US Open Cup Final postgame video and quote sheet: Union 1-3 Sounders

Photo and Video: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Postgame interviews with Andrew Wenger and Zac MacMath

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Jim Curtin

Opening Statement

I’ve never been proud anything in my life that ended in a loss before. This is the first time.

I thought our guys put a ton into it, very good first half. Maybe had a chance or two to get up a second goal. Started the second half poorly. They get the early goal, we were on our heels a little bit. Then, the momentum swung back to us maybe in the 70th minute. I thought we had them on the ropes a little bit, they had a couple of guys go down with little different  injuries. Had the two chances at the end to win it, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.Obviously, Clint and Martins will pull of a play and eventually they did.

Seattle is a great team. Seattle is the best team in our league. I thought we went toe-to-toe with them. We could’ve stole a win there but, you know, I was proud of our group. The fan support was unbelievable. To have a packed house, that was the loudest I heard it in this stadium — created a great environment for our guys. Apologies for letting them down; I’ll take that blame.

We deserve a trophy; we came up a bit short this time. Our guys will remember that feeling though of how close we were. They’re crushed, obviously. It’s difficult but, again, I’ve never been a guy who gets proud of a loss. I’m the most competitive guy in the room. But, from the other side, as a coach, for the first time to go through something like this, I at least understand what coaches say now when they say that they’re proud of their team after a loss because to a man, every guy left it on the field. That was a man’s game tonight. You look at the tackles straight from the start, it looked like guys weren’t going to get up from them. Good hard, clean tackles soccer and two teams going at it. Good soccer, moments of maybe not so good soccer, but still, just a grind. At the end of the day Seattle, to their credit, pulled off more plays than us.

Extra time with one sub

I thought the group that was on the field was doing okay at that point of the game. We were getting chances, creating things. Amobi was one that was the hardest decision for me going into this game. He’s been great for us. He is a  defensive guy, though, more defensive. Towards the end of the game it wasn’t a moment where we could maybe get him on the field. Fresh legs, yes maybe, but at that point with Maidana and Nogueira going pretty well and flying, we didn’t want to tweak with that. Again, you can second guess it but I thought that the group that was on the field was very good tonight. Amobi is a guy I am very high on and he knows that, and we had a hard, tough conversation. He’s a guy that is in good form but at the end of the day we went with Mo, Vincent, and Chaco and that’s a tough group to crack into at the moment.

Were you surprised Seattle did not start Martins?

Not really. You could tell — Sigi even in the press conference when he talked about a couple changes. ANd you know he’s won this competition, he’s been through these battles, he has a very deep team too, a deep roster. Andy Rose is a kid who hasn’t started a ton for them this year and he was unbelievable tonight, he covered a ton of ground. He’s been a guy in their Cup run that’s been excellent for them. Sigi’s been around the block, he showed faith in the group that kind of got them there. To bring Obafemi Martins and Pappa off the bench, it’s a nice luxury. Those guys made a difference when they came in.

What was the difference in tonight’s game?

Finals are , they’re always one-play games. Is it a block in front of goal — they had a couple of big blocks to bail their team out. I thought we had a couple of good chances. You think of the Pedro chance at the end, Ribeiro has a good look, and then when Vincent breaks into the clear, it goes off the post. These are little breaks in the game. I wouldn’t say one team was better than the other tonight, I thought it was an even game and somebodies got to lose, unfortunately.

On Clint Dempsey

There’s always these little plays in games. Clint, he would tell you, I should’ve scored that goal in the 5th or 6th minute. Then it’s a whole different game and we’re chasing, we have to open up, then you’re talking about a completely different game. Clint’s special. He’s been through these games. He knows how to —  I don’t want to say pace himself — he knows what he’s doing. His ability to get in the box late, and his ability to hold up the ball, is the best in our country. It’s no secret that he’s a winner. He’s been through these battles and credit to him. He’s not one of the guys I liked covering back in New England days when I had to chase him around. Again, their team is — they’re stacked, they’re a handful. Attack wise, defending wise, I thought they were very good on the night.

Going forward in the first half

With Vincent and Maidana in there, they’re two guys that are comfortable on the ball. They can play 60 yard balls, they can play the 5 yard balls with each other and break a team down. They’re a handful. They created a lot for us. Maurice was great too, broke up a ton of plays, covered a ton of ground — he’s gassed right now, put a lot into it.

My guys are crushed. We respected them , we didn’t fear them. We knew we could counter attack and get at them when they would push forward because they do throw numbers forward and they’re aggressive at it. Yedlin likes to bomb forward. Andrew had a couple of good chances getting in behind him, showed he can actually run with a Yedlin who — actually that brings up when Maidana breaks into the open field and Yedlin runs him down from about 20 yards behind.

It’s tough, this is hard, man. This is tough. This is my first time as a coach losing one of these things and its brutal. But, at the same time, I couldn’t be prouder of our guys.

What did you say to the team after the game

I just told them to do the right thing and stay out here. I didn’t want to be one of those teams that just does the old get your medal and leave or, even worse, leave before you get your medal. Just to be respectful of  the fact that it was a good game — Seattle is the champion —  and to do things the right way. They all probably would’ve done it anyway because they’re bought in, but that’s the way it went.

How do you make sure the team moves on from this and maintains focus on reaching the playoffs?

It’s a good point. It’s a tough one; I’m not going to sit here and say they’re not devastated right now, but we have Houston on Saturday. The good thing about our group is we’ve played, since I’ve taken over, what feels like playoff games — every game’s been a playoff game, we have no margin for error: We can’t lose, we can’t drop points, so, they all feel big. It’s kind of funny, everyone comes up to me after every game, “Oh, the next one’s a big one,” and it’s like, they’re all big ones, you know what I mean?

So, there’s no margin for error in the Eastern Conference. The test tonight though, I respect every team in the Eastern Conference but that team is different. That was, and our guys know too, that was a real game, that was a man’s game, that was end-to-end and we went toe-to-toe with them but, like I said, someone has to lose. They’re a special group.

Sebastien Le Toux

On what he thought the ultimate difference was tonight

Maybe a few too many mental errors. We kind of pushed the ball forward toward the end, but unfortunately we didn’t score. And we didn’t play well in extra time and that’s the difference. Congratulations to them. But it’s very disappointing for us.

On if Seattle’s experience, specifically Brad Evans and Zach Scott, played a role

Yeah, maybe. I don’t know, you have to ask them. They already won this competition away at D.C. and won twice at home. They know what it takes to win finals and maybe they used that experience to win tonight, but it’s just very disappointing. Right now, we have to move on. But it’s hard, especially when you lose like that when you are so close to winning a game. We have to move on.

On what went through his mind when he saw Nogueira’s shot hit the post

I mean I was all ready to celebrate. I really thought it was going in and it ends up hitting the post. We had so many opportunities. There was a good save by the goalkeeper. I don’t know, nothing really went our way tonight, especially in the second half. That’s what it takes if you want to win the final. We didn’t get it tonight.

On what it will take to get the team back up for Saturday

We have to move on. We have the day off tomorrow so it will be up to us to kind up pick our heads up and be ready to come back on Wednesday ready for Houston because we’re in a playoff race and we want to be in the playoffs. It’s an objective for this team and we are six games away from that. And we have to win at home and it’s a home game. So we have to get our bodies fixed and make sure we are ready to play.

Sheanon Williams

On Seattle’s depth to be able to bring Martins off the bench

I mean every team brings on substitutes and we have to be able to deal with it accordingly. And we didn’t do that.

On whether he’ll be happy about this performance

Probably not. Nobody’s going to remember who was the finalist. They’re only going to remember Seattle won. I’m extremely proud of the group. I’m extremely proud of the guys but I think I’m just going to toss this one away and remember the feeling and not let it happen again.

On being in the thick of a playoff race and moving forward

Forget about it. It’s two different competitions and nothing we can do about this anymore. It’s over with and we have to move on.

Seattle Sounders postgame quotes

Brad Evans

On being able to bring a guy like Obafemi Martins off the bench

I think its credit to what we did in the offseason. To be able to bring in guys like Chad Barrett and Kenny Cooper, and to bring him and Pappa on, it’s big pieces to the puzzle. Tonight we were fortunate to bring Oba off the bench and being able to wear a team down. When he plays with Clint it provides something that I don’t think any other team has other than maybe when Donovan and Keane are playing at their best — maybe then. Otherwise, probably the best combo in MLS.

On whether or not Clint’s 10-year career without a domestic championship came up

No. No I don’t think so. Clint’s been a team-first guy since Day One. That’s what everybody loves about him. You tell him to do something on the field, and he does it. He puts his head down and works through the overtime and I can’t say enough about that guy. He’s fun to learn from. He’s a leader.

On momentum switching in the second half

I think we pushed forward and obviously we got that goal right after halftime. I think any team when you’re up 1-0 going into half, at home, you come out in the first five minutes and just try to play it tight. For the away team to come in and score, it’s going to give us a boost going into the latter part of the second half. Guys gave it their all tonight. I can’t say enough about this team.

On lifting a trophy for the first time as a captain

Phenomenal. It’s not something I ever thought about. I just try to show it on the field more than in the locker room. I’m not super vocal in the locker room, but on the field, I try to get guys going by leading by example with work rate. Like I said, though, the band could be on anybody’s arm and they’ll wear it with pride.

On first team winning the Supporters Shield, MLS Cup and US Open Cup

I think we’ll enjoy this victory and the reality is we’re in a great position to move forward. We were in the position last year, though. We had New York at home and we ended up tying. And then we picked up two points in eight games or something like that. So we learn from our mistakes and it will be another good test Saturday. I think we were a little bit lucky this game was Tuesday, especially with the overtime. The opportunity is there and now it’s up to us to push forward.

On if the Union pushed them to another level

We’ve always talked about this year about beating good teams and we still got to do that against L.A. and we still got to do that against a couple of team. And RSL was one of those teams. When they’re at their best, they’re one of the best teams in the league. To get a result like that against them at home, in that fashion, pushes us mentally more than anything. But yeah, pushed to the limits tonight against a good team — they’re probably one of the hottest teams in the East right now with them and New England. So a very good team, technical, very athletic team and to come out here and get a result in overtime says a lot about our guys.

Gonzalo Pineda

On how he felt when the final whistle blew

I’m just very happy. Very grateful to the Sounders for giving me this opportunity to be here to be champions once more. I’m very, very happy.

On going to CONCACAF Champions League with an MLS team

It’s great to give me the opportunity — maybe — to play against a Mexican team. It’s great for me. That will be an amazing tournament to play in and I hope I can be there.

On the Martins and Dempsey partnership

I think they are great players. And when you put together two great players, they can do that. It is amazing to watch, even when you’re in the field. I’m also very grateful for the opportunity to play with them because I’m a huge fan of them. They are amazing. It’s a good thing to have them.

On what was going through his mind over the last few minutes in regulation

In Mexico, we say the champions have that kind of luck. Probably, we have that champions luck. I think that’s part of what happened. No matter what happened, you need to get the trophy and that’s what we did. I hope this can be the first of three trophies we get this year and that would be amazing.

On keeping balance going forward

I mean this is great because motivation will be there for the next couple of games. I think that 2-3 more weeks, we can be there for the Supporter’s Shield and then we can make it through to the playoffs. So this is very important for us today. We can be loose knowing we can do that again. It’s great winning today and hopefully can win the next two trophies for the team.


  1. Still have an angry lump in my throat. I’m proud of our team, they deserved a better result. It’s a shame that it always seems that this league is set up to have the breaks fall for the elitist posers. Props to a skilled but very lucky Sounders team. The breaks fell their way against a more deserving championship caliber team. I LOVE THE UNION. Hoping they turn this league upside down by doing it all in the playoffs.

  2. There is a glaring question that was not asked of the manager. I am bummed. Waited all morning to hear his comments about why 14 didn’t start- small comment about an extra time sub is all.

  3. old soccer coach says:

    There’s a strong hint from Curtin in his comment about Okugo being more of a defensive player. The thing I thought when I saw it is that he wanted his very, very best most experienced to protect the critical space in front of the center backs where both Dempsey and Martins play so well. The other relevant Curtin quote is the one about a final coming down to one crucial play. Okugo has made some mistakes this season in crunch time.

  4. My emotional feelings aside. As I’ve said before,l like JC and can see him as a head coach. Just not at this time. When he learns to be a coach and not play at being one, he’ll be a damn good one. There are times while playing coach he sets the team and himself up to fail. Not starting Edu at CB and Okugo at DM was just poor decision making just to be contrary because it was the expected competent thing to do. Edu and Okugo gives you that extra advantage that other teams don’t have. It allows Edu to still do somethings he does offensively because Okugo can also drop back. White, while serviceable, does not. That is the annoying thing about JC playing at coaching. Just because it’s obvious and makes sense does not mean you don’t do it. Pulling Wenger when it wasn’t necessary to play Cruz was another. Why make it hard on yourself and the team because you decide to play coach rather than coach? This may prove to be a costly learning curve. Please sort it out so we can get to the playoffs. ⚽

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