Postgame video and quote sheet: Union 0-0 Dynamo

Video by Daniel Gajdamowicz

John Hackworth’s postgame press conference

Postgame locker room comments from Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Andrew Wenger, Sebastien Le Toux and Maurice Edu

Philadelphia Union postgame quote sheet

John Hackworth

On being up a man and not using third sub

“We were playing pretty good at that point. If we were thinking of making a change, we wouldn’t know who to change. We felt that Andrew (Wenger), Leo (Fernandes) and Seba (Le Toux) were all in good positions. Certainly our midfield three looked pretty good. Pretty much that means we were going to sub the back and I thought Sheanon (Williams) and Ray (Gaddis) gave us width. Plus, we didn’t want to burn time for ourselves.

On being tired

“Playing three games in eight days is so hard. It’s not an excuse. They didn’t play well in the first half at all. That’s not the kind of soccer team we are, that’s not what we do. At the same time and you look at the second half and you have a bunch of tired guys out there who are digging in and played much better. They created a lot of good chances. Stats can tell you that there wasn’t a shot on goal until late, but we had a couple of sitters. Conor unfortunately, his plant foot switched under one, that’s a wide open goal. We had a couple of plays where the ball rolled across the back post. Mo has it on one, and one just slips away. It’s not a case of not creating those chances in the game. You look at the positive too. After a shaky start in the first half, not only did we dominant possession but we defended really well. I think there is frustration from all of us that we didn’t get three points today, but at the same time there’s a lot of positives to build on.

On the responsibility taking shots

“We talked about that at halftime too. You have to look at your opponent too. Houston put a ton of guys down the middle and in front of us. So it wasn’t like there was free opportunities to have shots from distance. You saw Vincent (Nogueira) take one late in the game and there were so many bodies there. Again, I thought we were able to get in behind them. Our service was better than it has been.”

On turning up gears during the second half

“I said, ‘Look this is not what we do. This is not the way we play.’ The main thing was we were going to go out and press them. We should’ve pressed them from the start, but were not going to give our opponent time and space in our own building. That’s not who we are. And you saw that right away in the second half. That kind of initiates our attack, so those parts were good. As frustrated as I was at halftime, after the second half, I think especially with so many guys mentally and physically fatigued that there’s positives.”

On pressing and worrying about dropping points

“I think you saw a little bit of the psychology of players probably being a little afraid of making a mistake in the first half. That’s hard. There’s a lot of pressure on these guys. I try to make sure I tell them, “Look, we’re not perfect. We’re going to make mistakes. But let’s do what we do every single day. Let’s play the way we play.” We’re trying to establish that, but it’s a working progress. We’re still early in the year, some of us would like to have more points, no question. In almost every single game we have been playing really good soccer. We just have to put that together for a 90th minute stretch and finish in front of goal. We have to do the job we did today and keep a shutout.”

On the defensive effort

“I thought collectively we did a better job. We managed the critical moments in the game and that was the difference for us. These games are so tight, so those moments when your opponent has the chance- we have to make sure we won those battles. I thought we did that today. In the second half in particular, I was really impressed with our back line. We didn’t give them time or space in the midfield. I think that was a big improvement for us overall.”

On the number of crosses

“You go up a man and you have a team that condenses the field. They only gave us space wide. You’d like to turn the corner a little bit- that’s the only criticism I have. We didn’t round the corner, because then I think you have options to pull the ball back. You have to take what your opponent give you. Again, I would go back to the fact that we didn’t execute on the chances we had. We had a couple and it they didn’t fall for us today.”

Sheanon Williams

About the dropped points becoming a mental thing

“No, the first half wasn’t good enough and the second half I think we did a little bit better but weren’t quite dangerous in front of goal and that is why we didn’t win today. Other than that, we didn’t give up enough and we did what we needed to do to win the game.”

Frustration getting high

“Yeah, I mean… we want to win, it’s just being competitive, and we want to win games. When you don’t win games it’s not ideal, ties are the most frustrating… it’s not like we are losing games or getting blown over you know. Maybe not today, but for the most part we are outplaying teams and we have one win in eight games; We are getting deep into the season and we cannot keep saying that… we have to keep working.”

Amobi Okugo

About not getting the points when you are up a man

“Yes, it’s frustrating, we played well, we kept pressuring when they were a man down but unfortunately it didn’t go in.”

Two points out of the last three games

“It’s disappointing, because we have Montreal and Seattle away. This is going to be a hard month but we have to turn it around and focus on Saturday”.

About Houston accumulating men in the box

“You have got to make the runs, Houston is known for being good in both boxes. They have a lot of experience being in the playoffs year in and year out, and we didn’t put our chances away.”

Ray Gaddis

About his shot and the offensive attitude

“It was an intended shot, I was trying to be more aggressive, it doesn’t matter who gets the goal… that is the mentality of the team. We need to be eager to take the shot at the right opportunity or the right time, I am just trying to get what the opposition gives me and that’s what was basically going through my head.”

On getting a clean sheet after a couple of games conceding

“It means a lot going forward, especially being at home. We got together as a group and talked about it, and last year we were a solid defensive team and we wanted to get back to the basics and that is what we did today.”

Andrew Wenger

About having problems scoring as a team

“We are having chances in front of goal, we are going to start scoring and once that happens everything is going to roll. That’s how we have to look at it, it’s going to work itself out pretty quick, we are creating plenty of chances… it just takes a little bit of composure to find goals.”

On all the changes and the new faces in the locker, trying to find chemistry

“No, there is some good chemistry, like I said… we have to be sharper individually I think. Collectively, all the ideas are in the same page and maybe we can do a little bit better but it’s all about sharpness… the chance I had a the end of the game or other two or three chances that we had, we just need to ask questions about that.”

Houston Dynamo postgame quotes

Dominic Kinnear

On getting a tie on the road

“Considering the circumstances a point is not bad, I am not going to complain about it. Get a shutout, especially playing the last fifteen minutes or so minutes with ten men. It was a great effort by the guys to make sure we got out of here with something.”

On making a sub with Omar (Cummings) and thinking you could get three points at the end

“Tony (Cascio) was tired and we needed to get somebody wide left. We felt Omar’s pace would give them a little bit of problems and soon after was the red card and that really kind of negated that thought.”

On knowing your player already having a yellow

“I will be honest with you, if that is a red card or a second yellow there is many times during the game when people do their best to slow the game down, whether it be by standing on the ball or taking their time, taking long throw-ins. It is just the same amount of time, it is just a different situation and I think it is unfair, but that is the way the referee saw it, that is the way he called it. I have not spoken to him, I just said what happen, he just did not say anything, just gave me the card. We are trying to take free kicks, guys will run 20 yards to come stand on the ball and slow the play down. It just takes the same amount of time, it is just a different situation, and therefore it is handled differently.”

On the three days before playing New York

“You know the schedule going into it and we said before hand the squad will be tested in situations like this, three games in eight days. So that is the case, I thought the first half we were really good, the second half we kind of came out and played a little tentative and they took advantage of that. If you get a zero you get something out of the game, it is our first tie of the season which is not so bad on the road and we just pack up our bags and head to New York tomorrow.”

Tally Hall

On being a man down

“It is one of those situations where you come together as a team, so physically you are giving everything you got, but at the end of it I think we grow as individuals, and we grow as a team. It is a result that we can build off of.”

On having the losing streak going

“Yeah, to right the ship a little bit, it was not an easy game. So to before the way we did under those circumstances it is always difficult. Life on the road is not easy, so to come together in a difficult game, get a good result, we will take it, move on and move forward.”

On having three games in eight days, and the team having a little time together

“I do not know, these are all going to be hard fought matches. I have not thought that too far ahead to be honest.”

On the difference between the first and second half

“That is the way it is, I think it is important for defensive players to mentally stay in the game and that is why you organize for 90 minutes because it keeps you active mentality. When you start too active physically, you are not doing anything different, now you are just moving, you do not have to get set in.”

On coming at you pretty strong in the second half

“Yeah you would expect with Sebastien Le Toux coming off the bench, he is going to add a little burst, they have good players. Again we are on the road, the last 15 minutes we are down a man, at that point, you just try to stay together and be a unit.”

Will Bruin

On pretty good first half, and looking back something you wish you could of taken advantage of

“Yeah definitely, well looking back at the game we did not hurt ourselves to give up a goal, to lose the game like we have been in a little rut. Were so close to getting that goal, it did not happen, but at least we had good shape and stayed compact defensively and kept them at zeroes.”

On them having troubles in the last minutes, and then losing a guy killing a chance being able to push and get a goal

“Yeah, I am not even sure the ref knew he had a yellow, maybe he warns him again, but you play the game how it goes. Sometimes that happens, we are real proud of the group to stay together and keep a zero on the board defensively.”

On it being a draw, stopping a three game losing streak, does that boost confidence a little bit

“We will take any points we can get right now, obviously a point is better than none and hopefully that just gets the ball rolling a little bit into the rest of this busy week.”

On the differences between the first and second half

“During the three game before tonight, we have been good first halfs and we need to come out of the locker room the first 15 minutes stronger and sharper. I think we need to approach it as it is a start of a new game, we are slowly learning, but at least we were able to get a point out of it this time. I think we cannot take the foot off the gas and be content going into half time tied on the road, we want to be winning and keep going forward. So that is something we will learn with.”


  1. My name is John Hackworth. I just admitted that I would not know what to change at the end of the game. I had two DMs on the field and a gassed striker doing little to nothing. I had an energy sub on the bench and a left-footed wide player who at least could have put service into the box.

    Did I mention it was our third game in three days?

    I am clearly an idiot. Someone please fire me and get it over with.

    • this oft repeated phrase i think sums up the extend of hack’s in-game coaching, “this is not what we do”

  2. First part of Hack’s comments, “We felt that Andrew (Wheeler)” I think the author meant Andrew (Wenger). Wheeler’s first name is Aaron.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      But that brings up a good point. Up 1 man and Houston condenses. So Hack’s answer is to lob cross after cross in. He could have put Fabinho in to provide service from the left and dropped Carroll deep for defensive cover and moved wheeler up front to provide a target for said crosses. My gosh, he flat out sucks.

    • Yes. That has been fixed. Thanks.

  3. Atomic spartan says:

    “this is not the way we play.” Ok, what is? Where was our box to box MNT midfielder when the ball begged to be laced at the keeper when it squirted into the penalty arc in the second half? Does anyone know how to adjust when dozens of crosses just aren’t working? Do we know the definition of insanity? Do we know how to do a back pass shot on goal? Is this team conditioned well enough to play through stressful situations. Are any of his teammates learning from Nogueira? Just what is the way this team plays?

  4. I have to agree Atomic, it was so frustrating watching Williams just cross the ball back into the box like at least 15 times and getting no result from it haha. I wonder why Williams was open on the flank every time……..Oh yea! because it was so predictable that Houston just flooded the box and marked tight. Why don’t you start thinking about creating some plays through the middle as well. Edu’s interview was spot on, the Union are too predictable right now. In my opinion Edu is making sense when I hear him talk about what needs to be done to improve…..maybe Edu shoud wear the Captains band. Hmmm where was Carroll’s input?

  5. At this point John, this is exactly how you play. 8 games in, this is your team. This is your style. The tight schedule isn’t an excuse when HOU had the same tight schedule and they were the road team.

    I’m not sure who I would have subbed, but I’m not the one paid to fill out the lineup card and 18. I do know that “we didn’t know who to sub” is absolutely the wrong answer for a manager at this level. Maybe it’s time to send Hack back to the orange slice circuit where we found him .

  6. One of the things that is most troubling to me about this team, and quite frankly the USMNT in general is the lack of soccer IQ. I’ve written about it in multiple posts.
    The lack of movement and providing the ball handler with viable passing options is one huge area of weakness for this team.
    Another area of weakness is the final third with the teams movement. I am not even going to talk about the Blackburn Rovers against Houston Dynamo (this is Old Style English Football we’re watching, lets be honest), trying to feed the ball time and again via the good old English cross. You know kick it hard and see what happens. What I am talking about is how when you watch our Union or the USMNT, seldom, if ever do you see a player move with the intent of not receiving the ball.
    What do I mean. At least three times in the last game I saw Chaco or Noguiera move into space to draw a defender with them so as to open a lane that another player could then receive the ball but the other player didn’t understand that was what was happening so what happened? Nothing. -Ball cycled sideways or like usual, lost in possession.
    The entire point of finishing in the final third when play is being built towards it, besides the pass that GUTS the defense is the series of ‘pawn to knight 4’ and ‘knight to queen 3’ moves that have to be made by players—- II moves before the final pass is even set up. It’s called playing the in the near future, anticipation, reading the game whatever you choose to call it.
    We, the Union and USMNT play the game linearly in 2 dimension while teams like the Galaxy or RSL and Timbers and now Toronto are BEGINNING to play the game spatially in 3 dimension. Until that level of understanding is taught into our players nothing changes.
    I go up to YSC once a week and watch the U18, U16, U14 kids play their 90 minute practice and NEVER and I mean NEVER is there any time allowed for those boys to PLAY 5v5, 4v4, 3v3. I understand there needs to be practice and a plan but you cannot really teach proper understanding of how to finish unless given chance after chance to just play- even if it is 15minutes at the end of each practice.
    The boys hear the whistle, the Over 35s trundle on the field and the kids are in their cars heading home…
    Hypercritical? Yes. NO QUARTER? Yes.

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