Curtin Call

Curtin Call | Tale of Two Halves


Philadelphia Union earned one point on Saturday, finishing with a draw against top-ranked FC Cincinnati at home. After the match, Head Coach Jim Curtin met with the media, recapping the result against his former assistant coach now Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan’s squad.

Conceding the lead

Philadelphia Union was 2-0 entering the second half after a golazo from José Martinez and a record-setting penalty kick from Daniel Gazdag, but the squad was unable to maintain the lead, giving up two goals in the second half. 

“When you get a two goal lead at home, you have to find ways to close it out. It's disappointing. When you look at the first half, I thought the way that we played was very good. Got the intensity right. It was playoff type of game where there's a lot of chippiness, a lot of yellow cards, had a couple of moments to maybe have the killer instinct and get a third goal in that first half,” said Curtin. 

Curtin said he used every cliche in the book at half to attempt to rally his squad, but Cincinnati’s first goal gave their opponent the boost they needed. 

“Obviously, we get caught on a play where both center backs released to the ball, maybe not same page, and they made us pay for it,” Curtin said.

“From there, we settled down a little and had a couple chances also to get a goal. And then just Julian [Carranza] has a half backpass to Nathan it's in between and there's a little indecision and good teams punish you. Overall, it's frustrating. It's a tie that I think we wanted all three points tonight. We let ourselves down and in that regard.”

Frequent fouls

The matchup saw 12 yellow cards distributed between the two teams, illustrating the tension that rose as the game carried on. Curtin shared his thoughts on the matter, mentioning the implications of a game with that number of cards dealt. 

“I'm a little old school, the defender in me would prefer more talking to the players and staying calm. Once everybody starts to get on yellows, you get into suspension next game and different things,” Curtin said. “Sure, it was a chippy, highly intense game with alot of pushing and shoving. But I think that's too much. It's ugly for everybody. It's a lot of yellows. Pat [Noonan]’s team doesnt want to be picking them up and we don’t either.

Missing midfielders

Philadelphia Union was without their captain, Alejandro Bedoya due to accumulation, Leon Flach due to injury, and lost José Martinez mid-game as well. Cincinnati wasn’t at full strength either, playing without their premier playmaker Lucho Acosta.

Curtin spoke about how their absences affected the game.

“You miss Ale [Bedoya in a game like that. They missed the Acosta for sure. Then the big one too when Jose has to go out and we just lose his bite in the middle part of the field, that hurt too.”

He attributed his use of the 3-5-2 formation to his lack of midfielders available. 

“We don't have enough midfielders right now to play a diamond unfortunately. It would have been Matt Real, the one that was left. So we were a little short there when you lose Ale [Bedoya], lose José [Marintez], Leon [Flach], who's your defensive, light and quickness. It would've been tough to get too conservative, I think, at home.”

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