Curtin Call | Road Stretch Woes


The Philadelphia Union left the West Coast empty handed this weekend, falling to LA Galaxy 3-1. Head Coach Jim Curtin spoke with the media before his return flight to Philadelphia, recapping the loss.

Road Stretch Woes

Saturday’s game fell in the middle of a three-game road stretch for the Boys in Blue, landing between a tough loss at Atlanta United’s home fortress and a looming contest against Nashville SC, who sits at 2nd in the East. It’s no easy feat to earn points on the road regardless of standings, as LA Galaxy still sits at 13th in the Western Conference after overcoming Philadelphia. 

“Obviously in the middle of a tough road stretch, and similar to Atlanta, we weren't sharp enough to take points on the road. It's very hard to do, you know, even when you're playing at your max. Right now, we have too many unforced errors. Ee haven't put together on the road a complete 90 minutes and too many instances this season,” Curtin said. 

“So again, tonight hurts. We gave a good Galaxy team that's in good form too much time and space on the ball and they punished us. Again, getting behind early on the road is something that we've done too much this year. We've come back a few times but it makes it really hard on your team and our group is really made to defend well, play from the front, play with the lead and then hurt teams on the counter. Wasn't good enough tonight and we know we now have to regroup quickly and go on the road to Nashville,” Curtin said. 

In a few short days, the Union will look to complete their away tour with at least one win in Nashville, playing on Wednesday at 8:30 pm.

Missing pieces

Both Galaxy and the Union were missing their starting goalkeepers in Jonathan Bond and Andre Blake, respectively, along with a slew of additional players across the pitch due to injuries and CONCACAF Gold Cup play. 

Despite missing two defensive pillars in Damion Lowe and Kai Wagner, Curtin didn’t use their absence as an excuse.

“It's a time in the season where your depth has to step up. In some instances, we've had guys put in good performances and that's the way it goes during the course of a season. We're a team that prides ourselves on having some depth and two deep in each spot. Again, I thought overall in the night we weren't good enough all over the field. It's not any one or two players, just collectively as a whole wasn't sharp enough for us tonight,” Curtin said.

Unfavorable timing

If one were to glance at the LA Galaxy’s record plainly, they wouldn’t notice it. But the team is on a hot streak, and the Union met them at their peak on Saturday. Galaxy has gone unbeaten for six games after a slow start to the season. Though they’ve picked up just 5 wins and 7 draws so far in 2023, the team has been slowly finding its footing as of late, most notably defeating LAFC in this year’s edition of El Tráfico.

“You look at their last six, they were unbeaten. We didn't get them at the best time of the year. They were obviously high off of the LAFC win and I think our guys knew that. We knew we were going to get them at their most confident. A good crowd, good stadium,” Curtin said.

“But when you come to the West Coast, you have to be really sharp. It's not easy with the travel. You have to almost play a perfect game and we were far from that tonight.”

Philadelphia Union has little time to reflect on the contest as they wrap up their three-game road trip with a midweek clash at Nashville SC. Kick off from the Music City is set for 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 12th. Fans can catch the action with MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Sage Hurley - @SageHurl

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