PressingPoints-May1

Philadelphia Union return to action on Sunday afternoon in the national spotlight as they face off against Nashville SC. The contest marks the highly anticipated opening of Nashville SC’s new soccer-specific stadium with the Boys in Blue coming in as the inaugural visitor. Ahead of the trip to Tennessee, Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin conducted his weekly press conference which focused heavily on the contest. These are our Founders Brewing Co. Pressing Points.

Setting the Tone

“The first 15 minutes are critical on the road in this league,” Curtin said when asked about going on the about the circumstances on away games. On Sunday there is another level with the match being the first at GEODIS Park. With an anticipated 30,000 fans rooting for the home side, Curtin said the start of the match will be even more important than usual.

“It’s a beautiful looking stadium and we are excited to play in it,” Curtin said. “We are excited to be the ones that get the opportunity to open it but at the same time we want to try to make 30,000 fans go quiet which is the hardest thing to do on our game.”

The Union have found early in 2022 matches, scoring within the first 15 minutes three times. In all three instances the Boys in Blue grabbed all three points.

“It is early in the season but I think it’s two of the better teams in our league getting together, ” Curtin said. “We are a first placed team that has to go in there with confidence but we recognize: really good opponent, really strong.”

Set Piece Tactics

When looking at a match up that features sides that don’t concede many scoring chances in the run of play, one area that could present the best opportunities are set pieces. Last season the Union ranked at the top of the league in goals scored from a restart and already have scored a restart goal off a free kick at New York City FC.

Curtin said tried not to jinx things when asked about not allowing a set piece goal so far in 2022, saying Nashville SC presents one of the best finishers in the box from defender Walker Zimmerman.

“Nashville will present some problems and it starts with Zimmermann,” Curtin said. “He is probably the best in the air in our league. Behind him they also have so many good guys in terms of attacking the ball in the air.”

Philadelphia Union looks to spoil Nashville SC’s big moment on Sunday afternoon. Kick off is set for 4 p.m. ET with coverage on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

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