Postgame quotes: DC 2-1 Union

Note: The quotes from Jim Curtin, Maurice Edu, and Sebastien Le Toux have been transcribed from audio provided by Philadelphia Union. The quotes from DC United were provided already transcribed by DC United.

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Jim Curtin

Thoughts on the game

Obviously, they’re the top team in the East. I thought in the first half we came out very strong. Had a chance to get up 2-0 with Andrew’s look at goal, had another head ball opportunity to get up 2-0, and if you let a team like DC hang around, they’ll take advantage. To give up the goal before the half was difficult but, at the same time, my message at halftime was we played very well, we played a good half. I was happy with the group. A little unfortunate on the handball there — you’ve seen that let go, especially at that moment in a game. It’s not intentional, but you understand that could be called.

I was most disappointed, if you’re going to talk about decisions, I thought we could have had a red card in our favor with Seba when he gets taken down on the breakaway, and then the one that Chris Rolfe [kicks out at Vincent Noguiera]. I’ve gotten a million texts already saying that they’re going to look at that and that’ll probably be a suspension for him. So, difficult that he’s the one that winds up scoring the game-winning goal, but this is soccer. A little unfortunate but, at the same time, a lot to be proud of with our guys’ fight and our guys’ effort.

On the team’s strong start in the first half

We talked all week about our high pressure in our attacking half. : When we turn the ball over, in the first five seconds, can we win it back close to goal? We did a good job of that, we created a lot of chances. Unfortunate on the the day a couple of breaks didn’t go our way but we’ve no time to feel sorry for ourselves because we’ve got to get ready for Columbus. Guys are confident right now, you can tell this team is much different than previous weeks: there’s a lot of fight, they’re creating a lot of chances, and there’s positives to build on.

On the defensive effort

I thought defensively we were very good, but it shows the fine line: If you fall asleep for one second on a good team like we did before the end of the half…Kemp gets a free service — I guess they committed four guys in the box to our three and they make a good play. But that’s the result of us kind of, you know, for 45 minutes we were good and everyone was doing their job and for a split second period — a split second — we fall asleep and it ends up in a goal.

Maurice Edu

On the overall defensive effort

I think the last three games we’ve defended well as a group. Collectively we did a good job of closing down, shifting and moving together, and not giving too many chances. In the first half [DC’s goal] might have been the only shot on goal, and that’s a credit to the whole group putting in their shift, putting in the effort, and working their asses off. Second half the game was a little more open, a little bit more open, a few more chances on either end. The penalty, it’s a difficult one to take, especially at that time in the game. We thought we they maybe should’ve had a red card on the play with Seba, so…it’s one of those games where you put in the effort and come up a little bit short. All we can do now, we have a quick turnaround game on Wednesday against Columbus at home, so now it’s just about making sure we’re doing the proper things to recover and getting ready for that game.

On the team’s early dominance in the first half

The past couple of games we were rewarded for our hard work. Despite the way the results went the first earlier part of the season we kept our heads up, worked hard in training, and were rewarded the last couple of games. We came out this game confident, believing in ourselves, believing in our ability, and wanted to pressure, to put them on the back foot, and we did that, the whole group pressured as a unit where we created that first goal. And we could’ve had a second, and maybe a third, in the first half.

I think it’s just about taking the positives from this game. We showed we that we can create chances, we are a team that can go and press the game. Now it’s just about going back home and doing that against Columbus.

On getting past the loss and focusing on an important week with home games against Columbus and NYCFC

There’s no time to dwell on it, you know? All we can do is, like I said, take the positives from this game and learn from mistakes. But, there were a lot of positives. Like I said, we created quite a few good chances in the first half and on another day maybe it’s 3, 4-1 going into halftime. Again, it’s a quick turnaround, there’s not time to dwell on these games, just pick our heads up and get ready for a home game. We know we’re going to have a good crowd, it’s up to us to go out there and bring the energy, bring the work rate once again.

How does this loss affect the team’s momentum?

I don’t think it deters at all. Like I said, we still felt like we played well in this game and there were a lot of good moments, a lot of positives to take from this game. So, now, it’s just about going back home and really reestablishing ourselves, setting the tone again from early on, and putting together a complete 90 minutes. We came up a little bit short today but heads are held high. Go back home and get a win against Columbus.

Sebastien Le Toux

On getting his first goal of the season

We definitely started the game very well, we can be up probably 2 or 3-0 at the half. We came out with a lot of energy, but we didn’t get as rewarded as we wanted to. For myself, it’s nice to get my first goal this year but I would have preferred a win with the goal. Now we have to move on and focus on the home game.

On the offensive effort

I think we did everything we had to with the attack. At the end of the half legs were a bit tired and DC were pushing a bit more. The goal right before the half kind of put us angry at ourselves because we would have liked to be up at the half 1-0. But, it was a good reaction, I think we played OK in the second half. I think we have to wait for the video, but for me it’s a red card, the foul on me in the second half. The referee just give a yellow. I don’t know, it’s always have to be nice with the home team and don’t help the visiting team but it was a tough call. With the PK, it’s definitely I think a handball, not purposely, but it’s a handball, so they get a PK. They think they should have a reward, same as the red card against DC, [the ref didn’t give it for us]. It’s just frustrating. They get some help here and there from the ref. [The ref] didn’t, I think, help the game this way [for us]. I think we give everything we had but unfortunately DC got the win. But, we played a good game, especially in the first half.

On Maidana and Nogueira being healthy and in the lineup

They are two good players, they play well, it’s great to have them healthy for the first time since the beginning of the year and playing together. They help us so much in the building of our offense. We can do better but you can see now we have a lot of good starts and good play. Unfortunately today Andrew hit the crossbar, I finished mine, and we had some other [things elsewhere that?] we did well. So it’s good to have them since they help us so much with the building of our play.

DC United postgame quotes

Ben Olsen

Overall thoughts on the game

Dave Kasper called it a gut check and I think that’s about right. It was a poor start for us and a very good start for them. They were hungry and physical, and we weren’t good enough with the ball to deal with their pressure. It cost us a goal, and then we woke up. We were able to get out of it tonight, but against some teams you’re not going to be able to get out of it. They’re a different team, a changed team that’s playing with hunger and a fire about them. It’s a tough team to play against, and I’m really happy that we were able to dig in and find a way to win after a poor start.

On giving up early goals in back-to-back games and if it’s a worry for down the road

Yeah, absolutely it’s concerning. You have to think about this game all week, or however many days you have after your last game. You have to switch on, and you have to prepare for these games. That starts at the whistle, and that means you’re bringing everything you got. I thought they did that, and we didn’t. But to the guys’ credit, that wasn’t an easy game. It was physical, and we found a way, like these guys usually do.

On the foul when Maurice Edu seemed to grab Davy Arnaud’s arm in the first half

I haven’t seen a replay of that yet, but it looked like something from the bench.

On the handball called in the second half that led to the penalty kick

I didn’t see that either. The linesman seemed pretty sure about it, and give him credit for making a bold call. Overall, it’s a big three points. It’s been a long week. No matter if you keep guys home and they are training on their own with the Under-23 team, or its guys who have been traveling, it’s a long week when you add it all up. To dig in and find a way to win says a lot about these guys.

On Taylor Kemp passing some open opportunities in the firs half to cross the ball

He wasn’t as aggressive as we wanted him to be from the onset. Sebastian Le Toux was always able to get goal side of him, and he needed to force the issue a little more, especially after the goal. They were sitting back and he needed to be more aggressive. We told him that at half time and I thought that part got better. He pulled up a little bit lame and [Chris] Korb came on and did a good job. I thought the subs all did great. [Miguel] Aguilar came in and put on a mature performance and Jairo [Arrieta] brought that fire that he usually does.

On if there is a concern about Taylor’s injury

Yeah. Look, you can only ask these guys to do so much. You play a game, then fly them to Portland and fly them back and ask them to play a heavy game like this; some guys are going to go down.

On the team falling behind and coming back to win and what he can contribute that to

Bad starts (laughs). That’s part of it right? But there’s a lot of courage in that group. They aren’t shy of challenges and they will more times than not rise to the occasion. But, we would like to not have to come from behind, in particular at home. We would like to really put our stamp on the game from the opening whistle.

Chris Pontius

On the thoughts on the game

I thought we had a decent amount of possession and it was tough to break them down. We got the goal back at the end of the half and the second half was wide open, and it could have gone either way, and fortunately it fell our way.

On Taylor Kemp’s assist

Yeah, Taylor has one of the best left foots in the league so any time he gets time to serve we look to whip balls in, and thank God it came before half and we had time to regroup.

On what scoring before half does going in to the second half

It’s huge. Coming in here down 1-0 is different than 1-1, especially mentally for us and how we were playing at that moment. It was big for us.

On giving up early goals but being able to come back and win a game

These past two games we have started slow, Portland and now against Philadelphia, and you don’t want to have to be clawing your way in to games. We managed to do it tonight and it wasn’t the prettiest game. I think our best soccer is still to come. We haven’t been clean in a lot of areas of our game and I think it’s slowly coming along. As a team we know we can do a lot better.

Steve Birnbaum

On the start before eventually earning the victory

You know we started off pretty slow. First half wasn’t really what we wanted, You know we wanted to come out on a strong foot and kind of put them under pressure and it was kind of the opposite. We had a lot of possession. It was hot out there and we wanted to make them defend for most of the game. We ended up getting the win so the results were what we wanted and that’s what we got.

On returning after a long layoff

The first half of the Portland game, I thought I was a little rusty. And then I kind of started figuring it out early in the second half that. I’m feeling like I’m basically there. I’m just excited to be out there.


  1. el pachyderm says:

    There is no question this team banded together in the last few weeks. We are in this together.
    As noted in previous posts: were there areas in yesterday’s game that need improvement? You bet. This is still a mid-level team looking to punch above its weight. The counter attack was not quite the proficient fast strike unit as in weeks past, they got jobbed yet again by shoddy officiating. Beyond all that though, there was a sensible feeling of group belief.
    Belief matters. It matters more than any other aspect of sport and this beautiful game.
    Envisioning a positive outcome, when you have pull hooked a tee ball into the corn field on the same hole four times in a row is not easy. But if you can just pick your target again- believe and trust in yourself long enough to get out of your own way for an instant- knowing you have been dead solid perfect before- that one center cut tee ball turns the daunting hole doable again.
    The manager is right, this team was different last night. They banded together the way the last 11 Cheerios band together in a bowl of milk.
    It was nice to see them on the ball, clean, crisp and incisive with their passing and movement, not content to turn the ball over and ‘turtle’ up and withstand- there were multiple passing sequences that became almost hyponotic in the first half and I was able to breath- to get lost in the movement. I live for getting lost in the movement of unscripted like mindedness.
    Last night this team showed backbone and I believe last night was a turning point in this season.
    Truth be told, this team is going to need to play well to even finish mid table, let alone near the top. They felt like a football club and that matters.
    And if the great Lionel Messi cares about ‘playing the way I feel’ then I too can say, I feel this team played the way they feel and it is obvious, they feel better about themselves.
    Here’s hoping- cause I just can’t have it any other way.

    • ScottyMac says:

      They’re a lower level side looking to punch up to mid table.

      Depth drops precipitously from starter to bench. That will be one more thing holding them back when there are weeks of schedule congestion.

      • el pachyderm says:

        Yup. The flaws are there. The manager is still nacent in his learning. Some players are maddening. The front office is the target of ire.
        I can crush this club and will continue to do so when warranted…
        …but when they give me what I need… I rejoice.
        Always will. That is my covenant.

      • Good points. But this scenario has been in perpetual repeat for the past few years like a vinyl record with a scratch. Some new characters have been added but it’s the same script. Our only hope is that Curtin will grow as a coach. For now though he has got to figure out a way to get balls into Aristeguieta’s feet. Fernando has obvious skills but like Maidana he is not athletic and is soooooo sloooooow. We also need to get a solid organizational infrastructure starting with a GM who has a strong soccer pedigree and business smarts. And yes somehow someway getting out from under the dark ownership and leadership of Sugarman and Sakiewicz and replace that god awful front office.

        Sell this franchise to a competent and financially competitive owner!!


    • “They banded together the way the last 11 Cheerios band together in a bowl of milk.”
      Well done. I’ve noticed the Cheerios tend to a 3-4-3 formation.

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