Post-match quotes: Union vs. Orlando City SC

Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin

Opening Statement

"Obviously credit to Orlando and their fans and the atmosphere here because we started the first half very poorly. [Orlando's defense] was all over us -- we didn't look like ourselves. Again, silly mistakes, silly turnovers. Even on free kicks, we weren't dialed in. I thought in the second half we turned it around and had a good response coming out of halftime -- got the goal. We pushed the game -- had a couple chances for two [goals]. Orlando gets the second goal, yet we still continued, and then one goes off the post. Ilsinho hits the post and you walk away with no points. Overall, not a great performance from us -- something we need to work on, some defensive things we need to work on as a team. I'm upset most of all by the start to the game because that wasn't us."

On C.J. Sapong's goal

"It was a good combination of passing, and then Alejandro [Bedoya] and [Fabian] Herbers get on the ball and put in a decent ball. C.J. [Sapong] arrives at the right time and it was a good headed goal. I'm happy for him to get two goals in two games, which is good for any striker's confidence, but overall we're still not satisfied with the performance. A lot of things we can work on to get ready for D.C. [United]. We've had a difficult start to the year, three out of four on the road, the schedule didn't do us any favors but we knew what it was going to be. Obviously our home game against Toronto, the Eastern Conference champs. It's a tough first four games coming our way but we have to go prepare for D.C. now. We have the International break to work on some things and we'll come back stronger against D.C.”

On if he felt Fafa Picault created a spark

"Yeah, I think he came off the bench and did a decent job. I think Roland [Alberg] did as well -- they drew fouls. Fafa had the ball to the back post that Bendik makes a great save on, and also Ilsinho came in and impacted some good actions as well. All three guys came into the game and made an impact, but again that first 45 minutes. Credit to Orlando for making us uncomfortable. It's tough for an outsider and the people watching on TV to see just how difficult this place is to play. They made it hard on us. We recovered at halftime, but it wasn't enough on the night."

Philadelphia Union Forward Fafa Picault

On what he saw coming off the bench tonight

"I saw a slow pace, so I tried to spark it up a bit -- give some speed. Obviously in short minutes there isn't too much that can be done, but I did what I could with the minutes given."

On what he saw from his team on the mad dash in the final minutes

"I thought it was still possible [to tie the match]. Again, it's a short time so there isn't much you can do, but I did what I could. I tried to get behind on that last sprint. I thought I maybe had one to go by, got a little unlucky with the little bounce. I tried to tap one to Fabino to finish -- tried to diagonal one to Alejandro [Bedoya]. These are all just unlucky situations where the ball didn't go in."

Philadelphia Union Striker CJ Sapong

On the match

"We're just two teams that play a similar style. We're two teams that emulate the mindset of the cities that we play in. And I think here [in Orlando] you feel the atmosphere and how the fans get behind the players, and I think it gives it [the game] a little more bite. In Philly, that's the type of game we play as well. So it's always going to be a physical battle when we play Orlando.”

On how Orlando has transformed since he played here on loan in the USL

“Since I played here, I could have seen it happening, but you can never really put it into a picture -- what it could be -- and today it was on another level. I know a lot of us on the field definitely took in the environment as much as possible. It's a beautiful thing they have going on here, and it's good for them but it's also good for our league.”

On comparing Talen Energy Stadium to Orlando City Stadium

“Both stadiums assimilate with the city well -- the fans work well in them. Each has their own little flavor, their own little taste. Again, that's what our league needs -- as many unique environments as possible and I think Philly and Orlando are good testaments to that.”

 

Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis

On Antonio Nocerino’s performance

“I thought he was spectacular. I really thought everybody’s effort tonight was spectacular. He in particular was breaking up a lot of plays, was in and around a lot of important possessions for us. Found the right pass many, many times and did get forward a little bit more than he has typically. We’re going to need that. It’s a big focus for us from the New York City game we felt the midfielders weren’t playing forwards enough and weren’t getting forwards enough. Glad to see some improvement there tonight.”

On Cyle Larin scoring three goals in two games

“I think first and foremost it’s about the workrate and commitment that Cyle has put in to take himself to a new fitness level. He’s able to play a little bit different way than he did last year and  I think, as I’ve always said, I enjoy seeing people that work hard get some success. It’s really pleasing to see Cyle get a couple goals. His partner up there, he deserves a couple as well. I wouldn’t want to make any comments about the forwards without saying how important Carlos Rivas was to the performance tonight as well.”

On possession being a point of focus during training

“Yeah absolutely. We talked about it after the last game. I thought the effort and the defensive work were fantastic but what we did with the ball wasn’t good enough. It was a focus for us this week to talk about different ways we might be able to possess the ball better and I think we accomplished it to a certain degree. I still think that we have quite some room to go with what we’re doing with the ball.”

On Cyle Larin-Carlos Rivas partnership

“I wouldn’t say so, I wouldn’t try to pat myself on the back too much. I think it’s something that really came about in the preseason and mostly due to Carlos’ willingness to work extremely hard and give us something different with his running in behind defenders. Because he’s done that, and he did it at the end of last season as well, he’s really earned us thinking that we want to play that way.”

On improved defensive performance

“Yeah I thought it was another really strong performance defensively, really from the entire group. But from the back four, when you look at each individual player and how many important plays they made, tackles they made, headers they won in the box, being in the right place at the right time, I’d say all four of those guys had big, big nights for us and we know we need it. We just have to be a good defensive team in this league to have success because there are so many highly, highly talented attacking players.”

On collective defensive effort

“Well I think two weeks ago we had a shutout, tonight we allowed a goal so I would say if we wanted to be real nit-picky we would say it probably wasn’t quite as good because we would prefer to get out of here with a shutout. I would prefer to get out of here without the ball hitting the post in the last minute as well. So it’s never going to be a perfect affair on what we’re doing defensively but that’s not going to stop us from trying.”

On improved collective attacking form

“I think some of it’s just time. Time training together. I think some of it’s just time training with the ball. We spent so much of the preseason focusing on trying to be a good defensive group that I think sometimes soccer can be like sleeping in a bed with a blanket that’s too short. Sometimes if you focus on keeping your feet covered your head’s not covered and if you switch it around and you covered your head and your feet aren’t covered. I think that could be the case. I also think we did a lot of talking about we just need to be better with the ball in this game, we gave them some different ideas about how to accomplish that and credit to the guys, they took it on.”

On Cyle Larin’s continued development

“I think a lot of it has to do with the movement. I think if i was to look at Cyle as an opposing coach or as a scout I would say that he’s a box forward. He’s somebody that wants to be around the penalty box and maybe doesn’t do quite enough other than that. Tonight he showed an ability to make runs into the corners, he showed an ability to turn the ball and go at defenders 1-v-1 and also he played some very nice passes in combination with other players around him. That’s what we want. We want him to become a more versatile striker. Not to just be a box striker.”

Orlando City Forward Cyle Larin

On scoring two goals tonight

"I have to keep doing what I'm doing, and it's all because of my teammates. They help me and get me the ball when I make the run. It's not all me. I just make sure I finish the ball."

On Carlos Rivas helping score goals

"He opens up the space. He is very strong and quick and good with the ball. He attacks the defenders. When he goes down the line to cross the ball, I make sure I am in the box."  

On Matías Pérez García controlling the offense

"He stepped up big time. He said in an interview he is going to help the team more. I think he is a fantastic player. He is really good with the ball, and he got me the ball when I made that run and scored that goal."  

On development of his play

"Each game I am getting better and better, and every time I score I get more confident. I think my fitness level helps me to do that. It helps me get to the ball. In the game, I am able to help my team out defensively, and that's what they need."

On combinations with Carlos Rivas

"When he gets the ball on the wing, I know he is going to cross it. Carlos [Rivas] is a great player, and I need him on the field."

On scoring second goal to help seal the game

"It helped out a lot. I think we needed that to calm the game down. [Philadelphia] scored a goal early in the second half. After I got the goal, we calmed the game down."

On tough matchup with Philadelphia

"It was a physical match, but the crowd helped us out a lot. They were loud the whole game and pushed us to keep the lead."

On missed third scoring opportunity

"I try to go across the goal. [Andre] Blake knows how I play. I tried to go across the goal, and he made himself big. I couldn't get my foot around it and it went straight up."

Orlando City Forward Carlos Rivas

On his performance since last game

“I feel a lot better physically since my last game. I’ve been slowly improving things I was missing before, and I hope I can improve a lot more.”

On his performance with Cyle Larin

“We will get used to playing together up front. It’s just a matter of time and learning to understand each other a lot more. I feel really good with him by my side. Sometimes he goes to receive the ball and I’m beside him and vice versa which works well.”

On forearm injury

“It bothered me, but I got it checked. Everything was okay, so I was able to play today.”

On fans’ excitement

“It makes me happy to know that the fans support and cheer for me, and I will keep working to improve this.”

On team’s strong start of the season

“It feels great because we’ve been working really hard and our performance is a result of our excellent preseason.”

On complimenting Cyle Larin’s performance

“He’s a great forward, and he’s had many opportunities to score goals. I am a fast player and know how to position myself in order to provide an opportunity.”

On navigating through the defenders

“We actually talked about how these players were a bit slow, so I knew there were going to be some pockets for me to take advantage of.”

On playing more like a midfielder

“I have not been in a good position to score. It’ll happen slowly. At any given moment, I will have the opportunity to score, and I will.”

Orlando City Goalkeeper Joe Bendik

On today’s game

“Not a lot to do though, it’s nice. I thought we played really well. We dictated the game to them, especially in the first half. We were a little bit lazy in the second half early and gave up a goal but cleared that up and were good.”

On Cyle Larin-Carlos Rivas partnership

“They are putting [the work in] in training. That’s really where it’s coming from but I think everybody is around them to really push them to learn how to strike partners. Which one brings what to the table. I thought Cyle did an excellent job for us tonight. I don’t even know what position he was playing for the last five minutes but he had one big play that I thought he did excellent on.”