Okugo goal vs Colorado
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Postgame quotes from Union win over Colorado

John Hackworth, Philadelphia Union Head Coach

On McInerney’s play:

He was huge for us today. He was really good in the preseason and came on and played well last week. He certainly deserved the start. When we were really struggling at the end there with a couple injuries, and we were out of substitutions, he was doing everything. Massive effort on his part.

On getting the win with less of the possession:

I was just telling our staff, I’ve never seen our team, in particular, have as few passes and as few connected passes, but we still got a W. We knew coming in that it was going to be extremely difficult, we were going to have to drop our line, we were going to have to defend a lot more that we normally do. After going up a goal, we kind of sat back a little bit too much and gave them too much of the ball. They certainly tried to get the equalizer, and did. To our guys credit they fought hard and capitalized on a great sequence there to get the winner.

Antoine Hoppenot, Philadelphia Union Forward

On the game-winning pass:

I was able to turn and face the defenders, and he (Jack McInerney) made a great run across, and I just put it in his path. He’ll finish those most of the time.

On winning with less of the possession:

We were able to convert our chances, and that’s what matters at the end of the day, if you’re able to create enough chances to put in the back of the net.

Jack McInerney, Philadelphia Union Forward

On game-winning goal:

Antoine did a good job holding up the ball, and he beat his defender. I made up a run, he put up a perfect pass and it stopped right in-front of me and it was an easy finish.

On having to play more defensive than usual:

We usually like to have possession, but today we were able to just sit back. After having all the trouble that we went through getting here, and then playing through this atmosphere and altitude, that’s just how the game ended up.

On the defense’s performance:

The defense did a good job holding it down. That was our game plan defensively.

Oscar Pareja, Colorado Rapids Head Coach

On the game overall:

We got unorganized. I thought that desire to go and push for the game and get three points at home in the opener was good, but I thought it took us a little bit of the organization in the back and we end up just giving up that goal.

On Jamie Smith in the second half:

Jamie came on lively, he came on and sparked the team. I thought he gave us good feet in the middle. His purpose was to try to get control in that half, and I think Jamie gave us that. And actually a good finish there and creating some moments on the right side.

On the first Philadelphia goal:

Old story for us. It’s something that kind of stings for a long period because it’s a place that you can control. We all have to be accountable for that part and coaches and players as well. It’s unacceptable for me. Set pieces are something that you can control and I don’t want to get back to the same story with giving points away just because we’re distracted or not doing our job. And at the end we have to be accountable for that. Coaches, how we organize them, and players how they respond. But in a game like that and that early, our concentration should be much better.

On the result despite having most of the possession throughout the game:

We had some chances at the beginning. I thought we came with some energy creating some chances and building, they know that in the opener they want to play well. [The boys] knew that they had a very good game against FC Dallas and they wanted to keep building on it. We came up in the game with pretty good possession and rhythm. I wanted to move the ball quicker but the guys were creating some options. But as I say when you give up a goal and then the color of the game changes because you have to start moving people and start pushing here and there, it took us a while to get that rhythm going. I was happy with the possession yes, we can move the ball quicker yes. But definitely one of the Achilles that we have and we’ve all accepted as a group is that we have to be more punishing at the end and the final product has to be there because that’s what gives you the points.

On getting the lineup settled with so many new players:

We have young guys that came into the group, but you know me guys, it’s not an excuse for us. We have to adjust quick because now we are fighting for points. Points are the ones that give you the peace of mind to keep pushing and keep building. Because if not it’s tough. Adjusting the players and getting in the lineup and getting the consistency that we want is there. They’re feeling it. I was very happy during last week and you know, upset for the result today, but I’m still thinking the team is doing well.

On Pablo Mastroeni’s injury:

That was sad to see him come out of the game because he wanted so bad to play after a good game in Dallas, he played very well – all 90 minutes. And he had a good week as well. I know it was painful for Pablo just to have to leave the field. But his hamstring was tight enough that he had to get out.

On the game plan changing with LaBrocca instead of Mastroeni:

Nick is more of an attacking minded guy but I wanted to have his feet in that position replacing Pablo so he can give us some soccer from that part of the field. It changed a little because at some point you start giving up something in order to get other stuff. But we got what we wanted from Nick, and he started connecting people in the middle.