Curtin Call

Curtin Call | The last undefeated team


Philadelphia Union is on a three-game win streak after defeating Nashville SC 2-1 on the road in Music City on Saturday night. Before they took their late-night flight back to Philly with three points in tow, Head Coach Jim Curtin met with the media, recapping the energizing Eastern Conference win.

Rallying on the road

“[We’ve been to] some pretty tough places to play and we've set ourselves up in a good spot in the table,” Curtin said to open his postgame press conference.

That good spot he mentioned is first place, as Philadelphia Union is now the only undefeated team in the league, sitting near the top spot in their Eastern table in a four-way tie for second.

Four of the Union’s six Major League Soccer matches have been on the road, and they haven’t left without securing atleast a point. This time, they bounced back from a first half that saw Nashville claim a 1-0 lead, keep their momentum barreling forward with another road match against Atlanta on the horizon.

“I thought overall second half, we came out with a little more life. Made an adjustment or two and the guys deserve all the credit for pushing and getting the two goals and winning a big game against the strong Nashville team on the road.”

Gotta have heart

Philadelphia is no stranger to overcoming deficits for a result no matter who’s on the pitch, especially so far in 2024. It hasn’t gone unnoticed and Curtin gave credit to his crew for their determination amidst early season adversity. 

“I give the players all the credit — they have a ton of heart. They're never out of the game they'll play to the final whistle, and it’s been instilled in them from from minute one to minute 90 anything can happen and we stick with things,” Curtin said.

His sentiment rang true tonight when they had the makings of the comfortable draw near full time’s close. The team already a level the match with a goal from Julian Carranza, but they continued battling for the full three points which Daniel Gazdag claimed with a 90th minute game-winning header goal. 

“Do we play perfect, beautiful soccer all the time? No, but at the same time, I thin we do everything for the badge, for our fans, for the city. These guys give everything and that's ingrained in them now. They've been through the battles together."

Making adjustments

Curtin made a game-changing move in the 59th minute, subbing Jack Elliott and Kai Wagner out for Olivier Mbaizo and team captain Alejandro Bedoya. He started the game with three center backs, but changed to a 4-4-2 diamond with Mbaizo at right back, Nate Harriel shifted to Wagner’s left spot, and Bedoya in the midfield. 

Within three minutes of his adjustment, Julian Carranza found the back of the net for an electrifying equalizer.

“You got kind of a stalemate in the first first half there and  in the second half we went back to the diamond,” Curtin said. 

“Guys know that formation and certainly the roles are clear for our guys because we've been really good at it for the last six years, we know the spacing a little bit better.”

Although the first half shape didn’t allow for much creation, Curtin said there was lessons learned from both looks that he’ll carry and consider as the season progresses. 

“I would say you know it both formations showed some good things — certainly the diamond is still our number one and it proved well tonight. The guys really stuck with things and I thought we deserved the win. It’s not easy to go on the road and create as many chances we did in the second half then come out with a big three points.”

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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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