PressingPoints-SOC-April9

Philadelphia Union is looking to wrap up its homestand at Subaru Park by extending their unbeaten streak as they welcome the Columbus Crew to town on Saturday evening. Ahead of the Eastern Conference clash, Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin spoke with the media about the upcoming opponent. These are our Founders Brewing Co. Pressing Points.

It´s Time…

“The time is now, he has deserved the right to start."

That was Curtin’s response when asked about the potential for the Union’s newest Designated Player, Mikael Uhre. The possibility of getting his first start with the Union only grew for the Danish forward after he put in a strong effort in X minutes against Charlotte FC last weekend. Now it’s confirmed that Uhre will start against the Crew, putting to rest the minor set back from a quad strain after the Montreal match. An appearance at the opening whistle isn’t just a reward for his limited time on the pitch but for how he’s put in the work over the past few weeks at the Power Training Complex.

“Mikael is a great player, he has worked so hard in training, again I take the blame for maybe pushing him a couple weeks ago a little bit too hard and not pulling him back a little bit because he is so eager to help the team and he is such a good character guy he wants to impress.”

Curtin also gave a feedback on the status of Brazilian Sergio Santos who left the match in the 66th minute against Charlotte.

“Sergio is working to try to make it for the game if he does most likely be in a reserve role because we want to be smart with him”.

Midfield Chess

Not only the strikers will play a big role in the upcoming match at Subaru Park as both sides feature strong midfields that will set up some intriguing matchups. Columbus will turn to veteran Darlington Nagbe to control the match and the tempo. Coach Curtin made a point to  out how difficult it will be to defend him.

“He is a guy that if you are over aggressive with you look silly,” Curtin said. “Its a few times that in the course of 90 minutes that you are going to steal the ball from him.”

Nagbe is not the only midfielder to keep an eye on from the opposition with Lucas Zalarayan Columbus an early MVP candidate with four goals and two assists. However the Union too have a strong midfield led by Jose “El Brujo” Martinez who Curtin once again called the best No. 6 in the MLS.

“If we look at what we ask him to do, the importance he brings to our formation at the base of a diamond, you have to basically to the job of two players and Jose does that.”

Gazdag goals

Another player in the middle of the park that cannot be missed is Daniel Gazdag with goals in four straight matches.

“He has done a really good job of going into the green zone going into tough pockets and turning himself to get out of trouble,” Curtin said about the Hungarian.

It is the whole team that makes Gazdag stronger in Curtin’s opinion especially the connection with Gazdag and forward Julian Carranza

“They are both guys that like to combine,” Curtin said. “They have a good understanding of each other, they both move really well and they are both really technical smart soccer players.”

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