Postgame quotes: RSL 3-3 Union

Philadelphia Union Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Jim Curtin

On how his team handled the match

Yeah, my team, I thought, played excellent. We scored three goals on the road. Unfortunately, there’s decisions that get made in the game that didn’t go our way, let’s just say. I don’t think that we get a lot of respect. Last week I got a call from Peter Walton at PRO and they told me that they missed the penalty kick and the referee wound up being suspended, and I think it might be a similar situation again. It’s difficult, but at the same time, I have a bunch of men on my team that fought hard and deserved three points tonight and they got let down at the end of the game.

On the penalty kick given

On the free kick, at midfield we’re trying to sub in Conor Casey. [The officials] wouldn’t acknowledge that. So, [RSL] take the free kick, it gets whipped into the box, and Mulholland dribbles. There’s four of our guys around him. No one touches him, and he goes down. The ref gives a PK. That’s what happened.

On Fernando Aristeguieta’s performance

Yeah, he was excellent. He’s a guy who takes his chances well, as you saw. He worked his butt off for the team and scored two goals for us, which we’re very happy with. Again, my guys deserved three points tonight.

On defensive issues in the first half

This is the hardest place to come in the league; one team beat them here last year, it’s the toughest place in the league to come. I thought we actually held up well. In the first ten minutes, especially, we had three chances to score a goal; we didn’t. We stuck to the task after we gave up a goal on a good free kick from Morales. But, again, the lead up to that goal, is Sheanon Williams guilty of a foul? I’m not so sure, we’ll have to look at the tape. From there we fight back to get two goals and, again, create enough chances to get three points tonight. It’s difficult for my guys in there right now.

On dealing with RSL’s tactical adjustments

There’s going to be issues when you’re winning on the road in Salt Lake, they’re going to come at you, and they’re going to come at you in waves. They’re a very good team; again, the toughest place in the league to play, they lost one time here last year, and I think they should have lost tonight.

Fernando Aristeguieta

On scoring his first MLS goals

It’s very good. It takes a little bit of the pressure off, the first goals are the most difficult. The best thing is that we had a good game. I think we deserved a win, the first three points, and we almost got it.

On finding his goal scoring form again

Of course it’s important for me to get confidence again. I passed a difficult year in 2014 and now I’m trying to get confidence, trying to be happy again playing football, and this is a first good step. Since I arrived here my teammates have done a very good job with me, and for the adaptation they have treated me very good. Today just made me feel happy, you know, because I start scoring; it was a good time.

On adapting to MLS

It’s going to be, it’s going to be a long way. It’s difficult to play here, it’s a lot of contact and the referees let the game continue, you know? That, you got to get used to it; some things that maybe in Europe are fouls, here are not. But, now, the adaptation I think has been good.

Has Vincent Nogueira helped in terms of adapting to MLS?

Yeah, of course. All of the guys and Vincent. I have been a lot of time with him in knowing a little bit the city, and getting from one place to another.

Zach Pfeffer

On getting more playing time with the Union

It’s a great feeling. I’m very happy with being involved this early on in the year. I know in past seasons seasons I hadn’t really broken into the team until midway through, so it’s nice to receive the confidence and trust from the coaching staff.

On being shifted off to the left instead of playing centrally

Any position I get on the field I’ll take it, that’s fine with me. I can play anywhere across the midfield, out wide, in the middle — it’s really not important to me. Wherever the coach sees me fit to help the team, that’s where I’ll play. I feel comfortable inside as well as outside, so whenever I get a chance to step on the field, just try to help the team any way possible.

On the team scoring three goals at RSL after last week’s scoreless draw

Anytime you score three goals it’s a great feeling. I think in training this past week we were very sharp, and I think that showed in the game: we were sharp on the ball in training, and finishing, we did very well. So, it’s great; especially on the road, it’s such a good confidence builder. I think we’re going to take into next week at home, and just try to keep it going.

Real Salt Lake Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On Olave’s play and return to Rio Tinto Stadium

I think he was solid. He was aggressive. I think our shape in the back at times wasn’t particularly good  as we were going forward. Some weird choices by everyone on the whole field, but it was great to have him back, and I thought he did a good job.

On if the bye week will help him address the “weird choices”

Obviously [the bye will help], but I think a good video session will help a lot too. When you can really show, for myself as well, but for the players, when you just talk about “why did you make this choice?” “what were you thinking in this play?”. Usually, when you open up the lines of communication and talk and look at things, things get resolved.

On if the penalty kick was deserved

Luke just showed me a big mark on his shin. Without a doubt [it was a PK]; he told me it was.

On if he was relieved to get a draw out of such an odd game as this

I wouldn’t say relieved. At the end of the day, the score was probably the right score. We did enough to win. Obviously, when you score 3 goals at home you typically are going to walk away with a victory. But we did enough to lose the game as well. I thought our team showed a lot of resiliency in fighting back and sticking together and staying aggressive, but there’re things we need to work on. I just told the guys after the game that if we thought this was the finished product, we’re fooling ourselves. We are going to continually get better; we’re going to learn how to be aggressive and defensive at the same. You’ve seen two different games from us and that’s pretty much the sign of a team that’s doing new things, right? The more that we get better, on both sides of the ball, and even better with our passing as well – I thought it was just a little bit off tonight at times – we’re going to be a very, very good team heading down the stretch, that’s for sure.

On if tonight was an example of how the team can get a bit stretched defensively in the new formation

Yeah. We definitely got caught. I’d say their goals – the first one Demar [Phillips] kind of takes a tough negatively, gets it stolen, which is really odd. Then it’s a quick throw-in, then it’s a deflection. So there’re three really odd goals that I would think aren’t going to happen too often, but we need to sure that up. Even our choices sometimes passing in the midfield, if you miss the ball – if you miss the pass by a little bit, it can lead them off into a counter. On another night, I think we make those passes and then we’re still getting at them, but we have to be really mindful of if we lose the ball, what shape we are in.

On if he thought the team was dangerous on set pieces

I thought we were really dangerous on set plays all tonight. Their goalkeeper came for a few balls, did really well. Javier’s [Morales] service was fantastic, and I felt like the runs that we made in the box were good. It’s the beginning of the year – we need to get better in every area. It’s definitely an area where we want to get better and better, but we scored on a free kick today, dangerous on others, so I’m pleased with our set plays.

On what Luke Mulholland brought into the game

I thought Javier [Morales] and Luis [Gil] did a lot of good things. I just wanted to bring fresh legs. I mentioned to Luke, before he went on, that those midfield runs in behind are almost unstoppable if the timing is right. He made a great run, I can’t remember who played him the ball, fantastic run and when you’re putting pressure on team in their 18-yard box, you either follow him, or you let him go.

On how this formation utilizes Morales’ strengths

He can kind of drift around and find the game, and you still have somebody else in that area defensively to help out as well. He’s able to get on the ball more. That’s why we tried to change formation – to suit some people’s strengths. I felt like you saw Olmes [Garcia] tonight, you saw [Alvaro] Sabo[rio] in that target forward and Olmes making great runs and Sebastian [Jamie] making great runs and our outside backs getting forward. There were flashes of what we’re capable of, now it’s doing it for longer stretches and making sure we are just a little bit better with the ball.

On Demar Phillips’ debut

He’s coming off of a hamstring injury. I thought he got forward at the right times and did a lot of good things. I thought it probably wasn’t his best night on the ball, but typically he’s very good the ball and makes great decisions. I thought it was overall a good night, not a great night, but positive.

Luke Mulholland

Thoughts on the penalty kick

Was it a penalty? In my book, no. Tony slipped me in, and I took a touch inside of the box; chopped it inside. Defender caught me with his stray leg on my shin and knocked me off balance. Then I just tried to regain the ball again. Then I thought we won a corner, but then the referee gave us a penalty, so I’ll take that. Philadelphia is going to feel it hard, I hope they know that I didn’t take a dive. I got the bruise on my shin to show it, but sometimes luck goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t.  I definitely think it was fortunate to get the penalty. The referee has got a hard decision to make there, because the defender has knocked me off balance, but stopping a goal scoring opportunity I don’t think so.

Thoughts on the game overall

Feeling was a wacky weird game.  Home openers aren’t meant to go that way. They’re meant to be an easy 3-0 win, so it’s a shame we didn’t get that for the fans to start the year off with a bang, but another way to look at it is we’re still undefeated, and with the formation we’re only going to get better. We got players in this squad. In good time, we’ll get good.

Thoughts on coming off the bench after starting several games last year

I think the new formation is coming along. Obviously it puts me back to square one in regards to last season trying to get on the field, but I knew that coming here a year ago that it wasnt going to be easy for a starting spot on this team. It’s fine with me. I’m ok with it… It’s going to be a long season and I’m going to get plenty of chances, same with the rest of the guys on the squad. I can’t get upset about that. Long season, new formation, a lot of quality on the team and I’m pretty sure that eventually the wins will start coming, so not pressing any alarm buttons just yet.

Javier Morales

Thoughts on the game and the defensive approach

This game was different. I think we played good. We made a couple mistakes and they scored 3 goals. I think we have to be more focused on the game, with on the details.  Sometimes make the difference, especially in those kind of games where you attack all the time, so you have to be ready to defend those second balls. Especially throw ins and deflecting. It’s pretty tough, but in a good way.

Thoughts on his free kick goal

It was too close to go over the wall, and I have great confidence to shoot it to through the goal keeper, so it was pretty good.

Thoughts on adjusting to the new formation

If you see the game against Portland, then you say that we played pretty good defensively. We focused maybe a little bit more on defensively, and today everyone wants to attack, but we can play like that. We have to be smart and try to go both ways. Attack and defend. And when we get that balance, I think we will be a good team, but right now we have to keep working.”

Thoughts on yelling at guys to defend

I remember that play, because everyone was looking forward and l’m looking behind me and nobody was there, so we have a lot of people to go forward, but we need people to defend, and in that situation, I was yelling. I don’t remember to who, but somebody to get there.

Thoughts on the bye-week

We have time, especially now we had two games and now we have two week until next game, so it’s going to be good for us to keep working and get everyone onto the same page and I’m looking forward.


  1. Kudos to Mulholland for being a straight shooter. Seldom seen quality related to penalty calls.

    • And anti-kudos to Cassar for “Luke just showed me a big mark on his shin. Without a doubt [it was a PK]; he told me it was.” What a classless joke of a HC he is.

    • Luke felt the presence of edu’s arm and yes took a dive. He should have been shown a yellow card and a free kick coming out. Unfortunately the referees made the absolute wrong call and took the game away from the union. The only reason Luke had a bruised shin was from hitting the ground too hard haha. Luke and his coach are both jokes. No kudos for either of them. someone let me know when Curtin really turns our defense around. I think when the Union aqcuired the offense they needed Curtin forgot about the defensive struggles……

  2. old soccer coach says:

    Has the distinction between adjectives and adverbs disappeared entirely from modern American verbal speech? “Played excellent.” Really? “Excellently,” for pity’s sake. A college graduate no less. OK, end of the old fart’s grammatical rant.

  3. I saw my first football match in 1964 at Fratton Park,Iv’e seen matches home and away in all 4 divisions of the old football league, and I never ranted about ref’s until now.
    The quality of officiating in the last two weeks has been a sham, if last weeks ref got suspended for a game, last nights should be out for a month.

  4. His shin? What dies his shin have to do with anything? He went to ground when he felt a hand on his shoulder. It was a stupid foul to give, but it had nothing to do with his shin.

  5. Hi, I’m MLS, and I have a referee problem.

    Phantom PK in Union match, questionable (and by questionable I mean not) red card in Columbus/TFC, and half the FCD team being offside on a free kick where Perez scored v. SKC, that’s 3 matches in one night where the outcome was directly impacted by the officials. When the best comeback to complaints is ‘these things even out over the season’ that is a poor argument.

    And next week Blas Perez comes to town. What fun.

  6. Head Coach Jeff Cassar: “Luke just showed me a big mark on his shin. Without a doubt [it was a PK]; he told me it was.”
    Luke Mulholland: “Was it a penalty? In my book, no.”
    Well, this is awkward….

  7. Jimmy, I feel bad for you guys……and I know it must suck to have to bite your tongue about the ref… not get in trouble. I feel you bro! But, honestly, do you really think Sheanon didn’t foul the guy on the first goal? Dude, he jumped right into his back with absolutely no control of his body… was a foul. These fouls happen because your wing backs get caught a lot……..I mean a lot. The second goal Gaddis fouled the guy because he got caught too…….

  8. Bschmidt10 says:

    the play was simple to figure out what happened, and the whole bruised shin cracks me up.

    Mulhollamd and edu were bodying for the ball and the ball got away from mulholland a little and when he saw Lahoud coming across he started to slide for the ball and Lahoud caught him in the shin because of him sliding. The foul for going down had nothing to do with the shin bruise. They are trying to act like he got tripped

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