Postgame video and quote sheet: Union 3-1 Red Bulls

Photo: and video: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Postgame interviews with Fred, Ethan White, Sheanon Williams and Brian Carroll

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Jim Curtin

Opening statement

Before we get going here, kind of something that’s been lost in all the craziness of myself getting put in this position, is the assistants that I have. They’ve done a great job. Mike Sorber, BJ Callahan with the goal keepers and film, Tommy Wilson and Ian Monroe, have been a crutch for me, they’ve done a great job in making this transition a smooth one so, again, I don’t want that to get lost in things. So wanted to take a second to thank them.

Great performance from our guys from start to finish, you know, it’s the result that the fans deserved, it’s the result we should have gave them against Colorado. I’d say our last 180 minutes on this field in the league play have ah…ten minutes has been bad, you know, so I think they deserved this result in the Colorado game and for our guys to come out and, again to a man, if you go through every guy for the Union, they checked a lot of positive boxes tonight, they did very well. I think they could have scored a few more goals, to be honest, never seen the ref stop for a cramp, but, that was interesting.

On scoring 3 goals on Saturday, and scoring 3 goals tonight — what was the difference?

Yeah, I was half joking on the bench and as soon as it went 3-1 I said, “Uh oh,  most dangerous lead for the Union this year.” No, the guys dug in, you know, it was making a lot of little plays out there. I thought Fred came in and did a great job, not only offensively, but defensively. So it was a collective effort though.  It’s a tough team to defend for 90 minutes with Henry drifting back, and picking balls up, and how do you handle that when he gets ahead, steam going,it’s a lot to deal with and, again, it was a team effort, you know, from the front to the back, I thought our forwards defended well, and like you said, the 3-1 lead was a familiar one, they still had a few chances. Zac actually bailed us out a few times there, looking back on it, he made some big saves for us which is what you need, you know you need that from your goalkeeper, he did a great job.

On Cristian Maidana’s injury

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that he got kicked; at first that was my thought that he maybe got kneed in the hamstring area, but it sounds like it’s a —  he called it a small little pull. It’s too early to speculate, so he’ll get looked at by the staff. Timing wise it isn’t actually the worst, because if you look ahead, we have Chicago, obviously is a huge huge league game, but after that there’s a little bit of a break. We don’t think it’s too serious, but, again, he’s a guy playing as good as anyone in our league right now, so if we are going to miss him, which I hope we don’t, it’s a big loss.

Unintelligible question

Yeah, it’s huge, I think we made a statement tonight. We talked about it before the game, I told the guys that respect isn’t given, it’s earned and we had to grab it and we did that tonight. So I think on national TV we know the whole league’s is watching, I think the Union tonight made a statement that we’re going to be a team in the Eastern Conference that’s going to be not just pushing for the fourth or fifth spot, but a team that can play with anybody. Did we dig a hole early in the year? Yeah we did, but we’re going to fight our way out, we’re right in the mix. Fortunately nobody’s really running away with the East right now so you’re a couple wins out of being in a top spot.

Can we expect to see Ray Gaddis continuing at left back?

It’ll be game to game, he did a great job. The exact things you just mentioned is what we saw: Lloyd Sam’s a fast attacking player; Ray Gaddis for me is the best one-on-one defender in the league. I joked last year, called it Gaddis Island: attackers kind of disappear out there in the island. Literally he’s the best one-on-one defender I’ve seen, so he’s done a great job this year, he’s been excellent for us and, again, another night where he kind of makes someone disappear, which was good.

On Conor Casey

Connor’s great. He’s a guy I have a good relationship with, he just needed a run of games. He’s a guy that needs to play himself into a comfort level and form. He’ll score goals, he’s done that everywhere he’s been for his whole life. He knows his body so well that, during the week, if it’s Connor take 2, 3 days off just to be ready for game day, that’s our relationship right now. He brings it every game though, you see him, he fights his butt off out there, doesn’t get any calls, he gets beat up, he gets kicked. I think it’s because he looks scary, you know, with the shaved head, I think the refs get intimidated and he’s actually one of the nicest guys, and most honest players I’ve ever seen and he is on a tear right now, he’s a handful, you know guys can’t handle. New York had a young back line out there tonight and he punished them a little bit, it was good.

On game time management with veteran players like Casey

It’s a factor, you know I jokingly when he came out of the game, I said, you good for 90 against Chicago? And he kind of smiled, he said yes, but like you said he’s been around the block, he knows his body well. Before training every day he’s an hour on his own with little maintenance, taking care of himself so, we’ll have a conversation tomorrow, but he recovers pretty well for an older guy and, again, he’s as dialed into his body as he could possibly be so he knows when it’s right and ready to go and he’ll be honest with me. I trust him. and hopefully with a quick turnaround, we’ve had a ton of games though, you know the Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday…it really wears on guys legs, and that’s actually when injuries happen. So that’s something we would like to avoid. So with Cristian Maidana, maybe it’s the 120 minute Open Cup Games and they all start to add up on these hot summer nights, so it’s difficult.

On the team’s response after the draw with Colorado

That’s the response I wanted. I didn’t know I would get it, but they brought it. To a man, every guy really, really brought it, I told you guys after the game in the last press conference, our response there was going to dictate how the rest of our season went. If you lose again at home and then you have to do a quick turnaround on the road to Chicago, a team that’s hungry, you’re in a big hole. We’re running out of games, the season goes quickly with these Saturday, Wednesdays. They disappear fast and to grab 3 points tonight against the Eastern conference opponent was a huge one for us.

On Ethan White

Ethan was a beast. That’s two games in a row now. He has accepted the challenge, embraced it, and done extremely well. What I’ve been most happy with is his passing. He wins his battles, I’ve seen him do that. He’s an incredible athlete, he’ll win everything in the air, he’ll win the individual duals one-on-one, but his passing, long range passing that sets up attacks right now for us has been a very, very pleasant surprise to be honest, he’s done a great job in there. He competes like crazy, he’s dealt with now, if you think of the last two games, very different attacking players: Deshorn Brown one forward up there by himself with probably one of the fastest guys in our league, and then to now deal with Wright-Phillips and Henry, and Henry who does a lot of drifting and he’s tough to track. He stood up and passed the test. I would have liked him to be a little closer to goal, the top of the box, but we’ll look at the film on that one and I’ll be critical in a constructive way on that one, but as a center back I really think highly of that position and he stepped up and did a great job. Maurice Edu needs credit too, he played a great game and helped Ethan White a lot to0, talking, communicating, organizing. Those two were very solid for us tonight.

On Vincent Nogueira

Yeah we talked at half time, I said how’s it feel? He said as of right now I think I can finish. With losing Maidana and burning the Fred sub, it made it a real risk because I didn’t really have a central guy on the bench. I could have maybe juggled Fabinho out there, there would have been a lot of moving parts to that, so, I’m happy he was able to go the 90. You could see I think one of the last plays of the game he was tired, though, when Henry picked up the ball it was like, “Uh no I have to run another 60 yards.” He played great, you can see the calming presence he has out there. When the ball’s played into him, everyone can kind of catch their breath because he’s not losing it. That helps. Fred did a great job with that too. Those little breaks when you work your butt off  for a minute, a minute and a half when they have the ball, and you finally win it and play that first pass to Vincent, it’s like, “Alright, we can kind of catch our breath, he’s going to keep it, he’s going to maybe even lead to a goal scoring opportunity.” I don’t have to talk about him, he’s a special player, I think everybody knows his quality. Around the league everybody talks that he’s a top midfielder. He did a great job tonight, and to go 90 right off the bat is impressive.

Sheanon Williams

When it was 3-1, did anything need to be said, considering what happened Saturday

Yeah, just close the door and make sure we don’t give up any goals. We learn from our mistakes and we try not to do them again.

On you third game in eight games coming up this Saturday

Yeah, it’s tough. Obviously, we had an injury today and that’s probably because of tired legs. Tomorrow we’ll have a good day to recover and then we’ll probably be light the day before the game. It’s just about recovery.

On tonight being a statement game

Yeah, it’s on ESPN and it’s against the Red Bulls. It’s a rivalry and we’re chasing them, so yeah I would definitely say that. You can call it a statement game, but now we need to improve on this.

On Zac MacMath’s performance

Zac’s been playing like that all year. We expect nothing less form him. He’s been having a good year this year, so it’s nice to have a goalkeeper who we know is going to give us a chance to stay in the game.

On Fred’s goal

Fred’s always in good spots. He’s a big contributor, maybe you guys haven’t seen him that much on the field, but in practice we know what he can do.  We’re happy he’s healthy, we’re happy we have him, and he definitely came in and filled big shoes in us losing Chaco.


On first goal since 2010

I am blessed today. I didn’t expect Chaco to get injured and I’m so sorry for him. I think everyone has to be ready to play and help the team. I’m so happy and thank you God to give me this opportunity.

On coming in during the middle of the game and building chemistry with Brian and Vincent

We’re used to training together. I played with Brian in D.C. so it was easy to play with him. It comes so easy to play and then we control the game and we control the midfield. Now we keep trying to win and try to make the playoffs.

Is it all about communication on the field?

Yeah, we talk a lot on the field and that’s helped the team get on the attack.

Was it a night for the veterans?

Yeah, like I said it was a blessing. I showed emotion after the goal and cried a little bit. It’s like when you play the first game, so I’m happy now.

New York Red Bulls postgame quotes

Mike Petke

On team looking fatigued

You could tell we were a bit tired in the first half. We had three or four guys come way back to our center backs to collect the ball, but at the end of the day we had countless opportunities, it’s tough for me and I don’t want to disrespect anyone but out of all the Philly teams I’ve faced this I felt that this was the most vulnerable team I faced, this is the team that was the most ripe to take points. There was an individual defending mistake on the first goal, two individual mistakes on the second, and a penalty kick that I’m not very happy about. At the end of the day it’s the second game in four days and we have a game three days from now, it’s our first loss in six games, so we have to move on the game this weekend.

On leaving points here

We felt very confident aside from being very fatigued, if you look at the first half they weren’t even attempting to build out of the back, they wanted to put it on our end and battle like most teams in this league, and at the end of the day we didn’t put away our chances in the second half we just looked a little flat.

On giving up the early goal

The defender was flat footed, which is not a proper technique for defending, but like we said we know those mistakes are going to be made by those young guys. But at the end of the day there weren’t a lot of possibilities in the first half they had two shots on goal, I felt that even coming into the second half there was the chance we were going to come out with points. But like I said it’s the first time in six games we haven’t lost so it was bound to happen sometime.

On if changes will need to be made because of fatigue

Going into the game I felt we had the mindset it was a game we could have been leading by the second half, so I went into the game with almost the same starting lineup because I wanted to get to that 60th minute because in a perfect world I would have liked to get 2 or 3 guys out by that 60th minute to rest them. So, going into a home game it’s all about how the feel tomorrow and then make decisions based on that.

On if Bradley scoring was a sliver lining

Bradley had some opportunities and he put one away. He’s up to 16 goals now, which is great and it’s great that he keeps scoring. But we need to work on keeping the ball out of the net.

On if you feel Bradley deserved to be an All-Star

As far as fan voting goes, fan voting is a popularity contest because if it were based purely on soccer then Bradley would be on the starting 11. He’s the leading scorer in the league for god sakes. But I’m confident that the leading scorer in the league would and should be out there.

Tim Cahill

On his impressions of the game in general

We got punished for our mistakes. There weren’t many good things to take from it, the only call that was iffy was the penalty I had already won the header, regardless of what’s going on behind me. But if they’re going to call penalties for holding in the box then there will be a penalty every time there is a corner.

On if they were fatigued

It’s the boss’s opinion so I can’t comment on his opinions, if we didn’t concede that goal things would have been different because it seemed like they weren’t really effecting us both teams were going through the motions sort of but once that mistake happened it was a different story.

On conceding early goals

It can’t keep happening every week because it just means we have to score four goals to win every game, and score two or three just to get a draw, soon or our later it’s going to turn. You can’t come off a 4-1 win and perform like that, we know where the goals came from we have to go back to the training pitch and see how we stop it.

Luis Robles

On his impressions of the game

We killed ourselves, I don’t know what this trend is we have to find a solution to giving up early goals but the worst about the goals we are giving up is it’s just our own mistakes, collectively we have to get better defensively I don’t even remember the last time we had a clean sheet. It just seems like last year we had a certain toughness that we have to find. I just think the worst thing we can do is point fingers because we have a quick turnaround.

On conceding early goals

If I had the solution to that maybe I could fix it but I think part of it has to do with our mentality starting the game. Six weeks ago we had a talk as a team about defending and for whatever reason it’s just not there. It’s not just the first half it’s the second half as well. It’s a big concern, look at our offense we create chances and you know they got lucky with a couple of clearances off the line and the keeper made some good saves. We keep getting done in by these PK calls and our concern has to be defensively, we have to sure up things up because we know our offense is going to score goals.

On if the formation is different and if that is effecting play

The formation has been quite the experience, obviously we have some young guys in there and the reason they’re playing is because we believe in them we believe they are capable of it, and no they are getting battled tested and it’s expected that they’re going to be some mistakes, there’s going to be some miscommunication but the fact is that everyone has to take this challenge head on and believe they can do something more and I feel like that’s the only way we can do it. Starting with me all the way up to the forwards. The concept with the two backs is there it’s just experience that’s going to take time, usually you have preseason to do this but we’re at midseason to do this with an important stretch of games right now. So, we’re going to go back to the training pitch and recover a bit and then play again in less than 72 hours, this is the part of the season where you start getting some separation or things continue to get tighter. We had a big opportunity to move ahead a few a points and we didn’t.

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