Postgame

Postgame video and quotes: Union 1-2 Crew

Photo and video: Daniel Studio

Postgame wrap with Mike Servedio and Eli Pearlman-Storch

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Postgame interviews with Brian Carroll, Richie Marquez, and John McCarthy

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Note: Jim Curtin’s postgame comments transcribed by PSP, with questions paraphrased. All other quotes provided by Philadelphia Union.

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin

Opening Statement

We were beat by a better team tonight, Columbus was very good. Pushed the tempo, especially in the first half; we didn’t have a lot of answers. I gave the guys the first ten minutes to try to sort it out in the second, and made some changes. We did get a couple of chances to get a tie, but on the end of the day I think they deserved the three points.

On Kei Kamara

Kei is a top goal scorer in our league this year. He gives them a whole new dimension in terms of…they’re obviously. For me the best, for me, possession team in the league in terms of spreading out. I think what Kei adds is when they do get in trouble, they can play long through him to his head and they can run off of Finlay and Meram so it’s a whole new dynamic. He is a great player, that’s not a secret. We talked about him, Finley, and Higuaín kind of being the key attacking pieces. Afful actually was a big one today at outside back. He really hurt us on the right hand side, a lot of crosses. But, Kei for me is a confident forward right now, and a top forward in our league.

Columbus was comfortable in the midfield. Where your players respecting them too much or was there a shape issue?

There were moments maybe where we could have had BC just kind of holding by himself and almost make it look like a 4-1-4-1 in the run of play so to get Vincent out a little more to Tchaini or Trapp, and have Tranquillo deal with Tchani and Trapp with Vincent. So they kind of always had one extra guy in there. They had some possession in the middle but I think they killed us when they would play inside, we tried to jump and then they would play wide. So, it was an issue. We struggled on the day. They had a lot of the ball in the first half and they scored their chances. It was a difficult night for us.

On ball movement and problems dealing with counterattacks

I think you just walked in. What I said at the start was that they were better than us.

Why has momentum been difficult to maintain this year?

We haven’t been able to put two games together. It’s been difficult. It’s a challenge. We’ve had some success on the road in recent games. In this league, though, the second you think you’re good, or you’re at least improving, it comes back to bite you so, it’s been a challenge, the consistency has not been there. We’ll have one game where we have 8, 9 guys have great performances, that’s what we need that every game. Tonight, if you go through the matchups, a lot of guys had a big drop off. So it was difficult.

On fullback getting caught inside, design or not

There’s a bit cat-and-mouse in that one. It was almost too often, I think, where our outside back is matched up against their outside back, where it’s they’re going 1v1 against another team’s outside back, which is unique. Columbus does a really good job of stretching you out and spreading the field and then creating little 2-on-1s and advantages. They pinned us back, to their credit. Is it a respect thing? Maybe. Maybe we respected Kei a lot so that kept our center backs a little deeper. Finlay makes very good runs; we talked about that all week. So it kind of kept us almost straight across the back, flat-four, and they pushed with their outside backs. We weren’t the proactive team. We reacted to everything they did and we reacted late. We were a step late every time.

Anything you see tonight change your mind in terms of starting goalkeeper for the US Open Cup final?

It’s still to be determined. I thought John was OK on the night, didn’t have a ton to do, made a couple of good saves. But, it’s still up in the air. The thinking with starting John was that he was with the team for the whole week, had a decent performance in San Jose; outside of the penalty, we didn’t really concede a real chance. He didn’t have to do a ton but, at the same time, it was still a good performance from him. So, him being here, Andre being a way — and we watched Andre’s games closely, he had good performances, as well. So, we’ll have a decision to make again now in Houston, and then, obviously, you want to give whoever we choose a game or two to go into the Open Cup final.

Brian Carroll

Too little too late in the second half?

Absolutely. We dug ourselves too deep of a hole early. They played great in the first half and we didn’t do enough in the first half. And second half, too little too late

How was the communication defending Kamara?

They just made great combinations, they’re a team that’s good with the ball and good in the box, that’s all it was.

CJ Sapong

That pass was pretty slow?

Yeah. he definitely poked at it, but it was just enough for me to get there. And luckily I was able to get there before the goalie and put it in.

Been a couple games since your last goal. Does it feel good to get back on the score-sheet despite the loss?

Definitely, feels good to get back on the score sheet. But lately I’ve been pretty happy with my last performances as far as staying connected with my team and given the effort and having the fitness to go a full 90 minutes. Obviously, as a forward you want those goals as a cherry on top but definitely would rather win.

Richie Marquez

On the challenges of defending someone like Kamara

Yeah, I mean, obviously, he’s a good player. He’s good at getting to the right spots and we just try to do our best against him, and then I think he did good and proved to everyone why he’s an all-star.

Were you surprised in how they tried to get Kamara the ball?

He’s pretty athletic, they were trying to build to his strengths. They did the game plan they had and we were pretty aware of it as well. We expected that.

Columbus Crew postgame quotes

Gregg Berhalter

Harrison had a lot of space on the right wing, is that something that was part of the game plan?

The game plan was to switch field. And as we switched field, spaces are going to open up from left to right. The left was open as well, but sometimes we just didn’t exploit it enough. The idea was to switch field, and we did that well in the first half especially.

Last week was a tough game. How much difference does Kamara make in the squad?

He is a fantastic player; we talk a lot about him rightfully so. Last week I think the team wasn’t prepared in the right way. This week we were, we understood about how to break down a compact opponent and we really focused on that. Kei is a great finisher and we want to get him the ball in the box, and proved again how valuable he is to the team.

What did you differently in the second half? The team held the ball well in the first half but Philadelphia opened space in the second half?

We lost too many easy balls. There were time where we in position to make that pass that could’ve gotten the third goal, we just didn’t do it. But the important thing is that we got the win. San Jose went up 1-0 last week and ended up losing the game. So we got the win and we are happy to travel back to Columbus with 3 points.

Kei Kamara

What did you see in the defense for both goals, they seemed very similar at the back post?

It’s not really their defense, its just way we play. It’s just me reading the play and reading my teammates, and as you can see both of the balls were intentionally to go to the back post. It wasn’t necessarily the defense, it was just our stuff.

How much of an impact has Harrison had since he arrived?

It’s great, he is a really really good addition to the team, and he’s shown it. He is a Ghanian international, played in the World Cup, African Nations Cup, so he is a really experienced player. It’s all about us clicking as fast as possible as a team. Today he showed some really good play.

You are the 16th player in MLS history to score 20 goals in one season. What does that mean to you?

I actually didn’t know that. But 16 is actually my lucky number. I came to America at the age of 16. So I have always counted that number as my lucky number. So to be 16th person, I’m happy. But I don’t want stay there, I want to move forward.

Record last year was 27, do have any aims on any number of goals?

Tony Tchani says I can score 8 goals in the last 5 games but If I can win the next 5 games, ill be more than happy. I want score goals, I want to help the team out, If my goals are going to help the team out, then I’m going to keep scoring.

How do you treat this game, since there are playoff implications involved?

Right now, till the end of the season, it’s crunch time. We want to get maximum points from all these games. Playing against teams in our conference, those are points you cant let go.

Steve Clark

How important was the center backs play?

It’s a bummer when you don’t get a shutout, I thought we defended well enough to have one. We have been working really hard all year. Getting better at the little things, positionally, communication, it’s starting to pay a little bit of dividends, so we’ll just continue.

The last save you made, the one off the post from the Le Toux shot, did you see a difference in their attack in the second half?

They pressured higher in the second half. Instead of sitting back after we got the goal. I thought did better when they pressured high. I’m so focused on organizing us really, they just did a good job attacking. You just think about who they have at the top, they have Conor Casey, who is a load, Le Toux running underneath, and Sapong, I mean these guys are heavy.

How big is this win in September?

It’s big, we need to kill off games, previously in the year we have let teams back in. It’s big for us, 3 point at this stage is huge for us. We are still in the running in the east so we are looking forward to a big game next week.

8 Comments

  1. “I think you just walked in. What I said at the start was that they were better than us.”

    Maybe the most insightful comment yet.

  2. “Why has momentum been difficult to maintain this year?”
    .
    This is a good question and one which considers pondering. Not sure I like the coaches answer at the moment. From my point of view…to play with such apathy for 60 minutes in a meaningful home game against the team that crushed your playoff hopes last year…is concerning to me.
    .
    There is a distinct lack of urgency and accountability on the field, pre game, post game….somewhere…An impotence…. Yeah that’s it…an impotence.
    .
    The Union needed to come out hard and set an intention and a tone to the game and what we got was Chutes and Ladders, Tiddly Winkes. Shrivel Dick. Shrivel Dick? Yes! Shrivel Dick.
    .
    Concerning for sure.
    .
    “I AM smelling like the ROSE that somebody gave me cause I’m DEAD AND BLOATED.”
    .
    another shit Onion performance…
    .
    … “I AM trampled under soles of another man’s shoes guess I walk too softly.”
    .
    Impotent team…
    .
    Yes boys… this is el pachyderm questioning what’s in your cajones.

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