Our readers recognized what somehow wasn’t clear to the folks picking the Team of the Week (or is it Team of the Wednesday): that José Andrés Martínez was not only the man of the match in the Philadelphia Union’s win over NYCFC but worthy of making the best XI from Wednesday night’s games.
Martínez earned the highest average rating in a game for just the second time since joining the Union ahead of the 2020 season but the last time came in their biggest regular season game of last year — the one where they won the Supporters’ Shield (even though technically they didn’t have to win once Toronto FC lost).
The Venezuelan international finished with a 4.58 average rating. Andre Blake and Alejandro Bedoya, who scored the game winner in the 1-0 win, were tied in second with a 4.36 average followed by Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott and the head coach Jim Curtin with 4 average ratings or above.
Martínez was called the Union’s ‘most important player” in one poll response and his performance “amazing” by another. Alvas Powell also got some call-outs in the written responses despite finishing eighth in the average ratings with a 3.86.
An interesting note about the referee for the night — Drew Fischer — was that despite his involved in video review in the Concacaf Champions League game in Mexico City and the boos from fans he didn’t have a bad game. This was one of the responses we got on Fischer: “Drew Fischer should get credit for a good game just a week after he ignored Olivier Mbaizo’s on-the-fly dental work as the VAR. And he was basically working alone as his assistants did little more than wait for his decisions before raising their flags.”
Kacper Przybylko finished with just a 2.5 average rating at the bottom of the pack with one written response referring to the Union’s leading goal scorer as a “ghost of late...not in a good way.”