Postgame video and quotesheet: Union 3-1 City Islanders

Photo and video: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Jim Curtin

On if the Union were ready for the game

Well if you look at the first half the passing was sloppy, sluggish. We’ve had a long layoff, we’ve been off for a little bit now and, getting back and only having a day and a half or day of training to go against the Harrisburg team, it was definitely difficult. I think if we were a little cleaner with the ball in three plays in the first half we could have scored the first goal. The key in these games is to score the first goal and make them actually have to come out and play us. To their credit they sat behind the ball and they were hard to break down, and we didn’t have the quality to break them down. We were a little rusty, sloppy, but my guys fought hard in the end, they could have laid down but they didn’t, they kept pushing and got the goals.

On the play of Harrisburg City Islanders goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre in goal

He was very good. When you walk out the tunnel you look at the kid, and I looked up to him, he’s a big boy. He made some saves, sometimes guys that are that size aren’t that nimble and he was pretty quick to get some of things tonight that are special. Obviously, he had a very good game, it’s an affiliate so you keep your eye on these guys, he had a great game.

On going forward with Maurice Edu at center back

No, it will be game to game. With the Open Cup, I’m a survive and advance kind of guy and that’s what we did tonight to be honest, we survived and move on. But with Mo, I had a good talk with him, it was a hard talk but at the same time I thought that it was a good situation that he played center back. He did a good job tonight, he gets us the goal so he can still be dangerous in set pieces. Mo’s a soccer player, you can put Mo at forward, or out wide in midfield, he can play any position, so to his credit he came in and did a good job at center back.

On if we what we saw tonight will be part of the template going forward in league play

Listen, we played a good group on the field, there were still a lot of starters. Conor was supposed to play but he had some hamstring tightness that I wanted to hold him out. We had a little bit of a break and he’s getting up there in age, I had a good talk with him, I know how he works, he’s a guy who knows his body well. He told me the hamstring was there. So Conor was supposed to be in the starting lineup but Andrew came in and did a great job and got the two goals that went in the end. He struggled a little bit in the beginning part but stuck with it. As far as the template, the formation stuff we haven’t settled. I’m not going to sit here and lie and say we’re playing this formation and it’s 100 percent. If you look at the table we’ve three games in 16 so we haven’t figured it out yet, I certainly haven’t figured it out yet, but we’re going to get to work. Like you saw tonight, we have a lot of things we can clean up and work on, that’s for sure.

On his reasoning for having two center midfielders today

The reason behind that was shoring up a defense. I keep saying defense but it’s a team thing; it’s from the forwards our front three need to do a better job, our midfield needs to do a better job defensively,  we’ve been leaking a lot of goals. So, when you’re conceding a lot of goals one way to sure it up is with a guy with Brian’s experience and Michael to come in —  and we all saw change the Vancouver game and that brought us a little life. You see how he plays, he breaks things up, he’s got a little bit of a burst. His passing was pretty good tonight; on the long diagonals he was good, on the medium range he can be a little sharper, the medium range passes on the ground a little sloppy. But Mike did a great job breaking up plays, he did a good job for me, so did Brian Carroll.

On Andre Blake’s first game in goal

We saw this as a game of consequence. I could throw him in the game tomorrow against Reading when it’s a friendly, and it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a good result. But he played in a game that’s an elimination game to get that under his belt back home in front of our fans — I think that was important. He made some big saves at the end where you start to see some of the quality and how special he can be as a goalkeeper. He’s a guy that now he has a game under his belt you start to see confidence, it’s a first step for him. Do I wish he held the first one on the header, yes I do, I’m going to hold to high standards, he’s a great player. Great starting point for Andre, he’s 1 and 0.

Andrew Wenger

On scoring twice

Good for me to finally break a little bit of a drought. Good for us to dig ourselves out of that and move forward, that’s the most important thing. Defensively we played pretty well tonight and we were lucky to get a lucky chance in a sense, but we kept pressing and we figured it out.

With the coaching change and limited time to practice

Not much has changed because it’s still the same guys in the locker room. We’ve worked with Coach Curtin before and it really just comes down to us performing on the field. Not much is going to change in the way of who’s in here, so we just have to go out there and get it done.

Andre Blake

Thoughts on first appearance

It was great, takes me back to the day when I was drafted. All of the fans were supporting me and I just want to say thanks to them once more. Also, the ten other guys that were on the field with me today that made my job much easier and credit also goes out to my back four.

On the difference in the second half

We knew they were going to come in and sit back, so we knew they were going to make it hard for us. We just knew we needed to get that one goal and then they were going to open up. Unfortunately, we went behind, but things happened to turn our way in the second half and we got going.

On the difference playing in a win or go home scenario

I don’t think it’s a big difference because that way there will be pressure and you want to have less pressure when you’re in the game. So I was trying to keep a clear mind and be prepared mentally and take it one step at a time.

What’s it mean to you to come out of here with a win in your first game

It’s a great feeling, one that I’ll cherish forever.

Harrisburg City Islanders postgame quotes

Head Coach Bill Becher

About the effort your players put out today

We fought, we did everything we could to get the result and unfortunately it didn’t go our way. We are proud of the effort we put in, we fought for 120 minutes, and we were very short handed with only three subs available.  You look at the lineup we had out there [Saturday] and we had seven guys that were unavailable. Seven starters. So we played with four starters and guys that haven’t been getting as many minutes. We were dealt a difficult hand coming into this, but I think we showed that we have some depth, some heart and some character. We gave them everything they wanted. And it’s hard to say we didn’t deserve to win the game. Brian had to come up with some great saves and he did and they took it to us in overtime.

On Brian Sylvestre

Brian was awesome.  I mean, you know he’s been good every day at training, he’s played in a couple preseason games, and the first two rounds of the cup, and we told him before the cup started its his. He had a shutout the first game where he was good, but tonight was his best game. He’s showing us he is a guy that probably needs to play some games.

One Comment

  1. The Andre Blake’s hair chant was the best chant.

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