Postgame

Postgame video and quotes: Union 2-2 Galaxy

Photo and video: Daniel Studio

Mike and Kevin’s postgame wrap

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Postgame comments from Keegan Rosenberry, Chris Pontius, and CJ Sapong

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Note: Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference transcribed by PSP. All other quotes provided. Questions have been paraphrased.

Jim Curtin

Opening statement

Great crowd tonight, very impressive, I thought the atmosphere was excellent, the fans really pushed us on. Obviously, as quality of an attacking team as there is in our league, a big challenge. Obviously, they were clinical with the chances that they got. I think it is safe to say, two very good teams going at it, and on a different night maybe we get a bounce here or there and come away with three points. We don’t believe in moral victories but, at the same time, we went toe to toe with a top team in the West, a former champion. I’m proud of my team, I thought they put a lot into the game; continued to push, we finished the game with three rookies on the field against some pretty darn good players that the Galaxy have so, a good learning experience. Again, we’re disappointed we didn’t take all three points — we did drop two points tonight — but we are going to be tough to beat in this building and our guys have really laid that foundation, and I was happy with the effort. But, again, I’m getting greedy and want all three points in that game.

On Keegan Rosenberry’s performance

Excellent. He has playing against three legends of their club, you know, out there and he’s a kid from Georgetown. So, again, he’s done great. He’s a young player but, at the same time, you’re seeing him develop. He’s confidence is growing, he’s very good with the ball, he’s comfortable. Happy for him to get his first goal, that’s always a good confidence builder. He has a real willingness to play out of the back. Did very good in his 1v1 battles, I thought. When you get isolated with a dos Santos or with a Keane it’s not an easy task, and I think he plays wise beyond his years, for sure. But, again, it’s the same thing we’ve seen through training and preseason, he’s brought that. He has a good mentality and head on his shoulders, and he’s one of the young guys that are playing really well for us.

On how these types of experience and games benefit the young rookies

Yeah. it’s so valuable to get games like that. That is…It’s a big boy game. YOu look out there and that is a game of a lot of men on the field, a lot of former champions on the field, and it was fast, the tempo was high. There was good plays from us, there was good plays from them, there were mistakes, there was recovery runs. I think both teams put a ton into the game. Again, I think to walk away with a point each, it’s as exciting a draw as you can have for the fans, from that standpoint. But, yeah, every time you take the field and you get 90 minutes it’s a great learning experience. But when you do it against Gerrard, Keane, dos Santos — Zardes gets kind of forgotten, Magee’s a former MVP that no one talks about — so, again, it’s a quality team, a quality opponent, but we know we have a good team, as well.

On going for the win against a team like Galaxy

I think we’ve shown that home and away we’re going to try to play the same way. We’re not a team that is good at sitting back and absorbing things. I think we’re going to…I don’t think, we are going to be aggressive for 90 minutes, home or away. And, yes, you will maybe get exposed a couple times during that but we believe we have a good defensive team. A good standard has been set from the front three, to the midfield, to the backs that everyone attacks, everyone defends, and we try to make it 90 minutes of hell for the other team. And that’s what we did tonight. Again, unfortunately, I think we came up with 22 shots on goal so, again, to go at the Galaxy, to be brave, to be fearless is what we are about, it’s part of what we want to instill in our players. No one wants to come and sit back and just absorb and play safe. I thought we were aggressive on the night from minute 1 to minute 90, pushing for goals. The guys that came in as subs I think contributed — all three — offensive-minded guys that came in and made an impact on the game. So, everyone’s contributing, we have a good thing going right now. Again, if we keep the level at this, more times than not you’ll come away with three points. So, again, we’ll look to continue to push.

You said the draw with San Jose almost felt like a loss. What did this one feel like?

It’s still two points dropped. That’s the hard part that I’m having a tough time getting over, and all the guys too, they’re still disappointed. Again, we don’t do moral victories but you can see, the fans can see, the rest of the league when they watch that one back, the coaches in the league, will know that it is different since Earnie has been here, it is different. The players feel it, I feel it, I’ve learned a ton, they’re learning a ton, they’re growing; we’re all getting better, we’re all improving, and the environment is a good one. So, it’s positive right now. Again, we don’t really get to celebrate, we don’t celebrate draws, we have to think about Montreal and Piatti and Drogba. So, again, this thing doesn’t get easy. Everybody keeps saying, they’ll bring up with Josh [Yaro], “Oh, Josh, man, his first week he has to deal with Dempsey.” And then the next week it’s Keane — you know, it’s on and on. Every week there’s going to be somebody. I could go through every forward in the league and they’re all darn good. So, it’s a challenge each week, and we’ll move on to the next one. But, the biggest thing is we’re not going to be scared. This team is not scared of anyone. They’re young, they’re eager; the older veterans are really helping the young guys, so we have that going in a good way. The next step now is winning these games now, instead of taking one point taking three.

How will you carry over the pressure you put in the last 30 minutes into Saturday’s game against Montreal?

We’ll see, we still have to see how we got through that one exactly with the guys. I think they covered a lot of ground, they certainly put a lot of work in. I’m not afraid to go to guys that maybe weren’t even in the 18 tonight, they’re playing that well in training. So, we’re a full team and we going to need everybody. It’s, again, part of what we talk about every week with you guys is we’re two deep at each spot and guys going to be called upon. Ray was out tonight; he played a great game against San Jose. Fabi steps in, does a good job, wins a lot of aerial balls and does a good job. So, it’s next man up. Warren Creavalle’s been playing great; we don’t take him out because of a poor performance but, matchup wise, we thought this was one for BC and, again, BC steps in and does a good job. We have depth; we’ll evaluate how to approach Montreal — a very good team, a top team in the East with some special players. I think, for me, Piatti is as dangerous as any player in our league, great attacking player. Drogba, and the way that they’re coached and organized, it will be a challenge for us to do a quick turnaround but I think our guys are up for it. They certainly have some confidence from tonight and we’ll go, go again.

Vincent Nogueira got the goal early on, and he was pushing up really far from the No. 8 spot. Was that by design?

Yeah. We wanted to have our midfielders, especially our defensive midfielders, make some late runs into the box just because LA, with their attacking guys, push so many numbers forward, they’re so aggressive. It’s a bit of a cat and mouse. We took some risk and he made some decent Again, it’s a bit of a cat-and-mouse but we took some risk and made some deeper runs. BC, I think you could see too, made two or three where we just missed him. So, yeah, getting guys running in from deep with the numbers that they throw forward they wind up maybe being one short. We didn’t capitalize on a couple really good opportunities in those situations on breaks but, at the same time, we’ll look at the tape, we’ll learn from it, and we’ll get better. I still think the final ball, the final shot, can be a little better to close off games. Look at them, both goals almost identical from each side, they’re taken with some class. So, again, we created a lot, we created enough to get another goal, so that part’s disappointing, but there’s still always room for improvement with our group.

On CJ Sapong and how movement in the box has evolved

I think first and foremost he takes a beating every week. I don’t know whether it’s just the way he plays, or the style. He doesn’t get calls; again, I’m not crying to the referees, but he takes a pounding each and every week. I think it’s maybe the way he plays, it’s a little unorthodox, it’s hard to ref. But, yeah, he occupies two guys, he occupies both center backs for the majority of the time. He’s committed to run hard across the near post, works his tail off, holds the ball up for us, lets us move as a team, and does a lot of defensive work, too. So, happy with CJ, CJ’s playing excellent. But, yeah, he does take a pounding in there and I think he’ll start to get some more calls as the season goes, hopefully.

Keegan Rosenberry

On the one on one with Giovanni dos Santos late in the game

Yeah, it’s one of the challenges of the game, we’ve got a top player, four or five players, and that was our goal tonight, for us to limit their chances, with all the special players they have and all they can do. I think we did a relatively good job with that, obviously they capitalized on a couple of our mistakes and scored a couple goals but I think there was a lot of positives to take away from that.

On his first professional goal

Yeah, it was thrilling, it wasn’t too much on the finish obviously, but yeah I mean right place right time. It’s just a matter of being aggressive in the box and ball roll in. Thankful for the right place.

On the result of the match

To be honest, the way the game flowed and the way we performed, it feels like two lost, just like last week. I think that’s one of the reasons it surprised people, we generated a lot chances, and I thought we were the better team tonight. I guess that might surprise people but I think the fans can tell as well, we had the momentum at the end there, and looked like we were going to score.

On the start of the second half

It’s difficult obviously, again with a talented team like that, they have the ability to control the game when you’re tied or your up a goal. But I think we did a good job and created some chances, and that’s how we got that second goal.

On overall defensive performance

Yes and no. Obviously we gave up two, that’s not ideal if you want to win three points and one goal at the most. At the same time like you said, we didn’t give up too many chances and we had to deal with their special players. But again there are positives, but at the same time I think we can improve, and we can score more goals as well.

Certainly, from day one of preseason, everybody in the locker room contribute like we have, but at the same time these results, in the way the game flowed, will validate that. This team is on a good way about right now, and the challenge is to maintain the consistent performances in the way we have been performing.

Vincent Nogueira

Do you feel like you let one go?

We are happy about the performance, but we are also happy about the result. When you put good pressure on them like that it is frustrating to not get three points, but still it is a good performance. We scored twice and they didn’t have a lot of opportunities, so it was a good game. Unfortunately we have just one point.

On his goal

It comes from the left side, I think it is a cross from Fabinho, and it deflects by C.J. [Sapong] I think, I tried to shoot first but I didn’t connect the first time. The second time I shoot again. It is not the most beautiful goal in the world but it is still a goal and it counts, so that is important.

How much was that an area that you wanted to attack, the space in front of their defenders and behind the holding midfielder?

They were actually playing with three midfielders, and we were playing with five midfielders, so it was our strength tonight. I think we were pretty good in the midfield and we did pretty well and it was the key, but at the same time they were very good at the counter attack because they stayed with three players in front so it is still a dangerous team anyway.

Chris Pontius

How does it feel to go at a team like the Galaxy for 90 minutes, what does it mean for the team to have done that?

It means what we have tried to do, I think only maybe the first (match) we played timid. It is just a new group getting to know each other, but since then I think we have been pretty gung-ho about how we play and pressuring teams, forcing them into bad situations. It was going to be no different with LA tonight, so we wanted to show the rest of the league what we could do. Like I said, they scored two pretty good goals. I thought we had the better of play tonight though.

How do you get the last 30 minutes of the second half to carry over into Saturday?

It was pretty good, we had the movement and a lot of chances, and the crowd was into the game too. It was pretty special. Like I said, if we can just put a couple balls away it will go our way. Carrying it into Saturday we just have to prep for a different team, different system, and hopefully get after them the same way. I am sure there will be some changes maybe, but that is up to Jim and the coaching staff.

How much of a challenge is it to go from the way LA plays to the way Montreal plays?

You get used to it; it is week in and week out. You have to change to a different team’s system so I don’t think it is that much of a jolt. You have to be able to adapt in every league you play in, so no big change for us.

CJ Sapong

What does it mean for this team to go at LA for 90 minutes?

I think it is just a testament of what we already know about ourselves. I think with games that we have already played this season we felt like we have always could have done better, and always seen where we could have improved. I think today was the first day that we really stay true to our identity, and as a player and teammate, it is good to see how guys are willing to step up in a big game and feel how the fans get behind us as well.

It is a feeling that I have not felt in a Union uniform before, so it is a good feeling. We still obviously want more and feel like we could have come away with three points, but it was a great performance, it was a great effort, and it is something to build on.

What does it say about Jim because some managers in this league would want to sit back against LA’s firepower

It shows the belief that he has in us, and he has showed it from day one. It made it kind of easier for us to assimilate into those roles and believe that we can play with any team in this league. I think it is a good thing that in house that we have our mentality, and we kind of separate ourselves from whatever the external factors are, and it starting to show and think we can show even more.

Is confidence growing, as a group, nine games into the season?

For sure, I think granted the way we came into preseason everybody kind of being on the same page already. It set up an environment where everybody already was confident. Every game though I feel like it’s building, and like I said, today the teammates showing that effort and the will to try to get that win against a team like LA speaks volumes to us and it is something that will keep improving on as the season goes on.

You took a nice beating tonight and you probably will against Montreal, you ready for that?

Always ready for that man. That is my game and it makes me feel alive on the field. I am looking forward to the next battle, and I will ice up as much as I can till then.

LA Galaxy postgame quotes

Bruce Arena

On the result of the game

We’ll take the point, but you know when we get the second goal early in the second half, I thought we had to close the game down. Obviously, there was a lot of time left, and we didn’t do a good job of that and probably could have done a better job on that second goal. But I know Philadelphia played well and you can see that they were a little bit more rested than us but it makes a difference. We changed six players from our game on Sunday so I give our guys credit to deal with the travel and getting the point and playing against an impressive team. Overall, I think we have to be pleased to leave with a point.

On this Philly team as oppose to the old one

Well I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t spent any time analyzing the Philly team, so I can’t give you the assessment.

Yeah, they are a good team. I’m not spending a whole lot of time analyzing their team, and a little bit more concerned with ours.

On the two goals and if the fullbacks were planned to exploit the outside

No, just playing soccer, you know. They did a good job holding their team in, I think their back line pushes in so there is a little bit more space outside on the flanks in the last third of the field. But just you take what they give you, both teams, as you can see, Philadelphia in the second half, they utilized the flanks quiet well also. But nothing really by design, but yeah two good goals.

On the Giovani dos Santos sideline situation

The defender cleared him and went through his cleat. He was bleeding, there was blood on his shoe. All these foreign players, they worry about spreading diseases throughout the game, but he had a little blood on his shoe so he had to come off.

On Gyasi Zardes’ performance

Gyasi is playing well; I wish we could have kept him up top more in the second half. Obviously we made a change in the second half and he played very well. I know Gyasi is a team player; he’s good when he is needed with our team, and he is getting better and better every game.

On the two goals the team scored

It was real good goal, it was a great finish by Robbie and I thought Magee’s goal was a good goal, there was some accommodation play with Dos Santos and Gerrard, and we were able to finish. We scored some pretty big goals.

Giovanni dos Santos

On the injury

It’s part of the game. I feel good, but I think it was a difficult game, we got a point and we are happy that we are undefeated.

On the last 20 minutes

It’s always difficult to play on the road you know. It’s difficult, I think our team has to play with the mistakes we made, but we are on a good way and we have to continue like this and look forward to the next game.

On the goals scored and the offense

I think everyone in the team is doing well, and everyone is working hard. As I said last week, we are getting better every single day, and we have now a couple of days to rest. I think we need a little bit of rest you know and be ready for the next game.

On being defensive in the second half

Well it’s difficult; we never play like they were going to push. We were open and they scored in the first ten minutes. We tried to control the game, but always to play on the run, and we know the teams are always trying to push, and you know it was a difficult second half.

On giving up the lead

Well it’s difficult you know, it’s part of the game. We have to learn from the game. The goals that we are conceding, we have to be stronger. Especially on the road, like we are going to have chance, and we have to try to not concede many goals.

Ashley Cole

On the overall match

I feel it’s always difficult away from home, without all of our fans. We are not really used to pitch, but going 2-1 up, you would expect us to go for the game and see it through. But it’s not bad, again we still lost three points and we have to look at the positive and take the point.

On the last half hour

I think it kind of seems to be the way so far this season, in away games, they are trying to press us high. Maybe we should be a little bit more comfortable on the ball, we have some really good players, so we should try to play out a little bit more. Not be too scared to take risks, like I said there are people that can do it. I feel they are just putting the pressure a little bit too high on us on the pitch, but we just have to deal with it and maybe change our forward mind, and maybe hitting a few longer balls, and let the front three chase it down.

On the last 20 minutes

Like I said, it’s always difficult when you’re away, you the pressure is going to come. I think maybe they should have scored at the end as well so, we were probably lucky to come away with a point on the road is good. It was little bit frantic at the end, like you said they were counter attacking, little bit stretched. But you know that was going to happen away from home.

Dan Kennedy

On the second goal

Just hectic off the corner kick, they get the header on frame, and I could never really get the hold of it, it squirts free, and they get on the end of it.

Yeah, it’s a tough position to be in, nonetheless we came in here and got a point so it’s a solid point for us. As a goalkeeper you obviously always want to keep a clean sheet and have a good game. That’s the way our position works.

On Galaxy’s away form

I think we are doing well on the road so far this season, so let’s just keep grinding and keep staying focused. We don’t lose any momentum by coming on the road and getting a tie.

On the goalkeeper competition

B[rian Rowe] and I support each other 100 percent, we are going to compete to make this team as good as possible. So I know I’m enjoying being here and being part of that competition. I’m sure if you asked Brian, he would feel the same exact way. I’m proud to work with him and Matt and this team.

8 Comments

  1. Foreign players…? Maybe it’s because Dweezil’s exquisite guitar is still ringing in my head a week after his show in Ardmore, but I think we could overlay Bruce Arena’s comments onto Malkovich from Via Zammata’ (“Arena Arena what the … are you talking about?”)

  2. Boy the older I get the younger a 23 year old looks.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    Did Arena call the Union an impressive team or a rested team?

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