Postgame

Postgame video and quotes: Union 1-2 RSL

Photo and video: Daniel Studio

Mike and Matthew’s postgame wrap

Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference

Postgame comments from Brian Carroll and Chris Pontius

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

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

Jim Curtin

Opening statement

A bit of a strange game. I thought that the first half we had life, we had energy. Credit to the fans, they were behind us from the start and, again, get our goal. Disappointed with how we started the second half. Obviously, if you look at the goals they gave up we give them little too much time and space but you do have to say [Joao] Plata’s first one and then [Javier] Morales’ were two special goals. So, we’ve been beaten now a couple of times by goals of the week and now it looks like they scored two special one’s tonight. Again, we pushed the game, I think we deserved a second goal. Had chances, got to the end line a bunch, had crosses, just didn’t seem like a night where it would go for us. Rimando made a few saves, they made a few blocks on the line so, disappointing.

We have to pick ourselves up. We have DC and New England on the road now – two difficult tasks. This is our second loss here. We don’t like to lose in this building so we’re disappointed with that. Again, it is a good thing that we’re playing towards the upper part of the standings and we’re not chasing other teams like we have been in the past. This is a unique position that we’re in and we need to get points – that’s clear. We need to take advantage of the hard work that we put in the beginning of the year and the breaks will start bouncing our way again. It comes through hard work in training and we need to continue that and, obviously, need to learn how to win on the road now.

On defense

As balls travel we put a real emphasis as 50 or 60 yard balls get hit of everyone kind of keeping the gaps between our lines small and tight. They’ve gotten a little bit loose so you see a lot of second balls get scooped up by other teams and it puts us in difficult situations. If you break down the two goals — well, I saw them live, I haven’t reviewed them yet — the one, Keegan [Rosenberry] maybe has an opportunity [to] just end the play, head it out of bounds. [Instead] he tries to head it towards forward and it kind of gets a scramble from there.

The second one is a clear foul. I think 18,000 people saw it’s a foul. Even Beckerman stopped on Alberg and then that results in them coming down in the little counter and Morales pulling off a special play on the chip. Again, on all of those instances we need to get closer. We talk about it all the time, defending inside out once they cross midfield, getting close to the ball. If you give special players like Morales and Plata time they’ll do what what they did tonight. Difficult. We’ll learn from it though.

On the officiating

The referees, again, are the referees. It’s a challenge each week. I felt that early on there were a lot of hard fouls that were not carded and then Fabi commits his first foul [and] it’s a yellow card; now we’ll miss him for the next game. So, again, you just want consistency. I know they work hard and they’re trying to get it right but there’s still mistakes for both teams out there. I won’t blame referees for losses, we could have played better on the night but, yeah, there’s always questions. How is it there’s only four minutes of injury time – where they come up with the numbers sometimes — a lot of arbitrary things that sometimes they go in your favor, sometimes they don’t. Tonight, maybe a few went against us.

On whether the spine — being vulnerable up the middle — needs to get better

I talked with Warren at halftime, there was a couple of plays, especially even right off the tap, he kind of went out a little too quick and it led to some space in the middle of the field. I trust Brian Carroll, I trust Warren, they do a good job for us clogging things up in the middle. Again, part of it is Salt Lake’s a good team and created some problems for us. We have played in probably too many end-to-end games now. I think we’re built to be a team that is organized, our lines are tight from back four to midfield to front line, and everybody has to be on the same page. If we start playing individual and trying things on our own defensively, it doesn’t go well. So, again, we need to get back to not giving up goals, and need to improve on that.

On missing Tranquillo Barnetta

You miss Barnetta, obviously, he’s one of our best players. So, again, missing him tonight was a big loss. Again, we’re a team though. We need everybody to be ready when they’re called upon and I think we have had that for the most part this year. There’s a lot of things that we can still improve on. Again, we have a bunch of good midfielders that are doing a good job for us and, again, we have things to work on. We have to find the right combination of players. But, obviously, today, with Barnetta being suspended, he would be in the starting line up.

On going forward on the road after two tough losses

I would say, again, it starts with defense, team defense: from front to back, we need to keep things tight. We’ll go to a tough place in DC; I know they had kind of a heart-breaking draw so they’ll be itching to go. The table’s very tight in the East, anybody can beat anybody on any given day so we need to be up for the challenge of going on the road. Your mentality on the road is everything, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves for moments of the game. There will be moments where you need to be good with the ball keep the ball, and there’ll be moments where you need to grind things out and win ugly. We’re still learning how to do that on the road.

Again, I thought in New England in the Open Cup, I thought we showed a bit of that, that grit and determination on the road. Disappointing to lose and maybe the emotional and mental side of things coming off that loss, we had a setback in Montreal. I am happy with how the guys responded tonight, it wasn’t a lack of effort: That was a team that fought till the end. They’re a great group of guys, and I believe in each and every one of them, and we’re going to fix this thing and get back in the win column. It’s hard to win games in this league — again, it’s really hard to do — and we need to get back on top.

While Roland Alberg converted the penalty kick, do you think you got enough from him in open play?

We talked about getting more balls in the feet of our front four players – so into Alberg, into Ilsinho’s feet, into Pontius, and into Sapong. So, our front four we wanted on the ball a lot more than they had been in the past. So, that just means defenders, midfielders knowing your job: when you win it get it to those guys because they can make things happen. I thought Roland had some good moments. I think he has some moments defensively — we’re still trying to work and have his reactions be a little quicker — but he gave energy, he worked hard. I believe now in terms of midfielders I think he’s already set a record for goals from a midfielder so he’s contributing in big ways. Again, we’re a team and everybody has to step their game up. It wasn’t a perfect night of soccer but I still don’t think that there were any guys that you could single out as having a bad night. So, again, [we’ll] watch the tape, we’ll learn from it. No time to feel sorry for ourselves, we have to get back out there against a good DC.

Is this loss more of a confidence killer or a wake-up call?

It’s not a confidence killer if we win our next two games in the East. So, again, this league is about runs. You’ll see teams go on dips and runs; you win two games in a row in the East and you can see what that does for your team. That’s the task that we have at hand. We didn’t do ourselves any favors, don’t get me wrong: we had a step back tonight. At home we need three points – always. That’s the mentality that we have in our players and we failed that tonight. We will have to steal those points somewhere else now, and that’ll have to be in DC or New England — we have to get points there. And, again, you can look at the table, it doesn’t take a genius, it’s very tight, there’s no team that’s really separated and established themselves as the top team. There’s a lot of good teams, too. So, again, we think we’re one of those good teams and, again, we just have to win a couple of games in a row and get ourselves back on track.

CJ Sapong

You were in a physical battle, what did you see specifically when you won the penalty?

Well, I mean, I was just trying to get away from wrestling with them cause that’s the game that they like, but at the same time they did a good job of locating me when I wasn’t on the ball and staying close to me. On the PK I was trying to stay big, and he pulled me down so that was good, but I’ve still got to try and like my work rate, I just think that I’d like to be a little bit more dangerous towards the goal. But that’s something I could work on moving forward.

Going into tough stretch. How are you guys going to try and bounce back from this?

Well, we got to win on the road, so it’s going to be a good test for us. Something that we need to get used to doing getting into playoff time. Think at this point in the season, you got to look at it as if it is a playoff. It’s going to take a grind to do it, we’ve just got to approach it with that mindset.

Andre Blake

What were you seeing on those two goals?

Two beautiful goals. Kudos to those guys. I mean if someone’s going to score a goal maybe that’s how you want them to score.

How do you rebound from this

Yeah, we know we’re a good team. We know we can win games. We’re just going through a phase right now, and we think we just have to stick together, weather the storm, and keep going and we’re going to get it right.

Real Salt Lake postgame quotes

Jeff Cassar

On what he said to his team at the half

I really just said to keep believing. I thought Philadelphia was good in the first half. I thought we were very good. I thought we were dangerous for the first 30 minutes, but then I thought our confidence just dipped when we turned the ball over cheaply and Philadelphia started to get a little bit of a rhythm. And then obviously, we capitalized on that period of time when we had the movement and were more aggressive. It was just to keep believing because over the last month, I think we have played some of our best soccer ever and we haven’t been rewarded. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we will be rewarded. Two world class goals, in my opinion, from Joao [Plata] and Javi [Morales]. Sometimes it takes that to break the game open.

On Joao Plata’s performance

Yeah, fantastic. I thought his energy level was very high today. Obviously going into a two game road trip with the amount of traveling, we felt that this was our best opportunity to be aggressive and have the right energy for this game. Tonight was exactly what we thought. Joao, in particular, was very threatening all the time. When you have have players that are threatening all the time, you can keep back their outside backs from getting forward, which was the big part of the game.

On the Union allowing more goals as of late

Listen, we respect Philadelphia a lot. But, they are very similar to us in that they are very aggressive. They play with a belief. This year Jim [Curtin] has them playing with a belief. You can see it in their team, there’s no quit in their team. At times, we thought they could be a little overaggressive. It’s how we recognized those situations and tried to capitalize on them. But, their goalkeeper made some great saves. They are a very good team and I have nothing but respect for Jim and what he has done this year and the team that Earnie [Stewart] and Chris [Albright] have put together.

Kyle Beckerman

On the win

It feels good. We stayed at it and kept fighting and were able to get the win.

On what was said at half

Just to keep at it and see if we could finish our chances. We created a couple of good chances and we scored some fantastic goals and it seemed to change the game.

On the team’s five comeback wins this season

Yeah, a lot of character. I think the early success with going down a goal and getting some wins and some ties, then when we do go down a goal nobody panics and we feel like we still can win it. And, that was the same tonight.

On the team’s place in the standings

Today was a really important game. To be able to come out and get a win was really important for us. So, hopefully we can take the momentum right into the next game.

On Rimando tying the wins record

Yeah, it’s huge. It’s just a testament to his hard work and being a great goalkeeper. I don’t know what other records he has to break, but I’d guess he’ll get it. He works extremely hard so it’s a testament to that work he puts in. I’m really happy for him.

Nick Rimando

On what was said at the half

Yeah, at halftime I think a lot of guys were looking at each other in the eyes and putting the work in in the second half to get the result. I think that’s exactly what happened in the second half. We dug in, committed to defending and we got two special goals from our big players.

On his save and goal line clearance

I think there at the end when you’re down, you’re going to play it forward and that’s exactly what they did. Our guys buckled down and I came out for a ball. The ball went wide, it kind of bounced around and then Carroll hit it and I got down to my left. Again our players were back and on the rebound, they hit the ball near post and Olave turned it out. I think Aaron [Maund] had a block at the end of that play too. So, there was a lot of commitment from the guys in front of me, so this win feels good.

On being tied for career games started in net

I’m tied with it. I want to have it all to myself. It’ll come, but it feels good. It’s a big accomplishment I think. But it’s just not my night. I hold it with a lot of players and defenders that I have played with over the years.

On making the Western Conference race tighter

There’s a lot of games in hand – I mean, to play still. One game at a time. The next one is Toronto. We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves. We’re not way up there in the bracket like we want to be but three points is a step in the right direction.

On being atop the career games started list

This year, I wouldn’t say I focused on it, but it was so close that I wanted to have it. I want to have those records and put my name on those sheets. It’s nothing personal, just something that I want to get to and it’s so close that I believe I can get there, especially with the team in front of me.

On the relief of getting three points

Things weren’t going our way for a while, I felt like. Everything was against us. We weren’t hitting the back of the net and soft goals were going in. Today felt like a little mirror in the second half and to get those three points heading into Toronto, it feels good to get that monkey off our back with the ties.

On what was said at half

I think they had one shot on goal in the first half. We just weren’t playing our style and we knew we could play a lot better. That’s what we did. Second half I thought we buckled down and played better defense and put away two special goals.

On what he saw from his vantage point on the goals

A nice buildup on the left that led Plata with a one touch finish to the far post that I don’t think any goalkeeper is going to get to. And then, Javier [Morales], whenever the ball is at his feet, he’s going to make something special happen. He caught Blake off his line and hit it back post. Two, I think, world class goals. Our special players, we expect them to do that.

Javier Morales

On what changed after half

We talked in the half that we have to keep believing. The first half wasn’t bad. They scored by a PK that was, by my opinion, wasn’t. We kept fighting in the second half. We scored an early goal and that gave us a lot of confidence to win the game.

On what was said at half

A little bit. We didn’t deserve to lose the first half. I think we were hungry in the second half and tried to win the game.

On his goal

I got the ball from Garcia and my first touch was wide. I saw the goalkeeper cheat a little bit and i tried to chip it. It worked and I’m very happy.

On the comeback win

Yeah, it means a lot to us, especially after a couple ties at home. We needed a win so bad. I think, today, we earned it and we worked hard. I think we deserved the three points.

On Nick Rimando’s effort in goal

Nicky, I can’t imagine this team without him. He has been here forever. He’s great. He’s played a lot for our side and in World Cups. He’s great for us.

2 Comments

  1. engine’s leakin’ oil skipper…careful a gasket doesn’t seize.

  2. I stand by my belief this is a team heading in right direction but for whatever reason has a strange connection with meta-adversity… no Edu and no Noguiera a MVP-CAM playing in an 8….just too much.
    .
    SIGH.
    .
    go on Jerome go on Adam S… expect to be seeing you any day now.

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