Postgame video and quote sheet: Union 1-0 Sounders

Photo and video: Daniel Studio

Eli and Greg’s postgame wrap

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Postgame interviews with Brian Sylvestre, Brian Carroll, and Zach Pfeffer

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Jim Curtin

Opening remarks

Important bounce back from what was an awful performance in LA, I think the guys put a lot into the game. Were we perfect on the night? Absolutely not, but the guys stuck with it. Sheanon puts a good ball in and C J makes a big play at a time where we needed one. It looked like they had a lot of young guys on the field and the biggest thing when another team is playing young players is you have to kind of early on play a speed that they’re not used to. I don’t think we did that and it gave them confidence.

They have some really good young players and it’s a team that has a culture of winning, so they have winners. Obafemi and Clint aren’t here but the whole group that they have is used to winning so it’s going to be tough to break them down because they expect to win every time they step on the field, you know, something we’re striving to build here.

I thought we closed the game out poorly in the last ten minutes, decisions of when to go to the corner and try and kill a little bit of time versus going for the glory of a second goal. Percentage wise I don’t think we made a lot of smart plays at the end of the game. Again, I’ll take responsibility for that, but there’re still moments on the field where guys need to know the role, I can only scream it so loud sometimes to run to the corner. But, again, happy for the guys to bounce back. Tired legs — they put a lot into it and, you know, smiling faces. While it wasn’t a perfect game, nobody remembers at the end of the year what the three points looked like in the end of June. So again, a big three points for us, a much needed three points, and climbed up a little bit in the points.

On CJ’s four straight goals

Yeah, I mean, again, he’s doing a lot of the things we brought him here to do. He had the little setback; I think he learned a lot from that. His ability in his athleticism is… I played against him, I hated it. You can tell center backs can’t stand playing against him, he’s a handful, he’s a guy that is just tough to deal with. You can see that he can jump off two feet, he can jump in ways that most people can’t, and elevate and then kind of hang and decide. He does a great job of holding the ball up for us, a lot of the little things that don’t show up in the stats sheet, letting us breathe as a team. And when we finally do get the ball up to him instead of a quick turn over now straight back down our throats, he’ll have a way of spinning out and making a little pass backwards to an outside back that I think a lot of people don’t realize how much that helps the team.

So, gain, obviously great to score goals, I love that he’s a striker, he’s scoring goals but a lot of the little things and the work he does, to see him running in the 90th minute there to close guys down and fight and get a piece of guys was exceptional. Really happy for him, he’s been through a lot this year and I think he is on pace to have a very good year in terms of goal output that I think he’ll probably, if he maintains his form break his past record in that regard.

On playing CJ being sustainable without getting the runs from wingers

Right now health wise we don’t have a ton of guys to go to that are natural wide guys so you saw tonight, I tried to switch Andrew to the right, put Chaco out left to start, thought our pressure wasn’t great, it was a little disjointed. Newish roles, there was spots that the guys have all played but you know wind up starting the second half back to the original way we did it last week with Pfeffer on the right, Chaco underneath where he is more comfortable, and Andrew out on the left. We have the occasional glimmer of a good instance where we get to the end line and it’s a good cross but they’re 20 minutes apart, you know what I mean, you want more consistency from our attacking guys, and from our whole team, to be honest. We’ve been a very inconsistent team, a lot of stretches where you go, “Wow, this team can play,” and a lot of stretches where you go, “I don’t know what going on out there.” So, again it’s getting some more consistency, its late in the year now. Injuries have played a role but every team is injured. Look at Seattle, they’re an injured team as well. But getting the service with the right runs has been a challenge for sure.

On the importance of a win after the loss in LA

We talked it out, the result in LA and if you look at the last six games now that we’ve played, we’ve actually performed well outside of that one so I’m hoping that that was a one off. Obviously it’s a shorthanded Seattle team but they’re professionals and it’s tough to get three points in this league no matter what it’s very, very difficult and to their credit they did a good job all night. We didn’t concede a shot on goal till pretty late which I was happy with, again, that’s what it should look like in our home building. But, again, we’re trying to get on a little bit of a rate, get some confidence, and I think wins in any way that you can get them are important. And if it’s an ugly 1-0 like tonight, we’ll take it and we’ll move on.

On where the team would be if CJ wasn’t able to come back early at the time when Fernando Aristeguieta was hurt

I think if you go back it starts at what was maybe our best win, and  our best maybe performance of the year, in New York, when he comes off the bench there and gives us a “holy cow” moment where he just takes over the game, scores a goal, but is just a handful. He does have, and it sounds cheesy, but he does have a different look in his eye. When I put him in that game, he’s usually a pretty laid back smiley kind of happy-go-lucky guy, but there was a focus and a desire that — you took note is what I would say, and I think he’s carried that now in every game. To put his face on the line — go back to the first game of the year he breaks his face, I mean he’s literally a guy that will put his body on the line for the team. So, happy for him but, again, I think that process changed him and, without him right now, we would be in trouble without him. Conor being injured is a factor, we just don’t have a lot of depth there, Fernando with all the injuries he’s had it’s been a struggle, and CJ has stepped up and given us big goals, which is huge.

On the impact of traveling and how to handle Montreal and DC

It’s brutal. I wish we had a lot of healthy bodies. The one spot where we have healthy bodies that have played MLS games and contributed is outside backs. We have had, you’ve seen a little bit of a rotation between Ray, Fabi and Shea, three guys that I think are very capable of kind of kind of seamlessly going into any moment in a game and stepping up. Because of injuries we don’t have a lot of guys with a lot of experience maybe on the bench that have been in those battles, so it’s not as easy to substitute, just because there’s multiple injuries at certain specific positions. So, it’s a challenge. But the one thing I’ll add is that the rest of all these teams, you know Montreal is playing Toronto right now in what’s their biggest rivalry game or whatever you want to call it of the year, and now they’re on the same rest as us. You look ahead, Seattle obviously with tonight they know they have a game in Portland, so you saw the definitely had some guys out, and then when you look to DC, if you look ahead at these schedules, it’s crazy because DC we were supposed to play on Wednesday in the Open Cup. If you look two days later, they travel to Seattle to play the Sounders.

So, again, these variables for me are the biggest ones, and if someone could come up with an algorithm of the teams that plays teams when guys are maybe on international duty and suspension, it dictates a lot of points for the year. I can remember maybe a couple years ago we got a lot of breaks where a lot of top players are either suspended, it’s a little bit lucky and quirky but, if you do look at the games that are the next games — so, again, DC playing us on a Tuesday having to go to Seattle, which game Benny handles or maybe treats to rest guys? I don’t know. I’m hoping it’s against us, you hope you get those little breaks that maybe put the strain, makes it a little bit more manageable because yes, tonight would be a lot harder if Osvaldo Alonso, Clint, and Obafemi are running around out there, and Chad Marshall. So, we got a break for sure, but we took advantage of it and we got three points, and that kind of all you can do. You can only play the team that’s here, and they still have good players.

On CJ’s form affecting Fernando’s status with the team

No, it doesn’t affect much. You need multiple forwards in this league. It’s a spot that we’ve been thin at because Conor had that injury after he gave us two good games, so I would say you need to stable of good forwards. With Sebastian being out too, he’s kind of a guy that you could throw up there, and I could get away with letting him get a few minutes up there, but to not have him has been an issue, too. But you look across the league, you need multiple strikers to get you through the 34 games. So, it doesn’t affect anything in the negotiations with Fernando, CJ’s form. So, you need multiple strikers, and CJ gives you the versatility to play on either side, the right or the left, if we do play with three up there.

On expecting players to return from injury soon

I hope so. It’s going to be close with a couple of guys. Seba’s a quick healer. Conor is close, he’s got kind of a final push. But it would be nice to have those guys, even if it’s only 15 or 20 minutes because even…You think of, you know, I’m not going to pick on Ayuk, but I put him in a game where it’s tough, he’s an 18, 19 year old kid, and it’s a hard moment, he’s never been in these situations of how to close out a 1-0 game. Whereas Fred, who is up there in years, but he has the wisdom to take a foul, to slow things down, to be slow on a restart, to keep the ball when you should keep it, to put it in the corner. All of those things add up. So, to have a Conor or a Seba for the last 15 minutes to help close is a huge option to have.

Sheanon Williams

On what a shutout meant for the backline

Yeah one of the key points before the game was to keep a shutout. Obviously it was disappointing to give up 5 goals in a game. It’s not good enough from us, so we wanted to rectify that and I think we did a good job of it tonight.

On his assist to CJ Sapong

The amount of headballs that CJ wins is somewhat incredible. He’s a monster so you just loft it up and let him go get it.

On the team’s preparations for Saturday

Yeah we’ll turn it around tomorrow and be back in getting ready for Saturday. Nothing’s going to come easy to us after we put ourselves in a position that we need to get out of so we don’t have the luxury of taking breaks and taking games off. Every game from here to the end is as important as the next one.

On Seattle fielding a weak lineup

It didn’t excite me since we needed three points and that’s what we got. If they want to put that out then go for it.

On his added comfort in playing on the right side

Well I’m right footed. I mean that’s as comfortable as it gets I guess. I’ll do whatever this team needs me to do to help win games.

Brian Carroll

On his leadership in preparing the team after the defeat to LA

It’s good that we had a game so quickly so we could move on from it. Some things like that just happen and there’s no explanation. You move on and you try to win the next one which we did. Obviously it wasn’t perfect but it’s a win and we’ll move on and try to get a win on Saturday.

On how his body’s holding up with an increased minutes load

I feel good. I like the heat and I like the humidity. I like playing a lot of games in quick succession, and I know that our guys can rise to the challenge and whoever’s name is called will do the job against Montreal.

CJ Sapong

On how this run of games feels to him after his early season struggles

It feels really good. It feels good to enjoy my time on the field and it’s even better when the team gets a win.

On how far he’s come since his DUI

Honestly it’s been one where I’ve been aware of every moment and appreciated every moment. Honestly I have no regrets. Things happen in life that put reflectionary moments in front of you. It’s about how you respond to the adversity and right now I’m enjoying life off the field and enjoying it on the field as well.

On the run of form he’s on

I can’t really remember if I had quite a stretch in Kansas City, but what I really the most is enjoying it and having fun on the field. So for me that’s all I can ask for.

On whether being the only healthy forward added pressure

Not really. I think on this team everyone has the ability to provide an impact which is why they’re on the roster. When the guys get injured, we don’t really think about it until you guys bring it up honestly but for me I know I’m going to be counted on and get those minutes and I just want to be out there helping my team.

On his energy and health with a heavy minutes load

I feel really good. When you’re tapping into an energy that’s just an all-appreciative and in the moment type of energy it’s very different. I was probably fitter in the beginning of the season but I don’t think I could have gone this stretch of minutes without feeling heavy in the legs. I’m just riding the wave right now.

On the synergy between him and Sheanon Williams on his goal

Actually I had a headset on and he kind of buzzed me and told me to make that run. No man that’s playing together enough and finally getting the timing right. I think we’ve been looking for it all season and it finally clicked.

Seattle Sounders postgame quotes

Sigi Schmid

Thoughts on the game

I thought we did alright, I thought we played a lot of young players, in essence. I don’t know how many guys got their first MLS start tonight. There’s a number of guys, I don’t know, four guys, who probably if you added all four guys up, they have 200 minutes in the league. A lot of youth out there so we wanted to play well defensively. Stefan Frei kept us in the game with the penalty kick save. I thought we did alright defensively. We were too loose on the goal, obviously, and then we had some chances at the other end but the final passes, the final play, makes it difficult so with all the players that were missing, the difficult part we also don’t have a chance to train. If we could, if we had the same amount of injuries and everything else where we could train with this group for a week, then maybe things would be a little different. But we’re playing without a lot of important veteran players and of the same token, we didn’t get any chance to train with those players either.

On if injuries and the short downtime played a part in choosing the lineup

No, I mean we’ve had guys out for a long time. Obafemi Martins is out for a while, Clint Dempsey gets suspended, Chad Barrett has been out for a while with the hamstring injury, Osvaldo Alonso has been out for a while, Leonardo Gonzalez is out right now as well so when you add all that up it’s a significant group of players.

On if any of the players getting their first start stood out

I thought they all did alright, I thought Oneil Fisher played well at outside back when we moved him over to the left when we went three in the back. I thought Cristian Roldan continues to play well for us also so those guys have been alright. Jimmy Ockford had his first start, we weren’t sure if he could play 90 minutes because he’s been out for a month. He played his first 60 minutes back last week so he hasn’t really been in that group and I thought he did alright.

On balancing the growing pains with the desire to go for the Supporters shield

If you put a young player out on the field next to a veteran player, it’s a lot easier for the young player. Lamar Neagle has been a dangerous player for us when he is on the field with a Dempsey or a Martins but now when he has to lead the front line and there’s not those other guys to take pressure off of him it’s a little bit more difficult for him, does he have that quality? And for sure if you put a young player out with a veteran player it makes it easier for the young player. When you puts young players next to each other, you know there is growing pains and there are going to be mistakes of youth and of inexperience. We talked about those a little but after the game, in terms of “OK, these are things that we have to learn” and again, if we had the ability to train for a week then things change a little bit as well.

On bringing on Chad Marshall at forward

We just, you know, which he did a few times, we hoped that he would be able to flick balls on, cause some danger. We also wanted to get some set pieces like right at the end of the game, Marco Pappa just banged the ball off the guy and get a corner kick. we would rather have that then have the game end with him trying to screen the ball. Those are all little errors. Chad flicked on a few balls for us, he was a target, but that’s not how we normally play. So again, not being able to train with any of that makes it difficult for the team. Its so against our normal style that the guys really don’t know how to play that way.

On if they’ve ever used him in that position before

Oh, I don’t know. Probably at Columbus we pushed him up at the end of the game a few times.

On what he saw on the goal

We gave too much space on the cross. That deep on the field, you have to get tighter to the crosser of the ball and then obviously, I don’t know if it was Jimmy Ockford or Zach Scott, someone lost their marker in the box and I thought our line was too deep, you know, you can’t be that deep at that stage.

On Stefan Frei

I thought Stefan has played well. He made the PK save but he also made another save that kept us in the game as well. He’s been a rock for us back there.

On how the attacking game plan changed with all of the absences

Well we only have one forward so it changes your attacking line. You have to play one forward and we’re playing with six midfielders, or you know, five midfielders in essence so we’re asking Marco Pappa to play a different role and play underneath a striker. Does he get high enough, he’s not always comfortable enough in that role. Neagle’s played every minute of every game for us in this run because we haven’t had any other forwards so, in fairness to Neagle, he’s dead on his feet right now. We don’t have Barrett, we don’t have Martins, we don’t have Dempsey obviously and that a lot of quality to be missing.

Stefan Frei

Thoughts on his performance

Yeah, I mean, we’re in the game. We had a chance at the end, I think, to get a point out of it. Obviously its tough, you know, we’ve been struggling with some injuries so, also getting our fitness back, making sure we’re healthy. It’s been tough stretches but that being said I think we came out strong and competed for 90 minutes which is a great sign. I think it was a great learning experience for us, especially some of the younger guys getting to start, which is great thing in the long run that is going to go a long way for us. You kind of just have to take those positives out and move on.

On if playing with young guys makes it tough to communicate

It’s okay. We train together on a daily basis so we all know what is expected of us. Its just some things you can’t recreate in practice, you know, when things get dicey out there on the field, your instinct sometimes takes over so you need to have some experience so today I think that was great, to get some experience for those guys. Like I said though, I think we did well. We were in it for 90 minutes, had a chance to get that goal back at the end, and we’re fighting for 90 minutes. A lot of people could use the excuse that we’ve been traveling, we’ve had these injuries, we have guys who are playing 90 minute after 90 minute and all these excuses but I think we put in a good shift today and I’m proud of the guys.

On what he thought of the two players getting the first start in the backline

I think they did great. They had some guys who are tough opponents and I think we handled them quite well. They didn’t have too many chances, I think we, even at the end when we kind of changed formation and opened up n the back a little bit, I think we prevented the counter quite well. They did well. I’m happy for them to get the start and also to get that experience.

On if he was expecting the foul call on the disallowed goal


On what he saw on the PK save

We go over PKs all the time. Tom Dutra kind of scouts what the tendencies are and what not. Then it’s just seeing if you have a feeling of what is going to happen and then just try to hold as long as you can and push and I was fortunate enough to make the save but, unfortunately it didn’t matter in the end.

Aaron Kovar

Obviously it’s just a bigger stage. A good opportunity tonight but unfortunate result. I thought we really worked hard and kind of battled but obviously, this is where you want to be playing and Philadelphia is a really good team. Great stadium, great fans to be playing in front of but just and unfortunate result.

On what Schmid was looking for from him

I think he wanted me to be active near the box, try to get some good services in. I had a good one to Gonzalo Pineda early on but yeah, just kind of be active, be goal dangerous and we had a couple good looks, just unfortunate that they didn’t find the back of the net.

On all the absences and if he thinks he will get more playing time because of them

Yeah, I hope so. I just have to try to take every opportunity possible and keep working hard and good things tend to happen.

On what he can take away from this result

Yeah, I mean it was a good experience for me. It was just learning how small the margins are, especially on the road. I mean we were so close to playing to zero in the back and it s just an unlucky result.

On if he feels pressure to fix the mistakes quickly

I mean obviously we have some key absences in the team but I think everyone is confident that everyone in this locker room deserves to be here. It’s just more of an effort thing really more than a pressure thing.

Jimmy Ockford

On getting his first start in front of a ton of family and friends

It was amazing and the support was unreal here. I mean, I’m so happy that I could come back and get my first start here and their support was tremendous. It’s unbelievable, it was awesome.

On if he could’ve asked for a better location for his first start

No, no I could not. I mean, it was cool because the draft was here and they got to see that here and then my first start, first appearance was here too, so it couldn’t have been better.

On what Schmid was looking for from him at center back

Just be confident, consistent, and just stay calm the whole time and be patient. Just be solid back there.

On what how the goal developed

Well, I saw I was split between two guys so I was kind of torn between the first guy that scored the goal and the guy behind me so I mean, they made a great run, it as just unfortunate that he got to it before us.

On what he can use from this game

Definitely getting the first game out of the way was good and I definitely felt a lot more comfortable as the game went on. It’s good that I got it out of the way and I’m looking forward to stepping on the field at CenturyLink.


  1. I don’t care what anyone else says, I’m very happy BC has been a part of our club.

    • +1

      he does take a beating with the fans, but he’s def a class guy and once again has proven he still belongs in this league – as long as he is put in positions that utilize his strengths. Used properly he is a definite asset

    • +1 Stand up guy, true professional, and does what he does well.

  2. Sigi sure to remind us that was a young team. Can’t say I wouldn’t do the same. Wah anyway.

  3. The Union won against Seattle’s D side, and Sigi made it clear that he played a very “young” side. Three points are three points, but changes nothing of the reality of what this franchise is. There is so much glaringly wrong that until significant changes are made, winning against C and D squads shouldn’t be looked at as an accomplishment, it should be looked like an embarrassment. What happened in LA is what would have happened last night if Seattle played their top 11 players, and do not think that another 5-1 drubbing wouldn’t have been the outcome.

    You take the points, but you shouldn’t be happy about how it.

  4. I’m going to say it….it you run to the corner and cede possession or work yourself out of a jam and cycle the ball does it matter. Hell the best possession this team had was in the final ten minutes. I get it but there are other things to be concerned about….like not starting the starting left Wenger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *