Postgame video and quotesheet: Union 3-3 Rapids

Photo & video: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Interim head coach Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference
Postgame interviews with Cristian Maidana, Sheanon Williams, Danny Cruz and Brian Brown
Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Interim Team Manager Jim Curtin

Opening Statement

I just want to start by saying, obviously when you’re up 3-1 at home, you should close out the game. You can talk about the ref, all the calls, and all we want, but at the end of the day we should still close that game out on our own terms. Things felt comfortable at 3-1. Maybe it’s a silly challenge by Mike. Maybe the ref, I guess the question I have is he pulls a red straight away. If it’s a yellow, maybe it’s Mike’s second yellow, I can get that, but to give a straight red on a play where it’s almost, I don’t think Mike can do a lot about it so it was an interesting one. But this is MLS, this is how things go week in and week out. The crazy endings, the red cards, the penalty kicks. It unfortunately seems to happen quite a bit and it seems to have happened here at 3-3 game, which is unacceptable to give up three games at home.

On what happened with Amobi Okugo after the game

The refs were obviously upset and people were commenting on different things to them, but, I think one of them, it got relayed that Amobi might have said something that maybe wasn’t said. At the end of the day it’s not going to do any good complaining to those guys at the end of the game. So, probably a waste of breath and now it’s going to cost us losing Amobi so not smart on his part at all. Again, not going to change anything at that stage so you just got to kind of accept it and take it for what it’s worth.

On the importance of Noguiera being healthy with both Okugo and Lahoud out

I mean he’s obviously coming along. Probably not the way we wanted to or preferred to ease him in, but we’ll still look at a couple options we can go to, but we’ll take a look at it and have a quick turnaround on Wednesday at home again. A lot of good performances went to waste tonight. That’s what it felt like. A lot of really good performances by guys really went to complete waste. It’s tough.

On Ethan White

Ethan was very good. Ethan had a very good game; he was solid. He won all of his battles individually and played good passes. Ethan was excellent, as excellent as you can be as a center back when we give up three goals. He would rather win and have a bad performance because that’s how he is; he’s a competitor and I was very happy with how he played. He stepped into a tough spot, that’s his first start here and I thought he was very good on the field.

On giving up two goals after the Open Cup win against New England

Yeah, it was a step backwards. You’re up 3-1 at home and, again, I think it seemed like a harmless ball floating to the back and then next thing you know there’s a red card and also on top of it a penalty kick. So, it’s a real scramble. You try to juggle some things on the fly and you’re supposed to be able to hold up ten minutes down a man. That’s the bottom line. Up a goal, ten minutes, we should be able to keep them off the board. The third goal, I think Sheanon stepped to a ball he shouldn’t have stepped to, didn’t have to step to. Just keep things in front of you. That’s one of the things we talk about. He knows that, he knows. That was a tough play, Deshorn’s a handful.

On Deshorn Brown’s performance

He’s a good forward, and like any good forward, you can keep him quiet for 88 minutes and then he just needs one chance and he buried it. We know what he’s about, he’s about speed, and if you give him enough chances, he’s going to bury one. He had a few good looks tonight; for the most part I think we did a good job on him. Him and Powers got some things going a little bit in the first half and then at the end there a little combination, they pull a play off in front of the goal. Credit to them, but on our home field you can’t give up three goals in this building. It’s supposed to be  a place where — I thought last game against New England, 2-0 here, that’s what a game should look like at home. It should be comfortable; you get up a two goal lead, you should finish the game. Again, we shoot ourselves in the foot. It’s on us.

On moving forward after this tonight’s game

We’ll look at the tape quickly, and there’s not a lot of time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have New York coming in, a very good team, who won tonight I believe– I think someone shouted out to me. So, again, they’re coming off a win, it’ll be a tough game at home, it’s a rivalry game, so the guys will be up for it, for sure. We’ll be a little undermanned, but we’re not trying to make excuses, that’s for sure. We’re running out of games, though. Nights like tonight are the kind of games you look back on at the end of the year and say, “Oh, if we could have done this.” But I’m a big believer in you are what your record says who you are, and this is, unfortunately, what we are right now: a 3-3 scramble, all over the place game against Colorado. Not really sure how to win yet and it’s going to be a process. You have to learn how to win.

On the pressure of playing at home

Not in this specific game because we actually played good. We played a good — up until the red card, I thought we had one of our best performances, we created three goals. It felt comfortable, like I said, but in MLS you have to finish games. You have to know how to close things. There is a feeling of trying to please the fans. Our players feel it, it’s a real thing, they know we haven’t won here now in too many games, too many weeks. I think someone said 18 weeks we haven’t won a game here, which is unacceptable, in league play. So, it’s a tough thing. They feel that pressure; we were close tonight to ending that, we should have ended that, but we didn’t.

On Brian Brown

Brian is a player who is very good around the goal. His quality on finishing inside of the box with both feet,  he can strike the ball well, you can see that in practice pretty quick. He has got a bit of speed. He is a handful. He is a big guy too, he’s about 6’1” so he has got an MLS body on him. He can handle the punishment that you get up there. He’s young too, he’s still only 21. So, he’s a guy we’re high on. If the game goes how I like tonight and we stay 3-1 up, he probably would have been in at the end, but instead you’re burning two subs trying to hold on at the end. So, difficult.

On the play of Maidana and whether the line-up will change once everyone is healthy

We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, but he’s been very good in the middle. I think you’ve seen one of the best No. 10s, so to speak, I know the number ten may be gone in our league, but he’s that kind of guy that can make the final pass. You see his value on set pieces, he can really serve a ball, and he’s becoming a marked man in central midfield. So, I like him in there. Is there a way to get him and Nogueira in there together? That could be pretty positive. You have to juggle some other things, but we have a deep team now. I think we have a good roster, and you have a lot of guys to choose from, but I like him in the middle, he does a good job in there.

On giving up a goal quickly after scoring

That was bad too. That’s the other thing I was mad at. They were most dangerous right after we scored goals, on both of them. The second one too, we just scrambled and we make a tackle. Again, those are concentration things. It’s getting through the next five minutes after you score that first goal is critical. We did not do a good job of that. Not a good response to give up a goal thirty seconds right after. Unacceptable. We’ll talk about that too in training. Some things to fix quickly.

Cristian Maidana

On being tied for most assists in the 2014 MLS regular season

I knew I was up there for the lead. That’s my job, to take chances and hopefully I can keep doing that and create chances for our team.

On being a little bit more comfortable

I feel a lot better and I feel more comfortable with the league and with the teammates.  Coming to a new league where it’s a lot fitter, it feels like it took me a little while, but I feel that I’m at my best right now and I want to keep playing and helping the team.

On playing in the middle as opposed to the left

It’s a lot better for me because I don’t have to run much. Coach Jim gives me the confidence to have kind of like a free row, so it’s my natural position and I’m comfortable there.

Ethan White

On waiting for your chance to start

It’s our job. It’s our job to stay focused and do what we can and control what we can. You do what you can to make it hard on the coach. I think I was professional about it and I think they were too. I was patient and it was hard, but you got to keep working. It’s our job.

Did you feel a little extra energy tonight being able to start?

Absolutely. It’s nervous energy. Coming in and ready to seize that moment.

On the first MLS Union moment, does it put any extra pressure on you? Does it change anything?

Not really, I’ve played in the league before. It’s not like I’m making my MLS debut, but it’s different. I’m in front of different fans, but it still felt good to be out there.

On seeing game minutes and making practice time easier

It’s our job. It’s my job to come out and perform to the best of my ability every day and when my name is called on, I’ll be ready. Both sides handled the situation professionally. We had talked and they said to just keep at it and your chance will come.

Brian Brown

On coming to Philadelphia Union

It’s really great for me to be here and I’m happy to be here.

On the adjustment from being a country kid to being in the city

I’m trying to get used to the city. Jamaica is a small country, so the area here is much bigger. I’ll get used to it by day-in and day-out, so by next week I’ll know many more places, but it’s good to be here and I really like it here so far.

What can you bring to this team? What do you do best on the field?

I score. That’s what I do best; I score goals. I like to score, so if I get my chance, I’ll put my chance away. So, that’s my strong point, I like to score.

On the goal-scoring mentality that you have to have in front of the goal

That’s what my strategy is – to shoot. If you don’t shoot, you won’t score, so that’s I like to shoot and hopefully I score.

Does it help having someone like Andre (Blake) here?

He’s the one helping me to meet around and know this place better. It’s been great to have Andre. He’s like a brother. Everyone is like my brother, but I look up to Andre.

Colorado Rapids postgame quotes

Head coach Pablo Mastroeni

On overall impressions of tonight’s game

Overall, I thought that the character the guys showed was great, to come back from 3-1 in a difficult place to play, against a team that’s in a good run of form, it was great, that’s overwhelming feeling I have for this game. Obviously we have a long ways to go, I think at times we are a bit naive defending, we didn’t do a good enough job of defending, we made it difficult for ourselves when we had the ball and we lost possession in bad spots. But I think that those are growing pains that are going to happen with a young team and a young coach, we just have to keep working. But I think the ability and the mindset to overcome all those things and find your way into a result is tremendous for this team moving forward.

On Deshorn Brown’s performance

I think that Deshorn is one of the more dangerous forwards in the league, you’re going to have moments where things aren’t going your way. But the mindset to be able to make good on one opportunity and really make a difference in the game says a lot about who he is as a person, he doesn’t give up, he keeps working hard and that’s the mentality that I think all the guys who stepped on the field had.

On defensive struggles

It’s funny because I think that set pieces should be the easiest thing to defend because the ball is static when you’re defending it, so that’s a concentration issue but I think what we’re discovering is that we are our most dangerous opponents when we have the ball. When we have good possession and we’re pushing teams back we can’t be loose with our touches, everyone is going to be pulled out of position. So like I said it’s a bit naive from us and it’s going to be a part of our development and we have to get better at it. But again the reaction to come back from the deficit speaks volumes.

On Serna’s performance

I think that he found the game in the first half as was able to create some chances. More importantly I think that the guys in the midfield did a good job of getting him the ball in Powers and Nicky. The guys that came on the field should be attributed and did a tremendous job of making an impact and we’re definitely catalysts for the game today.

On the debut of Alvarez

I think he did a good job of coming in and finding the game. It’s tough to come into that kind of game where it’s heated and feisty, he found a way to get the ball and slow it down. He really made some good passes and was a threat going forward. So I think Carlos did a great job, I think Gabi did a great job, and I think Marlon coming in up front and really getting forward also did a really nice job.

On Torres coming in a getting the game-tying assist

I think it’s a really tight group and we’ve had a ton of games so it’s about how to get the guys the field to contribute and I think Gabi did a great job tonight. He was focused and unlocked their defense with a couple of good passes, I think it’s a good confidence builder for Gabi. So we’ll sit down and look at our options moving forward but I’m really happy for him to come in a contribute the way he did.

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