Postgame video and quote sheet: Union 2-2 Montreal

Photo and video: Daniel Studio

Mike and Eli’s postgame wrap

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Interview with Richie Marquez
Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Jim Curtin

Opening remarks

A wild game, end to end. I thought we started the game well. The first 20, 25 minutes I thought we were good. We get the goal, they came at us a little bit. Piatti started to find space in between our midfield and back line; obviously he’s a special player. To see him now in our first game against them, he’s very good. He gets the goal for them kind of from nothing, I think it was the first shot they had on goal. We get a little bit of momentum and push the game a little bit at the end of the half. Go into halftime and talk about pressing the game in a smart way, and continuing to push. Disappointing to give up the second goal, it was a mistake — Mo made a mistake –  and Jack punished us for it. In moments when that happens you’re hoping that maybe Richie can bail you out, or Brian can make his big save for you. But credit to our guys, they fought hard, they pushed, they got the tying goal. And then we go up a man, and it seems like we have all the momentum in the world, and kind of a roller coaster of a night for Ayuk, a young player who hopefully will learn from this. Tough tackle to take. His first yellow card is not a yellow card, so I think that put him in a bad spot, but when you know you have a yellow you can’t leave your feet like that and put it in the referees hand. Difficult. Dropped two points tonight and disappointed in that regard.

On balancing out the good and the bad with Eric Ayuk

There were obviously some great moments, the goal. We thought that that was a match up we could have him go at their outside backs on the night. He did that to a certain degree and then, unfortunate for him; again, the first yellow is one where he gets to the ball first and it’s actually almost like he’s passing it backwards and the the follow through’s a little…they sell it pretty well but it’s not a foul, let alone a yellow card.

Again, he’s got to be smart playing on a yellow card. I thought we had a lot of momentum at that stage once we tied it up and would have had about 20 minutes or so to really press the game and create chances, which we were doing all night — I saw the stats, they had 38 clearances inside the 18. So, difficult that we didn’t get the goal but at the same time we dodged a bullet or two in the end there too, they could’ve stole it. So…

On players interaction with the referee

Yeah, I mean, all that you want is consistency, and there was some moments where I think our guys thought they were getting fouled and we didn’t get calls. It’s never the big, major ones, they usually get those right. It’s the little…where a guy gets a piece of a guy after the play. Could it be a yellow, could he set the tone earlier? There were a few of those, I thought. Earlier , when Oyongo gets Ayuk, for instance in the beginning of the game. ‘Let it go, which is fine if that’s the way it’s going to be the whole game. Then the cards started coming out and now you’re playing a game that no teams really like, playing down a man, and to finish the way that we did, it’s not really the best with both teams being shorthanded. Refereeing is tough in this league, it’s a tough league to ref, that’s for sure. Our guys, they’re competitors, so they’re going to get on the ref and try to get any little advantage they can. Montreal did the same thing. At the end of the day it’s 2-2, we both walk out of here with a point and, having it be in our home field, we’re disappointed it wasn’t three.

The conditions being what they were, do you just turn the page on this game?

No, I still think that there’s a lot of moments to learn from and some good plays. There was some good build up from our attacking guys, some decent defensive performances from guys. Were the conditions crazy? Yeah, absolutely. Down on the field, it might not look like it from up high, but the wind was incredibly strong in the first half — it kind of faded in the second half — it was in our face in the first half. We didn’t get a chance to go with it because the weather changed a bit, but it was certainly a strange game in terms of weather, red cards, yellow cards, goals down a man, us coming back and thinking we were going to be able to put the nail in the coffin, and then having a guy sent off. So, wild one. There are still good learning points from the game so we will definitely still look at the tape. But it was, again, you’re right on when you say it was a strange one, to say the least.

On having to chance things on the fly because of conditions

Yeah, for sure. You prepare for things to be one way — for instance, we started Zach and Auyk wide because we thought it would be a game were they would sit in and we’d have a lot of possessions. We scored the early goal so that kind of gets thrown out the window, as well. The conditions are a little crazy and it became more of a roll your sleeves up and organize fighting, kind of, then soccer. There were moments of good soccer by both teams, for sure, but the field isn’t in the best condition as it is and then the weather on top of it…you saw a lot of balls out of bounds. It became more of a fight. Both teams competed like crazy. Do you wish we had the ability to get on a couple of those balls in the box where Zach has a good look, it just kind of skips across. I don’t know who is wrong footed or what. Mo had a few where they kind of just glanced by him. C.J. was in there. Sheanon put a few good balls in that we just didn’t get on the end of. So, it was a challenging night in that regard. And credit to Montreal too. they made some good clearances and good blocks in box at the last second. We gave up three shots on goal tonight and it’s a reoccurring theme where, for whatever reason, the chances we give up are critical chances and we need to do a better job of making teams really earn their goals. So, that was disappointing in that regard but, again, the guys did show a fight to get out with a tie.

On how it is to play a team so close in the standings that has so many games in hand

It’s unique. The foreign people that make comments on their league that I’m in touch with will say that they’re confused by the fact that some teams play three more games, four more games, five in some cases, than other teams. Obviously, it all evens out by the end of the year but the table is strange, it doesn’t really tell the true story; you don’t even need to look at it until the end of the year, that’s the only time it matters. Do you wish everybody could be within at least a game or two of each other? Yeah that would be ideal. But, this country, the scheduling is a little different than others. Some teams share fields, and there’s different things that go on that kind of affect it and make it difficult, the scheduling. Obviously, Montreal is a unique one because they made that run in the Champion’s League. I looked ahead at their schedule because there was the possibility this game maybe’s not going on and they wouldn’t have been able to do it with the Open Cup on Tuesday, they wouldn’t have been able to reschedule for tomorrow. So, we started to look ahead and you look at their schedule down the stretch and it’s crazy, it’s Saturday-Wednesday the whole way through September, October. So, it would have been interesting, I was actually hopeful to maybe put it in there on them at the end of the year if the game wasn’t able to be played. Now that’s the past and we move on, we take the point. But, yeah, the scheduling thing is a unique one to our league, for sure.

On Maurice Edu’s game

First and foremost, Mo’s been our best player this year I would say but, yeah there has been…The LA game, I did talk to him about that one. I think he was eager to make a play there. Whether, you know, he’s got family there, it’s his home town, he maybe pushed it a little bit too far. In LA, he did a good job lulling us into coming forward. In this game he had a mistake in the…On the first goal I think he could do better moving his feet. Piatti makes a great play but that’s a play I’ve seen Mo make and getting a block there. But, yeah, he’s had a little bit of a dip but I know he’s a great player and he’ll bounce back. He made a mistake on the second goal. Again, everybody makes mistakes, you need your teammates sometimes to bail you out in those spots. But we’ll look at the tapes and we’ll get some things corrected.

On Maurice Edu’s performance

Yeah the games funny that way. Similar to, you know, even though he missed the PK the game before I think he pushed and stayed with things and did a good job in the Seattle game. It kind of was a big wake up call for him. And then for him to bail us out with the goal at then end. I think it was a great shot, from a distance, too. Critical to keep on target on a wet day, and did a good job of following it up. I was terrified they were going to call off sides for it or something go wrong, but it was a good play for him, good to rebound that way and get us a point out of it.

Richie, I haven’t seen that one yet. Was it off side? Guys, help me, with Richie on the header?..Close? OK.

On Sapong’s goal-scoring form and hold-up play

He’s been excellent. His ability, even at the end of the game in the 90th minute to hold up some balls with Ciman hanging off his back, and him kind of being able to brush him aside — and, by the way, Ciman’s one of the best center backs in this league, he is, he’s special; another time to see him live, he was impressive. But, CJ did a great job of battling all day. He has this way of wrong footing defenders; it’s unorthodox, but he bounces off and always comes out with the ball. But his holdup play has been excellent, it allows our team to move forward. Good runs in the box today, service was just a little bit off. There’s three of four where he’s doing everything he can to get on the end of it, and slide at the last second — it just came up a little bit short today. But you have to give him full credit for putting the team’s offensive load on his back for these past few games, and doing it 90 minutes, 90 minutes when we have some serious injury problems to our strikers. He’s done a great job.

Maurice Edu

On his goal

We needed a goal. We were all trying to get on the end of the set piece. It came out to Fabi, who did well to take a good shot and keep it on frame. I was just trying to follow up and pray that the goalie would make a mistake, which he did. He made the save and then it came out and I was there in the right place at the right time. It’s a credit to Fabi keeping that play alive.

On his attacking mentality when he’s up the field

I don’t know, you’ve got to just play off instinct. I was just trying to anticipate what I think’s going to happen. With the one where C.J. flicked it on, another day I’m able to get a touch on that, but I think the surface affected how it skipped up a little bit. You’ve just got to try to anticipate the play, put yourself in a dangerous position, do whatever you can to help your team whether it’s get on the score sheet or put the ball in a dangerous area for someone else.

On defending in the poor conditions

It’s difficult because you have to be composed, be smart, and you’ve got to try to stay on your feet and not dive in or bite, but at the same time it’s a little bit more difficult on this surface. And I think it played both ways, it played an advantage for us at times, it played an advantage for them too. Something you can’t really dwell on because both teams play on the same conditions and the same surface, so you’ve got to just learn and grow from today. I think we probably could have taken three points so it’s a little bit disappointing. But in saying that, we’ve had a pretty long stretch of games where it’s game after game after game. So to get a point here is alright. We keep our heads up. Now we’ve got an Open Cup game and a little bit of a break so we can get refocused again for the league.

On Eric Ayuk’s up and down performance

Yeah, it’s a learning experience, you know? You have to learn from these mistakes. You grow from them. They create you and they shape character. Obviously he took his goal very well and we were all pleased and happy for him because he’s a guy that works hard in training, and he deserves every bit of success that he does get. But now he has a silly mistake there towards the end of the game where we can push on with a man advantage and try to get that go ahead goal. You help the team and hurt the team a little bit, so it’s one of those games. We’ve all been in that situation before. He’s a young kid so he’ll learn from that.

Richie Marquez

On playing in such extreme conditions

In the back we had to play it safe and be more careful. Obviously it rained the entire game but you’ve got to come with the same mentality and stay just as focused if not a little more focused than usual.

Eric Ayuk

On playing in the extreme conditions

It was tough, tough to play in the rain. The field was bad. I felt better because I had a good goal and the coach told us to keep going and keep working on.

On his goal

Yeah, before we came out he told me that I should always stay [for flick-ons and lay-offs] near the post. Sometimes I’m out too far from him and sometimes I’m too close, so let me just stay near the top [of the box]. I was watching the goalkeeper and took my chance.

On what Jim Curtin had to say about his performance

He let me keep going. I was not too troubled because the team was level. I was so disappointed because of the red card and I left my team who worked hard and earned that point.

On his the referee’s take on his second yellow card

He didn’t really talk to me, he just said that it was a red and that I had to get off of the pitch.

Montreal Impact postgame quotes

Frank Klopas

On the result

The positive for me, those two games on the road, and obviously not losing two games in a row is one thing we’ve talked about is never losing two games in a row. You know, we got one point but I definitely felt that we dropped points because we played well enough to win.

On the team’s performance

Well it was good. A little bit of a slow start to the game and then we got into it, especially after the second goal. We dominated possession, we created some good chances, and then it was unfortunate because we know Patrice Bernier on a yellow card and we were ready to take him off and then the play occurs so you can beat your head on it all you want but he’s the captain and he gets…whatever. Its over. And then we find a way to score the second goal and then you know, you’re going to be under a little bit of pressure because they’re pushing the game. And then, you know, they tied the game back but we had a great opportunity with Ignacio Piatti to get the third goal and we didn’t. But I felt in stretches of the game and throughout the game we played, like I said, we take the point but we played well enough to take three today.

On the Union’s second goal

What happened was that we cleared the ball out and then normally we have a guy on the post with Ambroise Oyongo and as the ball cleared, it was a hard shot, a very hard shot for the goalie to see because of the amount of traffic and you say now can he push the ball out to the side where it’s not back in the middle and stuff like that. But then it’s something as the ball comes out, you have to move out with it and we stayed a little bit deep and kept him onside. You have guys in the box but it’s a quick reaction. The shot goes, you turn, and it’s a quick bounce back. They equalized that but like I said, I still thought we had that great opportunity, you know, and if you see it again I don’t know how Ignacio misses that one. A great run by Andres Romero and then we make the change late with the last five because Romero is on a yellow card too and we didn’t want to go down another guy.

On the condition of the pitch and if it effected the goal

Yeah, sometimes. Look, you overrun the play, he got stuck with his feet, it’s hard to say. He scored a great goal and it was good for him to have a good performance, especially after the loss at Toronto and to comeback showed the mentality was good with the guys. Like I said, we’ll take the point because we don’t want to lose two games in a row. Now we have to get ready for the home match and get three there.

On the weight off the shoulders of McInerney and Piatti after scoring their first road goals

Yeah, to get those guys to score again. Obviously Jack had played both games and the way the game went in Toronto, we wanted to get him off a little bit earlier. You saw two guys that with Dominic Oduro come back in the lineup and with Dilly Duka, guys that have been out for a little bit, you can see that there were good moments but you can still see that they have missed matches. We had to make some changes after the third game in seven days but I thought the team played well and the guys that came in did a very good job.

On what he saw from Victor Cabrera

It was good, it was aggressive. I think that’s his natural position. We put him out wide in the beginning but he’s got a lot of bite, he’s aggressive in closing the spaces down with players. I think he needs games, obviously he missed a lot of time with his injury and you could tell, again in the game with NYCFC, his fitness is not there but I think he’s a guy that when you play against him as a forward, you need to be aware because he’s always in the back of your mind. He plays on your mind as a forward because he’s good in the air and he can tackle.

On what is his state of mind after a week like this

It would have been great to get three points out of the two games, or even four. But, like I said, the way that the first game went in Toronto, it was important to regroup and the games come quick, you know, and with the third game in seven days, we knew we had to make changes. Look, you’re never happy with it. It would’ve been great if I got six points out of the two games but we know it’s a process. We know how difficult it is in this league to pick up points on the road, we talked about it, and now we have to regroup again and have a good week of training at home and be ready for NYCFC at home.

Jack McInerney

On scoring against his old team

It feels good. I just wanted to go out there and work hard for the team and got an opportunity and made the most of it. We got the point so I’m happy.

On if the team feels they left points on the table

Yeah there was a span there where we gave five or six corners in a row and we get one good clearance and we can start controlling the game on the ball and we can finish out that game, especially since it ended up being 10-v-10. We’ll come on the road and take a point any day but those type of games happen when youre going to give up points on the road at the end.

On his and Piatti’s first goals on the road

Yeah, it does I mean they depend on us to score goals and I think we’ve scored a good amount of goals this year and going on the road, obviously you want to lock down defense and keep a shutout. Again, we gave up too many goals on the road and I think at the end of the day that’s what cost us some points so, we’re happy and we’ll take the point but we need to bury one.

On the team showing grit after going to 10 men and if it shows an evolution

Yeah, it does. It not secret that we struggled on the road and for us to get a red card and play a man down, I think we scored a goal when we were man down, it just shows how far we’ve come. We for sure would’ve lost this game last year and I think that we’ve gotten some good results on the road this year and I think going forward, if we want to make the playoffs, we have to do that.

On the field conditions

It was pretty tough, I mean the field wasn’t in good condition to begin with so I think if we would’ve lost, it’s hard to make excuses because both teams played under the same conditions but obviously it’s not ideal. It’s something you have to deal with. It’s something that you just have to adjust to and go out there and put in the work.

On if it was a bittersweet ending for the road trip

Yeah, it was. Coming into this, we wanted six out of the nine points this week so we’re a little disappointed. At the end of the day, after the result in Toronto, we wanted to come here and at least get a point out of it. I think two losses on the road would’ve been disappointing so like I said, we’ll take it. We have two home games in a row now that we can get six points out of.

On how he felt when he scored

Yeah it’s just standard Philly fans, they’re always going to boo no matter what. Just use it as motivation and go out there and put in hard work. If you’re on their team, put in hard work, they’d appreciate it so that’s what I tried to do for our team today.

Patrice Bernier

On if the team is disappointed only to get one point out of the game

Of course. We played well. I think the first ten minutes we were a bit asleep, when they scored we woke up and played our way. We didn’t panic and we got back a goal, we were 1-1. Second half, which has been a bit of an Achilles heel this year, we came out and stayed composed and organized and even when I came out, I was afraid we would collapse but McInerney scored a great goal and got us the lead. They came back at 2-2 and we had a shot at the end to make it 3-2. Yeah, you could say okay, maybe we’re disappointed to not come out with three points but overall for an away game, usually we’re not so good playing away, and being very composed and feeling that we could’ve came out with more, I think this game has to be the recipe for us to maintain so we can get more points on the road.

On what they can take form this game

Yeah, look. A lot of character because usually, if you go back to every game we’ve played when we go down a goal, we usually lose the game. We came back, we fought, we took the lead even at 10 men. A lot of character. I think we take some confidence and a lot of positives from this game. And also the way we played even when we went down 1-0, we didn’t panic. We kept moving the ball and finding the players like Piatti, Romero, Duka, Oduro, those guys can make the difference and they did. If we stay on the same path on away games, I think we’re gonna get a lot more points.

On his second yellow

I thought the referee was already hounding me pretty much the whole game. Look, in my experience, it was a bad yellow card. Yeah you can say I don’t feel like I touched him but he played it right. The referee deemed it was yellow card worthy and that’s that. Got down, my team is down a bit, but luckily they got, they battled through and got us a point. But I’m not going to comment, I know the referee quite well and I know how he was dealing with the game. Its unfortunate to have taken a yellow again and be suspended for next game but like I said, I’ll take out the good thing as the guys responded well and we came out with a point.

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