With a chance to lock up a home match in the playoffs, Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin spoke with the media on Friday afternoon as the club prepares for FC Cincinnati on Sunday night. These are our Founders Brewing Co. Pressing Points.
Back at Subaru Park
October’s busy slate will conclude at Subaru Park on Sunday night with the Boys in Blue host FC Cincinnati for U Thank U presented by Captain Morgan. While the Ohio side is currently ranked at the bottom of the Eastern Conference table, they proved in their midweek game against a strong Nashville team that they are still a force to be reckoned with.
“They are still a very dangerous attacking team. To score three goals against Nashville is not easy,” Curtin acknowledged. “There’s no easy games in this league, if you don’t bring your best you’ll get beat.”
There are a slew of scenarios that could lead to a playoff berth for the Union but one thing is for sure, taking 3 points at home is imperative to making a long run in the postseason.
“We know what we have to do at home. We’ve worked very hard to get to this point and still want to fight for the second spot because we know how important home field advantage is. We’re still at 50 points with two games left and controlling our own destiny.” Curtin said. “We have to take care of business and have a professional performance.”
The back end of the season has presented the coaching staff with opportunities to shift from the normal 4-4-2 diamond to a 4-3-2-1 more recently. Despite the changes, Curtin believes it important to not become stagnant with formation that has seen a learning curve.
“We have to have some flexibility with the team and certainly playing this formation does that as opposed to the 4-4-2 diamond, which still remains my preferred formation.” He explained.
Curtin did announce that forward Sergio Santos will be out due to a quad injury suffered late at Toronto FC. However forward Cory Burke trained fully today with Curtin hopeful he’ll be available for the home match. Back at training was Brazilian playmaker Ilsinho who partially trained with Curtin cautiously optimistic about the opportunity for him to play a part in Sunday’s game or possibly post-season.
“He’s still got some work to do but I want him to push as hard as possible to help this team whether it’s in New York city or maybe the playoffs. I want it to end with him on the field.”