Philadelphia Union’s blustery Saturday night matchup against visiting LAFC concluded in a lackluster 0-0 draw. Both teams tacked one point to their totals after over ninety minutes of scoreless play and a record-setting low in scoring attempts. After the match, Head Coach Jim Curtin met with the media, recapping what he saw from both sides in their battle against both each other and the unrelenting elements.
Nothing through ninety
The newest fixture in Los Angeles and Philadelphia’s feud was a record-breaker; the pair combined for the fewest number shots in a game in MLS history with just six.
Scoring opportunities were few and far, causing the game to stray far from what’s expected from a matchup between the two squads.
“Whenever you think you have this game figured out you see the 3-3, 4-3 games that we played against them or whatever they might be. You can have a night like tonight,” Curtin said.
“I don't make excuses guys but the elements play a role, right? When that wind is going, you know, we're going through the first half, it looks pretty good and we're passing quite a bit. Then in the second half it shifts to 35 mph wind and rain. I know that probably the people on TV don’t feel, but the people in the stadium know the elements can make a game. So, that part's unfortunate. Again, 0-0, probably nobody signed up for it tonight if they were to guess what the score would be, but it happens and we kind of canceled each other out.”
Carranza concussion substitution
In the opening moments of the game, Julián Carranza went down in pain after LAFC’s Aaron Long missed the ball for a headed challenge and hit the Union forward head instead. He was shown a yellow card and after a test from trainers Carranza was back up on the field, contributing through the remainder of the first half. Despite his first half rally, he was replaced at halftime via a concussion substitution, and after the final whistle Curtin gave an update on the Argentinian’s present status.
“Unfortunately, he takes the knock in the first minute. Gets assessed and I guess passed that assessment. We got into halftime and I think Julian mentioned that he was a bit dizzy, and obviously once that word is said you're going to be proactive, do the right thing, and take him out.”
Neither team trotted out their typical starters on Saturday night and the game didn’t unfold in any similar fashion to the pair’s toe-to-toe 3-3 shootout that’s been widely renowned as the best final in the league’s history. Curtin spoke to the unfortunate timing of the game and how its spot in the schedule could have affected its outcome.
“What should be a great rematch of last year’s final, which was probably the best final that there’s been, should have a week of build up of hype and fresh players, that would be ideal. Obviously, the schedule doesn't allow that. We have a lot of guys with little injuries and knocks here and there and [LAFC Head Coach Steve Cherundolo] has to keep guys fresh for Campeones Cup. It becomes difficult.”
“These are games of high intensity against a really good opponent but I don't think either team's best group was on the field with being fresh and the things that you guys would like to see. That's the reality of the schedule.”