Postgame video and quote sheet: Union 2-1 Impact

Photo and video: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference
Postgame interviews with Danny Cruz, Sebastien Le Toux, Zac MacMath, Ethan White and Sheanon Williams

Philadelphia Union postgame quote sheet

Jim Curtin

Opening statement

A quick comment before we get started. We talked all week about this being a business-like performance, it was a tricky game for us in that we had a new player in Carlos coming in — a great player but, again, its still a new face added to the team. Maurice had to travel with the All-Star game so, it set up as kind of a tricky game for us. Talked about it being business-like, I thought at 2-0, if we would have kept it that way I would have been happy but, again, we give up a silly goal, Did not play a beautiful game of soccer by any stretch; wasn’t really happy with our passing, a lot of sloppy turnovers. Not a great performance but, again, 3 points at home, it’s very, very valuable.

So, again, it’s good to get a result at this time of the year. There’s not a lot of pretty games so, again, it was very important we got three points. We did that, we move up the table but, I do see a team that, for whatever reason, we’ll get up for Kansas City on the road and play with an unbelievable intensity and create a ton of chances and then, for whatever reason, tonight we were a little sluggish, a little lethargic, maybe. Credit to Montreal the way that they played and kept the ball. They were good and they fought.

On the performance of Valdes

Carlos was excellent. He’s a beast back there, wins all his battles, doesn’t try to do too much passing out of the back. For his first game back we talked about just keep it simple and he’s experienced enough, he knows, he’s been through the wars, and he did that tonight. He won every battle, he made a lot of big blocks that don’t show up on the stat sheets but on little through balls that he cuts out now. I thought he was excellent, especially coming into a group, that’s not an easy thing. He’s familiar with a lot of the guys but still, it’s been awhile, for him to come into the group and play that good for us, I was very, very happy.

On Le Toux’s injury

I was very angry. I was very angry with the fact that the time went a little longer, and that’s when he gets kicked. I’m not in any way, shape, or form saying that the referees had anything to do with him getting injured, but there’s the grey area because Zac gets hurt in injury time so, do they add 30 seconds, do they add another 45? So,again, it’s that grey area in soccer where it goes a little longer then you would have liked and that’s when Sebastian gets kicked. Unfortunately — we won’t speculate — but it’s not great, I’ll just say that.

On Maurice Edu playing the midfield

We knew Carlos was going to be ready to play, seeing him during the week, we knew he would be in there. And I’m very high on White right now, I think that he deserves to be on the field. Maurice, when you see him in the All-Star game, did play center back and he played it very well, in fact, so he can play both spots. I thought he was excellent tonight in midfield breaking up plays, he made a lot of tackles. Giving us the best chance to win, I thought that the combination of Valdes and White would be a good one dealing with what we thought would be Di Vaio, to be honest, up top; he wasn’t here. But they actually did a good job with Jack, limited him to maybe the one chance in the first half. I thought they did a good job and Mo was very, very strong in the midfield.

On coming away with 3 points

Like I said, at the end of the year, this just shows up as three points. No one’s going to remember that they had the ball a ton, that we didn’t create a lot, we were sloppy with our passes. Everyone wants to talk about the beautiful game but at this point of the year that goes out of the window for me.

On the quick turnaround on Tuesday

It’s not easy but it’s the same thing for Dallas. They played tonight so it’s a quick turnaround. They’re obviously at home tonight, and then home against us, so we have the travel element, which is difficult. The crazier thing is that we have to turn around and play again on Friday in Houston, which is not a pleasant place to play temperature wise.

It’s tough, [but] we’re not going to make excuses. We really have a deep squad now; if you look the bench, you have hundreds and hundreds of games on the bench right now of experience, so that’s a positive to come in and help close out games. Happy with the group, there’s completion in training like you wouldn’t believe for spots right now. We have a crowded group, everyone’s getting healthy. People forget about Cristian Maidana so, again, he’s coming back, and he’ll be close for Tuesday.

Again, a lot of competition going on, and we’re going to be a team now that’s a real factor in the Eastern conference. And I’m not talking about fifth place, I’m talking about making a run at this, it’s that tight right now. So if you get on a little streak, like I’ve said all along here, I want to push for third, second or third, and then make a real run at this thing.

On changing the lineup around going forward

Like I said we have three games now in a very, very short time period. We have a Tuesday-Friday combination and we have guys on the bench that can play, that are starters in this league for a lot of other teams. Fabinho’s a guy that who’s kind of the odd man out. A tough decision went against him and he’s been a pro about it. He can come in and play, and he will play a role; whether it’s Tuesday or Friday, he will play role these three games here. Again, having a deep squad is a good thing right now.

On Vincent Nogueira playing in a more attacking position

He does a good job there. He’d tell you if he was up here on the microphone that it’s not his preferred spot, and I know that. We have a good relationship, we talked over it, and what’s best for the team right now is that he plays in that role a little higher up the field. You can see, though, he likes to come back and get the ball, and a lot of the situations that we maybe we don’t get out of cleanly he could get us out of if he was in that deeper spot. When Chaco comes back I think that you can see that  that’s one option where Vincent could play a little deeper, and I get excited thinking about that. But I thought that Brian Carroll and Mo did a good job in there. A lot of little plays that don’t show up, breaking things up.

On Rais Mbolhi not being included in the lineup

He had some business to take care of away from the game, we’ll just say, that he has to take care of. He’ll be back, we expect him back quickly.

Credit to Zac MacMath, tonight he was excellent, he made some big saves. Get’s an assist – I don’t know if they gave an assist there. No?  They didn’t? No Ron Hextall assist there? Alright. But Zac was excellent, he made a ton of saves, kept us in it and was very good. He’s been dealing with a lot here, there’s no question about it, but he’s been a pro, a real pro about it, and I am really impressed with how he has handled himself on and off the field.

Sebastien Le Toux

On his injury

I don’t know. It is a big bruise and I will be able to rest tomorrow, but I was very hurt when I got kicked. I had no feeling for the first three minutes, so I was afraid of something bad, but right now it feels better. I hope it’s just a big bruise tomorrow.

On your first goal

Zac was aware of it, we always talk about it. I tell him, if he’s about to catch a ball quick off a shot to look for me, especially when they are kind of sleeping in the back. He played a great ball, right in the middle, and it was a miscommunication between the two defenders and another miscommunication between the defender who headed it back. I just tried to look for it and I’m glad the hustle paid off. It was good to get in front in the game.

Is that something that he recognizes or are you calling for it

We have already had a few things like this in a few games, but it’s small. Sometimes when we are already winning and he knows the team cannot push, I think he was aware of it and recognizes that it was two defenders. I was not even offside because the two guys weren’t very high in their half. He just played a good ball and I tried to hustle and it paid off, so it was “fifty” for Zac and “fifty” for me.

On his recent goalscoring form

It’s good. When Jim took over he really told me what he wanted me to do on this team, and my position, and as a player in this group. I feel good and I know exactly what he wants me to do. I’m not in no-mans-land, I know exactly what position he wants me to play.

Ethan White

On playing with Valdes

Obviously, it’s a new thing, but we came out firing and came away with a win.

On the process of getting used to Carlos in the center

It was just like coming in with any other player. He’s a top defender, so I just have to learn from him and keep doing what we’re doing.

On trying to grow this chemistry mid-season

I don’t think so. He’s played with a bunch of different players; I’ve played with a bunch of different players, it’s not anything new to us. It’s just like a new employee at your job. It will take time, but it will come along.

On Jim Curtin saying you deserve to be out there and playing

It feels good to be on the field. Anytime you can contribute to the team, it feels great.

On earning your spot

We have a deep team, so you have to come in everyday and perform. I’m trying to do what’s best for the team. Obviously I want to be on the field.

Montreal Impact postgame quote sheet

Frank Klopas

On the game

When you look at everything on the stat sheets and stuff, and the two mistakes we made again, it was just… incredible, you know? Final third, I think there were moments we could have been better in the game. Our quality in the final pass, I think was a little off, but, you know, we controlled the game, we had possession of the game, we had opportunities and… two mental mistakes again, it just mind-boggling to me. It’s a broken record, but on to the next one, but right now, for me it’s just not giving anything away. Obviously there are still a lot of games to play left, but the emotional thinking. Uh, about the moves and what we have to do now to get better for next season. There are some good pieces there. We have to get better in certain areas and that’s what’s on my mind right now because if I look at everything else, it’s mind-boggling how we lost this game.

On what happened on the first goal

Yeah. But I mean if you don’t hear it, it’s hard for me because I don’t hear. But if you’re first to the ball, clear that ball. Second one, same thing.

On whether this team is unlucky

The thing is crazy. It’s like we can’t get a little bit of a break for the ball to go in. It hits the post, it goes out. It hits the hand, it doesn’t — it’s just crazy. There are games where you feel, you know, that you deserved to get a result. But this one we had 70 percent possession — passing and accuracy, crossing, attempts on goal — everything. But in the end — I don’t know. It just, the only thing I can do — I know that you got to keep working and stay positive with the group. That’s all I got and can do and say to really make a plan and evaluate every guy like I have from the beginning. See how those little things that aren’t going our way have to go our way. If it’s not this season, then next season.

On the subs

They were good, very good. I thought [Anthony] Jackson [-Hamel] came in and you know his ability higher up the field: He held the ball, he made good runs, he pressured well. And then Dilly [Duka], I know he’s a very good player. He got the ball in those pockets. He got a very good opportunity in the box. He shot it wide. And Maxim [Tissot], I think he’s been on a high and doing well with all the games he’s been in. And he makes a great run on the weak side and gets himself a goal. It’s good to see the energy those guys brought and they definitely changed the game, you know, ’cause I thought we needed a little bit of a change and, you know, we were ready to make the change and then we give up second goal out of nothing again. The ability to close down and move our feet better. We scored the one goal. But I was very happy with the performance from those guys for sure.

Patrice Bernier

On the match

Well, it was probably one of our better games this year in terms of playing. Possession — and I think statistically we dominated on every front in terms of passes, possession, duels —  but at the end of the day, we still come out with no result, so it’s a tough one to take because you know you played a solid game. It’s been a while since we played like that. Even possession wise, you can say we were comfortable with the ball. We didn’t have to cheat and run against the ball, we had the ball. So it’s a tough one to take.

On what happened on the first goal

I think the goalie was calling out. He probably thought the goal was coming to the side… headed the ball to the side. But you know, it’s just silly little mistakes that we do to give that at the time, they really hadn’t created anything. And they go 1 up. I think it was what, 15 minutes in or 20 minutes in. So you know, but we kept on pushing, 1-0 is not out, and I think, second half we came out probably with one of our better second halves. Usually we come out flat. We came out and we pushed. We were unlucky at certain points to not get that final pass or that final push to tie it up.

On making one mistake and it becoming a costly mistake

You can say it’s a mystery, but we’ve done it quite a few times and I think we haven’t learned that in a certain few areas of the field, we can’t afford these little mishaps. We have to be very cynical, especially in our goal front, to be able to not think and clear the ball away. It’s better to clear away than create goals. But we’ve done it all season. Force of habit I guess. But I don’t know what to say.

Justin Mapp

On the game

Yeah it seems like nothing can fall our way. I thought from 90 minutes, it was one of our better games this year. Possession. They weren’t very threatening. Two kind of mistakes hurt us and we walk away with no point. I thought we were the better team, but obviously at the end of the day, no three points and that’s all that matters. So, again, very frustrating, but proud of the guys’ effort tonight.

On scoring chances not materializing into goals

Obviously, we’d like to score more goals but, you know, each player just has to try to play their game. You know, if we’re not creating chances then we’re worried. Hopefully before the season runs out, we’ll score some more goals and put a little less pressure on the defense. So you know, but we created some stuff. And Max scored a great goal. So, if we weren’t creating more chances, I’d be a bit more worried, but we just have to start putting them away better.

Troy Perkins

On what happened on the first goal

Just one of those things. For me, full back was coming to get it and he could have left it, but he made his mind up to — he didn’t feel safe with it. In a way you can say it’s miscommunication, but it’s just a mistake. That’s all it is.

On playing well but not getting a point

I mean you can look at numbers and say we dominated possession and did all that. It’s great, but Barcelona has possession a lot of times in Champions League and Chelsea goes in there, at Barcelona, and beats them 1-0. It’s doesn’t matter. Possession doesn’t count if you can finish your goals and can’t defend. So we have to do the little things better. Numbers shouldn’t matter. Possession shouldn’t matter. We just got to be tougher and that’s it.

On the young guys that came into the game

They’re progressing more, they’re maturing, they’re learning. I said all along Tissot is a left mid, every time he’s played there, he scores a goal for us. And I think he found a spot. Duka played a great game for us, he’s tough, he’s strong, he’s starting to learn the game. And Jackson, you know, he’s had flashes of greatness. He holds the ball up well. The more and more he plays, the better he’s going to get.

Jack McInerney

On coming back to PPL Park

It was exciting and meant a lot. Got to see some old faces and friends. So, coming here, at the end of the day, we were trying to get three points, but it’s good just to be back and be in a place where, you know, I spent five years, so it’s exciting.

On his friendships with players on the Union

Like I said, I spent five years with some of them. I still talk to some of them every day. And I still want them to do well and perform good, so it’s something that you can’t take for granted because you come here once. So it’s a special moment.


  1. A+ to Curtin on the Hextall reference…he’s not originally from Philly is he?

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