Curtin Call

Curtin Call | Big Road Point


Philadelphia Union stole a point on the road on Saturday night, securing a draw against Sporting Kansas City in the final moments of their opponent’s home opener at Children's Mercy Park. After the final whistle, Head Coach Jim Curtin met with the media, recapping the result.

Taking a point on the road

Amidst their busy schedule, Philadelphia was able to get a point against a Western Conference opponent, staying unbeaten in league play so far in 2024. During his postgame press conference, Curtin emphasized the adversity his team overcame to get the draw. 

“120 minutes the other night, played in Kansas City's home opener in a hostile environment, missing our top goal scorer and the best goalkeeper in the league. I think the group showed a ton of character again today to play till the final whistle and get a big point on the road,” Curtin said.

A total team effort

With five second half changes and solid shifts from veterans and new faces alike, including a first MLS start for Jeremy Rafanello and Markus Anderson’s debut, Saturday’s draw took a full team effort from players across the roster. 

When asked about Rafanello’s first half performance alongside similarly youthful teammates, in a difficult first half, Curtin said the 23-year-old forward did what was asked of him. 

“Look, we knew we were going to suffer in the first half. Right? You're in a team's home opener, we're a little bit short handed, we're a little bit undermanned, and Jeremy was a guy that we needed to give us minutes, work tirelessly defensively to take away their their good number six, but also give us an outlet on the counter attack. He did his job,” Curtin said. 

The head coach shared a similar sentiment about Bedoya, who replaced a pained José Martinez at halftime, then scored a stoppage time equalizer to secure the draw. 

“Yeah, he did a great, great job for us tonight. He gave us a real calming presence in the second half, connected his passes, and then in the biggest moment, when we're throwing guys forward, on basically the last kick of the game, for him to have the composure there…,” Curtin said. 

“You see so many guys try and full swing that one and hit it a ton and it winds up in the 30th row. For him to just guide it into the upper corner speaks to the composure, the talent, it's not an easy finish, because there's a lot of traffic in front of him, but a big play from him.”

Shifting focus toward Pachuca

Philadelphia Union has a two-day recovery period before it’s matchday once again. Mexico City’s Pachuca will make their way to Subaru Park for a Tuesday night Concacaf Champions Cup matchup.

“Pachuca has a very strong fan base, it's going to be a difficult task to, over the two legs, beat them, but at the same time, we know we have a great home field advantage, we have to take our chances on Tuesday night, I think we've set ourselves up to be as fresh as possible,” Curtin said.

Similar to the Union, Pachuca had a match of their own on Saturday night against Juárez, which ended in their favor 3-2. Both teams will have to change their focus quickly to the international contest ahead. 

“They have a very big game tonight against a war. So keep an eye on that obviously and watch that and see how it goes but they're on similar rest. It's the Champions League with a Seattle home game in between, so we have our hands full for sure. But we'll regroup or recover navigate these two competitions that we're in as best as we can."

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Every match matters! In 2024, you do not want to miss your favorite matchups as the Union take on the best MLS has to offer! When we score, make sure you are there to get Subaru Park shaking!

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