US Open Cup postgame video and quotes: Union 3-2 City Islanders

Photo and video: Daniel Studio

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Postgame comments from Walter Restrepo

Postgame comments from Fabian Herbers

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

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

Jim Curtin

Opening statement

After a fairly business-like 75, 80 minutes we unraveled a bit and lost a little composure. Credit to Harrisburg for pushing the game at the end there. Happy for some of our guys that really stepped up, that deserved minutes, in particular Roland Alberg, had a very strong game, Walter Restrepo — not because they scored but because they did a lot of little things. They’ve been working very hard in training and they’ve earned this opportunity to start. So, I thought that it was good exercise for our whole front four — Ilsinho, as well, and getting (Fabian) Herbers going a bit was good for our guys.

Disappointed that we didn’t close it out and get the third goal. Again, you let teams hang around, this competition is a crazy one. You look at the score lines, everybody’s up a goal, down a goal. There were some crazy results last night, it almost went the way of some of the lower league teams.

The name of the game is surviving and advancing in this competition; we’ve done that. We’ve had a good mentality, happy to close it out and not have to go 120 minutes with New York City coming up on Saturday. Our focus will shift to them now. This game is in the past and we will learn from it and we’ll get better.

On the last foul that led to the free kick

Well, I think, on the night, there was a lot of inconsistencies with calls –both teams, for both teams —  so it doesn’t surprise me that there was a foul called. You could say that there was a handball on their second goal, too, that led to it, but again, a lot of stuff was missed. We were the beneficiary I guess of that, and Roland [Alberg], take nothing away from the shot that he hit because that is a difficult one where it’s so close to the 18 that there’s not a lot of room to get it up and down the way he did, that’s a lot more difficult than people think. So many times you see those go skied into the 12th row, so it was just the right amount of finesse. You’ve seen him do it on training, now it’s great to execute it in a game to get our team a big victory. But, is it a foul? I’ll have to look at it again. But nothing surprises me after the way that that one went.

On letting the foot off of the gas and allowing two late goals

We got sloppy with the ball. I think our team is very fit, I think we have a good engine in all of our guys. Again, just a little casual on certain plays. The first one starts with a long diagonal that we kind of misjudged a bit and recover a little slower than I would have liked. Two or three guys had a chance to clear it – we need to a better job as a team in not conceding that goal.

Again, you have to have ways to close out ugly games, right? So it’s a team effort collectively, there’s a lot of different things we could have done better. It wasn’t fatigue, it wasn’t tired, guys were fine in that regard. Just need to do a better job of concentrating, doing what we did for the first half, which was keeping the ball pretty well.

On the last five minutes

Nothing surprises me, ever, you know, you’ve seen a lot; I’d like to think that we’re past the craziness of some of the games that have been here. So, again, it started to creep in maybe and we punched it right in the face so it was over with.

Roland, I just thanked him in front of the whole group for the goal that he scored because that’s a big goal, right, that obviously, it wins us the game. But it does a lot more than that in terms of what does 120 minutes look like. As guys do start to fatigue, and it gets late, it becomes more of a coin toss so a very big goal. Happy that he got it and, again, the past is the past.

On there being no weather delay as has been the case in past US Open Cup games at home

No lightening delay, no crazy weather delay. They’re always, these Open Cup games, this is what they look like, you know? In a lot of ways they become maybe less about the soccer and that’s the disappointing part — and I’m still upset with the group, with the staff — the coaching staff — with everybody, because we should close that game out 3-0 and it should be easier than that.

On how team played in first game back since the Copa America break

Yeah, it’s never easy when you do have some down time, the league stops, for lack of a better word. We did a good job of pushing our guys fitness wise. We were able…I think a valuable exercise was against the US National Team, to get that live action where it is a fast-tempo game, and there’s no way you can rest for a second. It’s good to have that before you get this game [and] it’ll get ramped up this Saturday. David Villa in Yankee Stadium where it’s, we’ll just call it “tight quarters,” and it’ll be a very roll-up-your-sleeves type of game; the ball is always in play. So, yeah, I’d say that national team exercise gave us a good burst in the beginning of the game. That’s why you saw us get a good start and a good goal early on.

On importance of new front four’s performance with schedule coming up

Excellent, excellent. I think all four, if you go back through all four guys, some scored goals, but all of them created a lot of chances, so that’s good to see. I think we have established ourself as a good team defensively, but to see all four of those guys with a little bit of hunger, a knack for getting at the goal, was important. I think it shows our depth and it’s really not a resting, we’re not a team that rest, you know? We’re a team that feels that everybody can contribute, we have some depth and guys are really pushing. And then there are certain moments where you could flip a coin and choose one guy over the other because they are competing that much. Happy for them to get rewarded and they deserved the goals that they got, and the performances that they had.

Roland Alberg

On his game-winning free kick

Well, first of all, I was trying to kick it in the corner of the goalkeeper and then last minute my mindset was different, so I thought I would flip it over the wall and it goes in. The feeling was amazing. I’m happy with the win and going through.

On his performance

I am happy today. It was the first game in a couple weeks – couple months. My last game was Seattle. After the red card, it was hard for me to train every day and make some minutes at the end. But, today I got my chance and I scored two goals. It’s what I said, amazing.

On his combination play with Ilsinho and Walter Restrepo

Yeah, it’s excellent. They can play football and me, too. It went well today, so I am happy with the performance today from all of the players, not just me or Walter or Ilsinho. It is true that we can play together, but I think that everybody deserves the credit.

Walter Restrepo

On finally seeing the field

It’s very tough because I want to always play, but we have a very good team with very good players. We are on top of the table. And coach always says to have patience, to just wait for the opportunity and to keep working so I waited for my next game and kept working hard.

On his goal

I was just waiting for the cross, and the keeper touched the ball and I was ready for the second ball. I scored early and it was important.

On what his goal does for his confidence

For me, it is very important because it was my first game with the Union. I know that I have to make an impact in the game – run, defend, attack. But the most important thing to me is the team winning. We have the win and that’s most important for us.

Fabian Herbers

On his chemistry with tonight’s lineup

Yeah, it was a new squad. We haven’t played like that together much, but I thought we started off well and getting that early goal helped us a lot. And then we struggled a little bit in the first half with them getting a couple restarts and everything. I thought our response was fine. We got a second goal before half. If we get a third goal in the second half then I think the game is over, but unfortunately they knocked one in and pressed a little bit more until they got a lucky second one. Overall, it was a solid performance, I think. The 80 minutes were good, but the last 10 we have got to keep the tempo up to make sure we win at home.

On Alberg’s game-winner

He is one of the better ones, that’s for sure, at the set pieces. Yeah, Seba [Le Toux] drew the foul very smartly, I thought. And yeah, [Alberg] was on the ball and it was all in his decision. He knows what he can do on the ball and he hit it perfectly. You can’t hit it any better.

On the second goal

We pressed very good. Ilsinho intercepted the ball on the left hand side. It was good pressure from our side. He passed it to me, kind of, and we had a two-on-one – Roland and me versus one defender and I drew the defender. He thought I would shoot and I passed it to Roland, who was wide open, and he took a touch and finished.

On Alberg and Ilsinho’s contributions in training

We have really good depth on the team. We have quality players on the bench. They are not starting all of the time, but you see when they come to it and when they are asked for [it] they can step up and play well. So, that is a good problem to have for the coach and the team because that’s good competition. It just gets the team moving further forward.

City Islanders FC postgame quotes

Bill Becher

On the overall game

We were behind early, battled hard. Got two goals back, tied the game late and lost it in stoppage time. I mean, I have to see it again, it was a tough decision he made on the free kick right outside the box. I guess give them credit, they finished it but you know it’s a good effort by us and we did everything we could to win the game. I thought after the first six or seven minutes, I thought they controlled the first six or seven minutes, I thought after that it was even for most of the first half. And I thought for the second half we were the better team.

On the game winning free kick

Like I said, I have to see it again. From my vantage point, it is a pretty tough call to make, but it wasn’t something you say, like our red card, that’s a 100 percent red card, no doubt. The foul they called, I don’t think it was. I would have to get a better look at it to say, for sure. But it’s a tough call to make on something that you’re not sure about, to put it at the top of the box in stoppage time like that.

And what was more disappointing that my players said that he walked them off 15 yards. They kept showing him where the 18 was and where the ball was but he backed him up 15 yards. So it gave them that opportunity to get the ball up and down. Again, I wasn’t out there, so I can’t say that for sure but that’s what the guys were telling me, and that was more frustrating for them than the call, that he backed them up way too far.

On the last meeting and this meeting

Obviously, that game was frustrating. That game was frustrating from the standpoint that we were short on bodies, and we were in control of the game, the whole game, and gave up a late goal. This game was different, they had the lead, even though I thought we were better in the second half, and sometimes that’s misleading. Because the team that’s winning 2-0 isn’t pushing as much forward. Maybe they are sitting and protecting a little and giving us the ball a little bit more. From that standpoint, they probably felt comfortable in the game, but to tie it up and lose it before overtime was very frustrating. I mean, had we gone on to overtime and they pulled it out, it would have still been frustrating but to lose it that way, it was certainly difficult.


  1. SilverRey says:

    Great response last night! I really thought it was going into overtime, then who knows – it’s a crap shoot at that point.

  2. Damn there was a letdown when Sebastian came into the game. I think it was a psychological issue. You could sense in the stands that “well we have some fresh legs and one of our top playmakers in” feeling. There are 90 minutes and you have to play all 90. This game should have been 4-0 and almost was. I was kidding my son that it looked like a Monty Python skit for the first 80 minutes…but it certainly got interesting….

  3. Ray Gaddis had an overall strong game. However with the Union up a man with CIFC pressing, he decides to leave his position leaving a man open on the flank. He gets drawn towards the ball and trips up Tribett who appeared to have the play covered initially and the opposition scores the tying goal. This happened on other CIFC chances and the Union didn’t get burned. I like Ray a lot but sometimes his over zealousness affects his awareness of where he needs to be. He still has issues when ball is in the air and judging it’s trajectory. This is what keeps him from really be an elite MLS player. More that any other player he is given chance after chance but he hasn’t learned to read the game. It’s not just all about instinctual athleticism. He has improved some aspects of his game when supporting the attack. However, he has been making the same miscalculations defensively from day one. Rosenberry comes in and locks it down and rarely makes the basic mistakes Gaddis does. I feel that the Union (not a reflection on how things are now) have screwed up the development of players like Gaddis and former home grown player Zach Pfeffer, but that was under the old regime. It would be really worthwhile if Ray could train overseas in the off season like some other MLS players have done to see where his game needs improvement. He has great athleticism but fundamentals continue to be an issue.

Leave a Reply

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