Philadelphia Union fell 3-1 to Toronto F.C. on the road at BMO Field, allowing the Canadian side their first win in 14 matches. After the game, Head Coach Jim Curtin met with the media, recapping the disappointing result.
Wednesday’s play was uncharacteristic for the Union, who beat down Toronto 4-2 in their last meeting in April. After the match, as he’s brought up often, Curtin reiterated that anything is possible in Major League Soccer at the end of the summer.
“We had an opportunity to win another game on the road and didn't get it done. You warn and you talk about it as much as you’d like as a coach that this is a dangerous game. The records in this league in the month of August, you can throw them out the window because anybody can beat you if you don't bring your best,” Curtin said.
Despite a strong start to the match with extensive possession and several half-chances, it was Toronto who put the first point on the board, swaying momentum in their favor. The Boys in Blue team were unable to find their footing, while Toronto played to impress their newly named head coach, making his first appearance in the audience.
“Overall, just not sharp enough when you go on the road, regardless of teams’ records, you have to be clinical, you have to be professional, you have to be disciplined, and we were none of those things tonight,” Curtin said.
Back line blunders
2022 MLS Defender of the Year Jakob Glesnes made a bad touch that led to Toronto F.C. 's first goal of the game, among other unfavorable plays for the Union's backline. Despite his brief lapse in defensive dominance, Curtin emphasized that when one player is down, it’s the team’s responsibility to step in and maintain success.
“He did have a little bit of an off night. But when one guy has an off night, the others have to pick him up, just like he's done for us so many times in the past,” Curtin said. “Overall, it's a team and it's a team game where we weren't sharp enough and did make some mistakes in the back no question.”
Next up, the Philadelphia Union will take on rival Red Bulls at home on Sunday, but without some key pieces. After earning a yellow card in the final moments of the game, José Martinez will miss the match alongside fellow Venezuelan Jesús Bueno, who earned a red card.
“José obviously has to be smarter than to run 85 yards to get involved in that and pick up a incredibly stupid yellow card and now he misses a Red Bull game, so not smart on his part. I know Jesus definitely goes after the guy and tries to kick him and make a foul but I don't know how serious it was. I haven't seen the replay. So I can't comment on that. But obviously we need to be a little more disciplined and smart at the end there,” Curtin said.
Leon Flach, another midfielder, left the game in the 33rd minute due to injury, replaced by Jack McGlynn. His absence would leave three midfielders off of the roster when Red Bulls come to town.
“Leon, we’ll see with his injury. Sounds like it's the other side of his groin, which he's been battling through. You know, when I talk about playing on a hard field over and over again, you know that stuff starts to add up. Hopefully we can get some tests with him and see how it is.”
Sage Hurley - @SageHurley__