Postgame video and quotes: Union 3-3 Fire

Eli’s postgame wrap

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Postgame interviews with Brian Carroll

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Note: Questions have been paraphrased

Jim Curtin

Opening statement

Well, the game, not happy with how we executed at 2-1, had a lot of chances to get the third goal. Sean Johnson obviously had a very good night, made a lot of key saves, a lot of big saves to keep them in it. I think we gave up 4 shots on goal and we gave up 3 goals. So, again, you know, you work so hard, we finally break through and get the goal and, mentality wise, you have to be able to close the game out at that stage. It’s a tough one to give up a goal a minute after. Whether it’s a handball or not — well, it is a handball on the sideline, let me be clear about that: They missed it. But, at the same time, still, to recover, to realize that you’ve worked so hard to finally get the lead, and to maybe make a play for your team, there’s 4 or 5 times where we could have done that, and we don’t.

And again, another wild game. We invent different ways to blow leads. It’s unacceptable; you score 3 goals at home, you should win, no matter what. And, again, I’m upset because neither team really benefits from a tie tonight.  You have 2 teams at the bottom of the table; a tie really does nothing for us.

On the play of the fullbacks

We do put our fullback on an island a bit. We do call upon them to make plays for us defensively. I thought the goals tonight were preventable. The first one that gets crossed, could we maybe drop a little bit quicker and it just be an easy clearance, because there wasn’t a real run at the near post? Could John maybe come for it? I don’t know, we’ll have to look at the tape, but it’s in between the center back and in between him, John.

The second goal’s the same exact thing where it’s rolled across, there’s no real reaction, and they get a tap in. And then the last one’s just a complete debacle in terms of not protecting, not defending inside out. So, again, yeah, the outside backs are part of it, but everybody is a part of it. And, yes, they are aggressive going forward, especially Fabinho, but I think they’re not at fault in this game.

On Chaco taking the league lead in assists

Yeah, he’s a good passer of the ball, obviously, he’s a special player. He had a couple chances to get a goal tonight too, but again, he was dynamic, he set up a lot of our chances. Most of our goals do come through him, he’s special in that regard. So, yeah, happy for him, but again, he’ll trade 3 points for all of the personal accolades.

On the play of newcomers

Yeah, I thought they had a decent night. I thought we actually didn’t, in the first eight minutes, we actually didn’t start the game slow. Obviously, we gave up the goal, and then there was kind of…I didn’t like our response after we gave up the first goal. After that, everybody kind of settled down. Happy for Fernando to get on the end of a goal. I thought Warren broke up some plays, did a good job. But, at the same time, on the yellow card there was some concern in the middle of the field. It’s kind of why we went to Michael in the game there. And Steven had some good plays, but he also had some plays that he could have done better on, some fouls that maybe didn’t need to be fouls. So, you know, I’m happy with the 3 of them, getting them fully back fit. Vincent’s coming back, so these are good things. But at the same time, on the night, frustrated to not get all 3 points.

On Maurice Edu’s injury

Mo played through a partially torn groin in the first Chicago game. I give him a lot of credit for doing that for the fans, for the team, for the city, for everybody. He decided he wanted to give it a go, and he’s not — obviously, there was the possibility of damaging it worse. I don’t think he did in the game, but we’ll have to have that fully healed. He knew it was a do or die game, so he gutted it out and, obviously, he’s a guy you miss, we missed him a lot tonight.

On the team’s struggle to hold leads

I’m at the stage where I’m watching our guys celebrate like we’ve won, like it’s over and running — I don’t understand, as defenders, running. Obviously, you want to be with your team but in the 90th minute, as a defender you should never want to run an extra hundred yards to go jump on guys, it should be maybe stay back and conserve some energy. I’m yelling at everybody to get back. Again, I understand the excitement, and everybody’s into it — that’s a minor [point], maybe, I’m grasping at straws in terms of things we can tighten up because it’s happened so many times, and that’s where it’s frustrating. Again, to work so hard; the guys — they leave it all on the field, they kill themselves for the badge, but we do just come up short in the big moments and silly, silly plays.

On the missed calls

Yeah. So the linesman, the same linesman, 0 for 2. It was a handball. Everybody on TV’s texted and it was a handball in the box. It’s the way it’s gone. Is there favoritism because we don’t have a superstar? I don’t know. The ref missed two calls. They make mistakes, it’s part of the game, but at the same time it was two critical ones because, obviously, the first one, a handball in the box, penalty kick; you’d like to think we score there. And then the last ball, diagonal, it’s clearly right in front of the linesman where he literally traps the ball with his hand. They blow the whistle there, and we move our line up and at least a lot more minutes would pass by. And again that’s the way it’s going for us this year. We don’t get breaks, we don’t get calls and in some ways you make your own luck and, right now, it’s been tough.

On where Tranquillo Barnetta’s been playing

We like for him to come inside. Chaco has a tendency to drift and they’ve had some good interchange. They’re still trying to figure each other out, the best way to make it work. Barnetta’s a guy who’s versatile, he can play a couple of different spots. Again, in his preseason right now basically and playing three games in eight days is not easy. I thought he had some good moments tonight and again he has the ability to come inside and be comfortable on the ball. Sometimes it is a situation where we’ll overload the middle, sometimes when Chaco drifts out left to join him there’s a little bit of a numbers advantage there. So yeah I mean both guys would prefer offense to defense, too, they’re offensive players first so there will be a little bit that you give up on the defensive end.

On his the team’s playoff hopes

Games are running out obviously. This is a devastating one again. So, again, we need a good performance. [Giving up] three goals at home is unacceptable. We concede too many and we’ll have to go into a tough place in Montreal and try to get a result.

Brian Carroll

Thoughts on the game (response begins mid-sentence)

…Have a 3-2 lead and we don’t do a good enough job closing out the game. It’s annoying, it’s frustrating, but we shouldn’t have even let them score the second goal. We need to clean it up as an entire group, have a defend first mentality if we have the lead, and we should give up nothing else. And if we get another goal, great. If we have to win 2-1, then that’s how it should be. But we didn’t do that well enough tonight.

What’s missing — aside from the handball call — from the team on Chicago’s last goal 

You know, I think it’s just a stronger group mentality to have the confidence to that off, no matter what.

On what Chaco Maidana means to the team

He’s calm on the ball, he gets us in dangerous positions, he serves a good ball in in the run of play, and on set pieces, so he’s an important piece for us and we need to keep feeding him the ball and letting him create, continue to do a good job of finishing what he sets up and, once we have the lead or [are] in command, we need to continue to push and have a stronger mentality to finish off the game and get a win.

Is Maidana underrated in the league? Doesn’t seem a lot of people talk about him despite being the leader in assists

That’s fine for me. Maybe, but as long as he keeps doing that I don’t think he’ll be underrated for much longer.

Fernando Aristeguieta

On if his goal helps in returning to form

Yes and no. In this moment in my head is how we lose this game. We tied it but for us it’s a loss. Once again we had the goals, we had the occasions, but we couldn’t put the ball in more than them. It feels very bad.

For him personally scoring his first goal since April

I guess that tomorrow when I wake up it’s going to be a good thing.  to get confidence, to get some motivation to keep working hard. To be in the field as the starting lineup was good for me too, the first time in two months —  after the moment that I got injured I never played again from the start of a game, and that’s important for me. But, yeah, I think it’s a good thing

On Chaco’s play

If you’re a striker, the player that you want behind you is a player like him. As a player that all the time he receives the ball he can figure it out to create a occasion with a pass to you, with a pass down line for a cross, with a shot, with a dribble. He’s a different player than from us and for a striker it’s very easy to play in front of him.

Cristian Maidana (responses are paraphrased through a translator)

On setting the team record for assists

I’m very content about this. They just recently told me about it and I’m happy to help out the team in any way I can. It’s a shame that we didn’t get a win tonight but at least we got the point and I’ve got to keep moving forward and help the team in any way I can whether it be assists or another way.

On having five multi-assist games and whether he feeds off the momentum of putting multiple assists together

I always try to look for assists and the games where I’ve had assists are because I’ve seen where my teammates are. We have to continue working hard and continue looking to win.

On giving up a late equalizer

I don’t understand how it happened. Obviously it was a handball. If it was another team they probably would have called it. My teammates told me when we went in that they felt the game was a little bit robbed from them because after the goal, that handball wasn’t called.

On the personal pride he can take in leading the league in assists despite the tough result

I feel proud at the moment for what I’ve done. If it helps the team score goals then I feel proud for that reason. I’m very happy in MLS. My family is really happy in the United States and I hope that I can stay here for a while and continue playing in this league to continue helping the team.

Seven assists in the last eight games. Is the best stretch you’ve had in a long time?

The three assists tonight are my best game. I’ve got to continue doing that.

Chicago Fire postgame quotes

Note: Questions have been paraphrased. Quotes below were provided by the team

Frank Yallop

Thoughts on the game

It was certainly an open game, there were a lot of chances for both teams but mainly Philly had some good looks at goal, I thought Sean Johnson was outstanding tonight, but, you know, I liked our response. We go up and go down in the game, equalize, go down again and then get another equalizer so, topsy-turvy game. We got a point out of it. I felt, I think that, what was, 2-2? I thought we were going to go on and actually get the next goal but, you know, it wasn’t to be and Philly kept pushing and had their chances but again, we’ll take the point.

On Kennedy Igboananike’s performance

Yeah, I thought he played very well tonight, just his all-around game was good and sharp. Dangerous runs into the box, two good finishes. Great ball in for Patrick Nyarko to score so he had a good night.

On their mentality and if he saw some fight in the team

Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s never easy when you talk before a game and you don’t know what’s going to go on in the match so, we go up, I thought we played well for a half an hour, and then we’re 2-1 down at halftime so, you know, tough. Got back into it, go down, so I was pleased with the response once Philly did score their goals but we have to defend better than we did tonight but so do they. I thought they gave us chances and looks. We scored three goals and they score three so, again, I think for the neutral they would have enjoyed watching that game but as a coach I wasn’t happy we the chances we gave up.

On how getting this result can help them going forward

Well three points are vital at this point in the season but you take what you get and I think to be honest, I think if a point was good for us to get with the chances that Philly had. Tough place, tough place to come after Wednesday night, disappoint meant of that. That was very tough and our guys dug deep and got something out of the match in the end. Now we have two home games in a row, we got to try to get maximum points out of them and go from there.

On Sean Johnson’s performance and what he thought about it

Yeah I mean Sean’s a good goalkeeper and when the ball is there to be saved he can make the saves so, it’s not surprising when he makes those saves. He’s, you know, he’s in there, he’s a good goalkeeper and he makes the saves when he should. So, yeah, he saved us on a number of occasions. I think some of the ricochets that went straight to the Philly guys was a little fortunate but that’s football and he was there to make the save and did good job.

Sean Johnson

Thoughts on the game

Yeah, I thought it was a pretty crazy game considering we went one up, went down 2-1, came back and tied 2-2, went down 3-2, came back and tied it. Plenty of lead changes, a lot of exciting stuff for fans but for us I think it’s something to build on coming off a loss, you know, playing in a tough place. I think on the night there were obviously things we could have done better but I think as a team, just the resiliency that we showed through the 90 minutes was the most important thing and the never die attitude, never giving up on the plays and we’re able to come away with a point tonight.

On the double save

Yeah, I thought it’s a clearance to the top of the box to the guy, I think it’s Brian Carroll come on to the ball, struck it pretty well and didn’t get as much behind it as I wanted to beat it away but it was a reaction save at that so just do my best to get back up on my feet and react to the second ball because the play wasn’t dead. Maybe there was a hint of offsides there from Le Toux but you gave to play through the whistle and the flag never went up so just spread myself and try to make the second save.

On the attacking prowess of the team tonight

Yeah, big time from Kennedy I thought, you know, converting something like 50 percent of his chances tonight. Did a fantastic job putting the ball in on frame, unbelievable finish to tie the game to bring us back in 3-3. Happy for him. I think the confidence that that pumps into those guys especially going forward in this last stretch, we really need to press. Got two home games coming up that are big for us and we’ll need those guys to step up. And not just them, but across the pitch I think. Everybody has another gear, including myself, and we can really push ourselves to get to that point and really make this last 11 games meaningful for our club.

On how important the two home games coming up are

Games at home are extremely important. I think you look across the league in past years and teams that have been successful at home give themselves the best opportunity to go on and make a run into the playoffs and ultimately win championships. I think protecting your home turf is the most important thing in this league. For us, we haven’t had the results that we wanted. We’ve won a few games at home but not enough on the year so big opportunity for us to go home and play in front of our fans and come out with a revitalized attitude towards the last little bit of our season here and I think we can do something special if we all commit to it.

Kennedy Igboananike

On what the result means to the club

I think the results mean a lot for us, I mean like it’s difficult to put away games but we haven’t been winning for a long time so I think this is a great result for us. We did our best, we did everything, just a couple of mistakes but, I think it’s okay.

On his two goal and one assist performance

I feel like, I feel very great. I mean getting the first goal and the other goal too, and I know that Patrick Nyarko is a very good player and he’s going to bring it to the box just to run to the box and get the right timing, the right touch, and the ball goes in.

On the fight the team showed

You know, like we said, it is very difficult to be at the bottom of the table. We have been doing our best but since things are not working well, we just have to believe, keep our head up, keep fighting. Heads up everybody. It doesn’t matter if we are down with goals, we just have to keep fighting until we get what we wanted so I think e have a lot of energy today. We didn’t give up so that is a good spirit.

On the offensive output tonight

For the offensive, I think we are very confident, the way we talk to ourselves, try to help ourselves and try to but the confidence up from there because we got to have each other, fight for each other so I think we have a good talking to ourselves and try to make it happen today on the offensive.

On what the home games mean in the quest for the playoffs

It means a lot for us, I think what we do is we have to take one at a step because you know, we still have chances to still make it to the playoffs, just take one game at a step so if we get a win next weekend, I think we are going to be more confident again to win the other one so that is what I can say for now.

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