Curtin Call | The Real Season Starts Now


Philadelphia Union fell 2-1 to New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night, dropping to fourth in Eastern Conference standings on Decision Day. After the rainy regular season finale, Head Coach Jim Curtin met with the media, recapping the match.

Dialed in Defense

Despite an upbeat first half featuring an early 16th minute Julián Carranza goal, Philadelphia Union prioritized defense through the final whistle, utilizing a fortified backline to prevent any chance of New England winning by a six goal margin to ensure home field advantage in the postseason.

“As it gets to the later portion of the game in the 75th-80th minute and you recognize you need two goals to flip it and you can also concede two and end get yourself in some trouble and lose home field advantage…We were still trying to score but at the same time, being stable defensively, which I thought the guys did a good job of,” Curtin said of the games final stretch.

With the loss, Philadelphia Union will take on New England Revolution again in the first round of playoffs, hosting the first game of the best-of-three series.

“It's a loss, but a loss that keeps us at home field advantage at Subaru Park, which is important. And it's against now, the same team which percentage wise before the game started, it was most likely we will play New England. So now we'll play possibly four games in a row against them.”

Maintaining the lead

Head Coach Jim Curtin’s squad allowed two unanswered goals from New England, relinquishing a lead they were unable to reclaim. After the match, Curtin spoke to the difficulties of maintaining an early lead on the road and what he hopes his team can do to prevent come-from-behind efforts from opponents in the postseason.

“I think historically, over the last several years, we've been really good at closing games out. Obviously when you take a lead on the road, the chances are few and far between to get the second goal usually,” Curtin said. 

“Tonight, we conceded probably too quickly after we scored again, it's a little bit of a bad turnover that leads to a little bit of a fluky handball with Damien and we get punished. So eliminating those mistakes is something that you really need to do in the playoffs, and I agree we do need to get back to that.”

Scouting New England

Philadelphia Union could play four straight games against New England, and tonight’s matchup offered an updated scouting report on the Revolution’s squad and what Philadelphia can expect in the postseason. Curtin shared his first thoughts on their opponent from what he  noticed from tonight’s unfavorable showing. 

“New England, they wanted it to turn into an end to end track meet. What wound up happening, a good example is the second goal. They actually counter our counter attack. They almost let you come a little bit. And then when Gil, Bou, and Chancalay get going, they’re a handful in open spaces. So we made a mistake or two and got punished for it,” Curtin said.

With at least one week until the first game of the series, the team has more opportunity for preparation in Chester after time away last week due to the international break, and Curtin shared some of what he hopes to hone in on. 

“Our wing backs and our outside backs, whether we're in a four or five, have to give us some attacking moments and have to give us service for sure. And it's not just crosses, it also maybe means joining in the box and shooting and attacking. So something will certainly need to work on. We'll have a lot of days now on the training field with our full group for the first time in a while to get some things right.”

Keeping the confidence

Regardless of the loss, Curtin continued to exude confidence surrounding his group’s ability to make a run in the playoffs, which will begin in their beloved home Subaru Park fortress. With Saturday’s Decision Day result final and the regular season officially closed, Curtin’s focus is locked on the postseason

“I'll put this group up against anybody in our conference, there's no team that I think has run away and is clearly way better than anybody. So like I've said all season, we can beat anyone, we can get beat by anybody. This will start the fun part, the real season now begins and I like our chances.”

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