Postgame quotes: NYCFC 3-2 Union

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Note: Transcribed by PSP. Questions have been paraphrased. NYCFC did not provide postgame audio or quotes from their coach or players.

Jim Curtin

Opening statement

First off, I’d like to apologize to our fans that traveled here, also our fans watching at home, for the first half. That was not us, that was not what we’ve been about. So, disappointed from that regard. I take responsibility for it: I didn’t have them ready to play, that’s on me.

Having said that, our guys did fight in the second half, pushed the game a bit, were able to get back in it. On a tight field anything can happen. I thought…Not I thought, I know that’s a penalty at the end of the game, too, a hundred percent. I guess in that moment, that big of  a moment. for the referee that’s a tough decision in their building to make that call. But, it’s a foul, it’s a penalty kick. He missed a few other ones, as well, against New York City, as well, they had some bad calls against them.

So, we didn’t deserve anything today, credit to New York City. I thought David Villa was the best player on the field by a lot. So, it’s difficult. We learn from it and we’ll regroup. We have Chicago and Vancouver at home, our next two games, so we get to bounce back quick.

Were you surprised your team nearly came back in the second half?

No, we have been a team that’s been pretty resilient, we’ve scored a lot of goals late in games. We have a belief about us right now, we’re just disappointed with how we started. We thought we’d create chances; it did take us a little while to create them so, again, disappointed with the start but, no, not but surprised that the group stuck with it, stuck at it, and created a couple goals in the end. On a different day it could have been a PK at the end.

On the Creavalle/Carroll combination and putting a little more offense in the second half

We gave up two bad goals, right? So, again, we weren’t sharp from the beginning; credit to New York City, they punished us for not being sharp. Couple silly mistakes that led to goals, so we’re down 2-0. We needed to make an aggressive offensive change, we did that at half time. By no means is that performance on Warren Creavalle. So, again, he’ll turnaround and bounce back and be back part of the group going forward next week. Just a tactical move. We needed an offensive guy on the field and Warren is more a defensive-minded guy.

On the spark that Roland Alberg provides

He’s a guy who’s comfortable around the goal a, comfortable making a final pass. I thought he did a good job moving and finding space of being. He does a good job of being a threat in behind sometimes.  He mixes it up so he’s a good player, I guy that gave us some life in the second half. But overall, on the day, as a team, our decision making collectively, we just weren’t ourselves and I just told the group, before the game, what’s gotten us here is strong goalkeeping, team defense, and being good on restarts. I think we get an F for that tonight.

On Jack Harrison

Dangerous. Does a really good job staying wide and getting himself isolated. He can run, no question about it. Ray Gaddis is one of the faster guys in our league [and] Jack can run with him. So, a very good younger player. Impressive, in that it’s only his, what, second game so the sky is the limit for the kid, he’s got a lot of talent. Again, they’re a good team and we let them jump on us early, and it was probably too late to recover from.

On the penalty kick, it almost looked like Roland Alberg waved off Sebastien Le Toux. Did that come from the sidelines or was that something that just developed on the field?

Yeah, I don’t pick who takes PK’s, I believe it’s a field thing. So, I let them sort it out. I didn’t really see exactly what you saw so, again, I’ll have to talk to them and I’m sure they’ll give a clear-cut reason for what went on. Bottom line is we scored so there’s never any issues after a goal goes in. But, yeah, I don’t designate a guy prior to the game because you never know what it’s going to be; a guy you designate could be the guy that gets whacked and then, you know, is feeling…is injured, for lack of a better word. So, not a guy who going into the game says who’s taking a PK but if there was an argument, it’s in the past.

On CJ Sapong’s status

He has an ankle injury. He’s a guy who’s been really important for us, obviously, this year. Again, we miss him, but, at the same time, Fabian Herbers stepped in and did a good job for us. So, again, nothing serious, I don’t think it should be too much longer. Our medical staff’s done a good job with him getting him back as quickly as possible. And, again, we have two big home games: The good news is that we get to bounce back on a Wednesday [against Chicago] right away now, a quick turnaround at home in front of our fans, and then Vancouver at home, as well, so we’ll have to take care of business.

How much of being unable to play you wanted to play against NYCFC down to what has happened in the past week off the field [with the departure of Vincent Nogueira], and how much is getting used to a different field?

Of course when we lose there’s going to be speculation, right? We lost Vincent Nogueira, who’s a great player. Again, it’s difficult on the guys, probably more mentally than physically, I would say. At the same time, the league doesn’t stop and wait for you. The games are coming. There’s good teams in this league, anybody can beat anybody on any given day, so it’s our job to be ready to go. I think we were a little bit a step late, we were kind of too individual and not going as a team together. And credit to New York, they passed the ball well early on in the game; I think that’s a part of it. Again, we’ll watch the tape, we’ll learn from it, and we’re still a very good team.

Richie Marquez

Jim Curtin said the team wasn’t itself today. What did you see on the field?

I think he’s 100 percent right. I think we struggled with the ball today. I mean, it just wasn’t our best game.

How much of it was getting used to a different field and how much of it was a difficult week for the team with losing Vincent Nogueira?

I think that’s just making excuses on our part because we don’t want to do that. We go away and play all the time and it’s not about the field, it’s about showing up and doing our job and today we weren’t able to do that.

On how tough were NYCFC’s short passing-possession game was to defend against

It’s tough, most teams try to do that, and it requires for us to run, but, you know, we prepare for that in training. We’re a fit team and we should be able to keep up with any team, if not outrun them more. So, that’s the upsetting part, because I feel like we could have done more.

On facing some of the big names in the NYCFC’s starting lineup

They obviously have some big names but that shouldn’t matter. They do play a different style and I think they use their field to their advantage, and it’s good for them the way they come out and play. But still, there’s weaknesses in their game that we should have come out and exploited, and we weren’t able to.

On Jack Harrison’s game

I think he’s a good player, I think he did a good job today. But it was just disappointing.

On making adjustments without Vincent Nogueira

I think Coach said it best: We have a lot of players who step up, and we all work hard on the field for that opportunity, so I think it’s just sticking together and coming out on Wednesday winning.

How will Nogueira being gone change things going forward?

I mean, we’ve [?] with Vince before when he was injured, and we were able to execute our game, so I think it’s be fixed [fit?] by game time, no matter what, no matter who’s on the field.

Roland Alberg

On whether the game should have ended with a penalty kick

Yes, in my opinion that’s a PK a hundred percent.

On what you’re trying to do to change the game as a halftime sub

First off, it was not our best start, but I was motivated because I wanted to help the guys. It was a difficult first half, but I think the second half we deserved a draw. They brought the score to 3-0 and maybe they thought it was finished, but we made a good run and made it 3-2 and almost 3-3 and it was unlucky. We have to keep moving forward and looking forward to the next game.

On how deep you want to play?

Behind the striker, striker, left side, it doesn’t matter to me where I play, I want to play and everybody knows it. And if I play, I want to do my best, if it’s behind the striker, No. 6 or 8, it doesn’t bother me.

On the conversation with Sebastien Le Toux after the penalty was called. It looked like you wanted to take it.

Yeah, of course [laughs]. I just grabbed the ball and put it on the spot. That’s it. I did not have any conversation with anybody. But it is true, I grabbed the ball [laughs], I just wanted to take the penalty, that’s all.

When the score becomes 3-2, do you sort of throw the tactics out of the window and it’s everybody go forward?

Yeah, I think at the end Ken Tribbett was going forward, also. We tried some things but it didn’t help in the end and we lost 3-2. That’s the only thing that counts. We have to look forward to Wednesday, that’s another big game.

Andre Blake

On the David Villa chip from midfield, what’s in your mind with something like that?

Well, to try to catch up as much ground as possible and just see if I can get a touch on the ball.

On adjusting after returning from the Gold Cup

It’s different, it’s always going to be a little transition. It’s still soccer but it is a little different, you’re playing with different guys, you’re playing a different style of game. So, yeah, it’s not a big difference but there is a difference.

How surprised were you by how much NYCFC came at you?

It’s just one of those days where we didn’t have our best game. And that’s a part of soccer, we just have to go back and work on some stuff and be ready for next week.

On the difficulty of facing David Villa

Yeah, he’s a world class striker, he can put it wherever he wants. For me, the biggest thing is, whenever he’s on the ball, to try and be in the best position as possible to make a save.

On how the narrowness of the field affects what he can see

Well, the field is narrow, but it’s not short, I would say. For me, it did not play a big factor in the way we played, I just think it wasn’t one of our best games. And, as a soccer player, there are going to be moments like that when we don’t have our best game.

On the free-kick goal from Andrea Pirlo

Well, the only way I’m saving that is if I cheat, and that’s not the way I play. So, if he’s going to hit a great ball over the wall and score, then I’ll let him do it all day.

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