Postgame quotes: Fire 3-0 Union

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Note: Comments from Jim Curtin, Keegan Rosenberry, and Fabian Herbers transcribed by PSP, all others provided. Questions have been paraphrased.

Jim Curtin

Thoughts on the match

Tough night for us. A little strange at the start, we conceded an own goal but created a few chances in the beginning of the game. I thought Sean Johnson made a some really big saves. All the little half chances we created just wasn’t enough on the night. We weren’t sharp enough, we’ll have to regroup quickly and get prepared for Montreal. Every point matters now down the stretch and we’re still in a good spot but we need to have a real good response after a disappointing performance.

Was this a winnable game had players not been on international duty

Andre and Alejandro certainly make us better, and Josh being absent, it hurts, but, at the same time, we have a deep squad. Everybody needs to step up in these moments and for the most part this year, we have, just a little bit of a letdown tonight. Again: We’re missing some guys, they’re missing some guys. They beat us on the night and they deserved the three points.

On the performance of John McCarthy

I thought John was fine. I thought the goals that we gave up, the first one is fluky, the own goal was difficult. The second one comes off of…We have a really good chance with Ilsinho, Sean Johnson makes a very good save and they come down; again, nothing I think he can do on that. And the third, we’re just pushing and leave our back line a little bit hung out to dry. John was fine — decent performance — but when we don’t get points, nobody is happy.

Six games left. Have you set a points target?

We have three at home, three on the road, no easy games left. I don’t think there are any easy games, tonight is an example of that. The table, you can kind of throw it out the window at this stage because anybody in this league can beat anybody if you’re not ready to go. A difficult night for us, we had chances, we didn’t take them well, and Chicago punished us.

On playing against Michael de Leeuw

He’s a very opportunistic striker, he’s a guy who has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. We talked about how he makes good runs in the box and dealing with that but, yeah, he’s a good player and he had a good game.

Keegan Rosenberry

On what he saw from Chicago

I think they executed their game plan. I think for us it was an unlucky first goal. And then, you know, you look at the second goal for them, and thirty seconds before that we’re close to going 1-1, and then they go 2-0. So, that’s the game a little bit for you. Credit to them, they were efficient with their chances. We weren’t at our best tonight.

On facing Montreal next week

It’s always good after a loss or a disappointing result — whether it’s home or away — to be at home in front of your fans. We look forward to that and we move on immediately.

Fabian Herbers

On getting another start tonight

It felt good. It’s always good starting with the Union and get more experience, especially as a rookie, it helps you a lot. I thought we didn’t play too bad in the first [half] and then in the second half, we were a little bit unlucky with second balls and the goals didn’t come with us, or the calls either. So, it wasn’t very good.

On what he’s looking forward to against Montreal

Coming back home again. It was a tough loss for us, it wasn’t expected that way. We’re just excited to get home and get back on the field and get revenge for this result.

On his jaw injury he suffered during the game

It hurts a little bit. I have trouble chewing. They say it takes a couple days to get better.

Chicago Fire postgame quotes

Veljko Paunovic

On progress

I think the guys are doing very well. There is no doubt that all the work we are doing in the season is slowly, but is coming altogether. Of course, with Michael de Leeuw, Luis and other guys who are working hard also to prepare for situations and opportunities for them to score, it’s very important that we improve. I think it’s always going to be teamwork before the individual has the opportunity to highlight himself with scoring the goal, but I think that teamwork is always more important; our guys know that very well. We can say that sometimes, Michael went a couple of games without scoring, but he was working very hard, and actually he helped the others to have opportunities to score. That’s the mentality we need, the team that works hard for each other, keeping our game plan, and works for winning the games, every single game like that.

On displaying character

We have to understand that when we win like today, and when we lose like in games that we lost, we always stay the same. It’s the process; we are working, we are a young team, not only in terms of age but in building, in the time that we are working together. That requires some certain time and process to perform well. This year, we’ve had some very good games, today was one of these games where we actually improved and played the way we prepared. It’s very important after the loss to D.C. I think that today we actually showed the character, that game was hard, very difficult for us, but we were able to recover. Honestly, all this week, we were just working on recovering and preparing for this game. I said it on our conference call on Tuesday, we were working to refresh our guys, energize them, motivate them, and recover them, physically of course, and then prepare in the last couple of days to focus on the game. That’s what we did, and we did it very well. The reason why I am very, very happy today is because our guys really have the character. We will say the same thing. Now, our next game, we go one game at a time, and the next game is the most important game. I heard it’s going to be standing room only for the game Saturday against Toronto, so we are very happy. We can’t wait actually, for the next game. We have now two days off, time to recover, prepare everything, but it is very important and exciting to hear that our crowd will be with us next game. We can expect that, and the guys are coming for a great victory like the one today. I think that’s going to be a perfect day to have another win, or at least have a great performance, and make everyone happy.

On Sean Johnson’s performance

I think today, with no exception, everyone had a fantastic game, a fantastic performance. Sean obviously had a great game. I’m very happy that Sean is getting more comfortable with covering the depth and covering the aerial balls that we have. Of course, his saves were huge, very important for the team today. Overall, the performance was very good, as I said, with no exceptions for everyone.

On the meaning of scoring multiple goals

I think today we were actually able to manage the game, and in that moment we were able to actually break the opponent and finally score that second goal, which was very important and part of our game plan at halftime. Today, we showed important character, important reaction after the loss against D.C., and we learn from every game. That’s what we say to our guys, this is the performance, these are the good things, and we have to keep it the same, improve, put it in our ‘good’ bag against the ‘bad’ bag that we have to improve on. I think that we must keep on pounding, keep on working together. Fate is there, wins like today help, they help a lot, not only to the style of play but the confidence, as we said before. It’s a long way; still a lot of games to play, I think we have a good opportunity, we’re still there.

Michael de Leeuw

On Philadelphia’s own goal

Right before I went to strike it, it was a good ball from Polster, the defender shoots it away. It’s good for us, doesn’t matter who scores. It’s good to score for me, but it was a good goal for us.

On the team’s confidence

It’s good, it’s big. The most important thing is that we create a lot of chances, that we score a lot of goals. You see it in the last four, five games. We create a lot of chances, because you can’t score all your chances, but the confidence is big because of that. We do it as a team, we play good as a team, we win as a team, we lose as a team. At this point, I think everybody’s confidence is high.

On working with various attacking options

It doesn’t really matter, we have a lot of options. Arturo and John, yes, they’re creative, but we have a lot of attacking players. Today, David Accam and David Arshakyan weren’t there, but today it worked out well with John and Arturo. It’s always good to have guys who want the ball and create space for us, so today it went great.

On linking with Luis Solignac

I think Lucho is a great player. He sees where he has to move without the ball, he sees where to move with the ball. I don’t know how to say it in English, but his eyes are open, he also sees the other players. I like playing with Lucho, he understands what he has to do. For me, it doesn’t matter; I play with Lucho or anyone else, but I like playing with him.

Sean Johnson

On the team’s performance

I think our game plan was to settle into the game and wait until the game came to us. Once we started play, I was just doing what I could to keep the team in the game. I think we did an impressive job the last few weeks of really building on the first away result we had in Montreal, and kind of using that momentum to get better and better. On the night, fantastic job all the way around the pitch, and I’m just doing what I can to contribute.

On the play of Jonathan Campbell

I think he’s a model professional. It’s his first year, I think he does everything he can to make sure he’s the best he can be when he steps on the pitch. For us to support him as a first-year player, he’s done a fantastic job. He’ll do what he can to recover and be 100% every single game.

On the mentality after the loss at D.C. United last week

I think it’s a one-off for us, we did a good job putting that behind us as soon as we touched down back in Chicago from D.C. That was the message, put that one behind us, obviously. It was a tough game, our third game in a week, going down a man early on, and then having to battle on for the rest of the game. It comes down to our mentality as a team. We’ve done an excellent job over the past four games of really building on something. We finally have a foundation. This league, the way it is, the summer months are important; you can win two games and things can turn around quickly. We’re taking it one game at a time, but definitely look to keep charging.

On the outlook for the rest of the season

It’s important for us, two games in a row, it’s massive. We’ve been really good this season at home, we want to continue that, but like I said, taking it one day at a time is the most important thing. We can’t get ahead of ourselves. We keep replicating performances game in, game out, we’ll start to see ourselves climb. But we can’t start to look at other results, we can’t start to look at other games going around the league; we have to focus on what we’re doing here and really keep moving on that.


  1. Deepest sympathies to Josh Yaro and family. I lost my mom a year ago. Now about the game. Am I bummed about the loss? Yes. Am I surprised? No. My only reason for the following is because this team is supposedly built to challenge for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in the east. The defense was left exposed to quick counters which is the MO of Chicago and how teams will attack the Union if this is a line up the Union are forced to use again. What troubles me is the over all lack of team quickness, pace and speed up top. Roland Alberg is a serious threat up top but he is as slow as they come and should just come off the bench. I love CJ Sapong but he is not a difference maker. He is too easily neutralized due to a lack of athleticism , separation quickness speed and agility. It wouldn’t be an issue if the wings had the speed to get behind defenses to help out consistently . CJ’s physical play is all he has. His shot inaccurate to non-existant and he can’t make quick adjustments with his feet. He doesn’t get calls because he has a reputation as a diver/flopper. Again he is not IMO, a serious starter as a striker. I sincerely hope Davies works his way into the starting line up to supplant Sapong and that Earnie is looking to bring in a serious striker threat during the next window. Barnetta was pushing the tempo with no help. Pontius had some looks but disappeared. Herbers looked like a rookie. The Union had several opportunities to score but the finishing was well…lame. With a complete available and healthy line up the Union can beat anyone. I like the guy but, McMarthy looked rusty and inept at times and like a true number 3 goalie option. Can’t wait to see Edu and Bedoya team up with Barnetta, All in all this was a game that the Union could have and should have won but didn’t. They helped make another weak team look like world beaters. This was a trap game and the Union fell right into it.

    • Lucky Striker says:

      Listen to different folks, get differing opinions as to what this team is supposedly “built for”. Now’s not the time, but scanning horizons distant……the suspicion here is that the only thing the future promises is further renovation.

      Philly never “could/should win in Chicago, Illinois” ever. Historical data simply doesn’t back up your assertion.

      If all the Union players were available they’d still fail miserably against the West, and probably Toronto too.

  2. Atomic Spartan says:

    Sorry Jim, I wish you did have a deep squad, but you don’t. Smoke and mirrors maybe, wishful thinking maybe. But right now, if all the stars don’t align, you get beaten by the likes of Chicago. You don’t have the kind of depth that will make up for your own mistakes, however slight they may be. And you need to be on top of your own game as well if you are going to pull any magic out of your lovable bunch of rookies, journeymen, wannabes and ustabeens.
    Your desire to protect your Guys from abject criticism may be admirable, but anyone who saw this game knows better. Instead of a tough night it was an almost universally bad performance.
    That said, the season thus far has on balance shown remarkable progress. Here’s hoping for magic against Montreal, because that’s what it will take.
    C’mon the U

    • I’d say the squad is deep in some positions but the glaring hole this game for me was the center of the field. Barnetta is quality but not at the #8 and Creavalle is not disciplined enough to pair well with him. So many times during the game Barnetta would make an offensive run and leave Creavalle by himself in the midfield. All the Fire had to do was win the ball and start a counter because Creavalle would look to make a tackle and win the ball but if he doesn’t then the backline is completely exposed.

  3. In MLS, a poor team with a great goalie at home beats the better team with a poor goalie and an unimaginative gameday coach mostly.

  4. The Little Fish says:

    Parity is a bitch.

  5. Jim Curtin needs to stop with all of the lame talking points and tired cliched answers. It makes him look clueless. I poker it’s definitely a tell. Granted he can’t be on the field and play for some of the posers making some of the same amateurish mistakes. However, when you have games like this that exploit your biggest weakness(too slow) than to me it shows a lack of preparedness to begin with…COACH!

    • Those cliches are what he uses to not throw his players under the bus. He took that from the Andy Reid school of press conferences. It’s a great way to keep your team on your side and have players play hard for you. There is no indication of anything else so far. Curtin has been pretty open with the press overall, not sure we really want him bashing the players after the game. I prefer this. Otherwise all we get is a quote for the journalists and some pissed off players.

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