-0 win to the visitors with Blake between the pipes.
Still, as head coach Jim Curtin said post-game, there were plenty of chances for the Union offense to nullify the two goals from the Crew and still leave MAPFRE Stadium with three points. Eloy Room denied that by putting in a performance reminiscent of 2020 Blake to deny all three points to the visitors, which left Ohio for a third time this season without a win and zero goals from the run of play in those three games.
The fact that there were positives to take away from the game is little consolation for a fanbase anxious to see the Union win something in a Covid-19 disrupted season where they’ve been seemingly more prepared and built to overcome adversity than most other teams in the league.
Sunday was supposed to be a historic day for the Union (even though since Toronto won later it would have meant that they hadn’t technically won the trophy yet). Instead, they’ll need to get the better of Bruce Arena and the Revs one more time next Sunday at home to lift the shield.
What did you think of the performances from the players, from Curtin and what other thoughts do you have from the game? Let us know in the Community Player Ratings poll.