Less than 24 hours after the club’s 2-1 setback to Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union Head Coach turned his attention to the club’s upcoming match against Inter Miami CF as he spoke to the media on Friday afternoon.. Here are our Founders Brewing Co. Pressing Points.
Guarding against a letdown
While Inter Miami CF has lost their last six matches which was highlighted by a 5-0 midweek rout by the New England Revolution, Curtin said his biggest job as a coach is to avoid a letdown. “What this group has done the last five seasons after a difficult loss or tough result is find a way to bounce back and find a way to put in a strong performance,” Curtin said. “We have laid the groundwork to the guys that this is a team that is going to fight for everything and going to have a strong response. In this league it only takes one victory to start a winning streak and you can move up or down the table very quickly.”
While Miami has only taken all three points just twice in 2021, one of those wins came against the Union in April. Curtin said despite their opponent’s run of poor form, they have many strong pieces that will require the Union to play at their best to get a road result.
“They still have a lot of really good and dangerous attacking pieces. Gonzalo Higuaín is a world-class striker, Lewis Morgan is a winger that I rate very highly and is dangerous. Gregore who was suspended last time gives them some bite in the midfield, Blaise Matuidi has done it at the highest level. It’s still a very strong opponent and it’s a tricky game because they’ll have a response after a disappointing result so we have to be on top of our game and conclude a stretch of six out of eight games on the road and without some of our key players. There are no easy games in this league and it’ll be a hard match against a team that is desperate for points so we’ll have to be really sharp for the entirety of the 90 minutes.”
Reinforcements on the way
As Curtin talked about the upcoming match he was able to provide some happier news on the injury front with Jamiro Monteiro and Ilsinho looking good to go in the Sunday night match. Curtin noted that Monteiro was subbed out late in the match for homegrown Paxten Aaronson due to an ankle injury but the Cape Verde international woke up on Friday feeling fine.
Curtin also noted that Ilsinho is poised to make his return to the pitch ironically against Inter Miami CF. The Brazilian playmaker made his MLS debut in the April 24 contest but only played 10 minutes before suffering a groin injury that required surgery.
“Ilsinho just trained on the field and he will be back in some capacity to help us close out the game whether we are winning or losing. That will be great to have him back with the group.”
Curtin wrapped up the injury report stating that homegrown Anthony Fontana had pass his concussion test and will be monitored to see if he’s available for Sunday but labeled it as “an outside shot” while Jack de Vries remains in concussion protocol.
With the second leg of this four-day Florida road trip on the horizon, Curtin said that the Union will have to rely on their depth to claim a result given the Florida climate.
“I think you’ll see minimum rotation for sure. In the absence of the three Jamaicans, we are a little less deep but at the same time we’ll have to make some adjustments and see how guys respond to the tough 90 minutes the other night. We’ll have to lean on our bench more in this game certainly and get some freshness in the starting lineup but we’re not going to change seven or eight guys just because we don’t have that luxury.”