Pressing Points

Pressing Points | Kick off 2024 strong


Saturday is Philadelphia Union’s home opener against Chicago Fire, and the team is back to their typical pre-match schedule, starting with Head Coach Jim Curtin’s press conference at Subaru Park.

Saprissa Reflections

Philadelphia Union found their footing in the second half of Tuesday's Concacaf Champions Cup match, overcoming an unfavorable 1-0 deficit to defeat Deportivo Saprissa 3-2 in Costa Rica. Before turning focus toward the match against Chicago ahead, Curtin reflected on their first true game action this year. 

“Obviously, not our best first half with dealing with the elements, the wind, the rain, we fell behind. But I think we really leaned on our cohesiveness and the fact that these guys had been through the battles together in elimination competitions at halftime and remained calm. We showed in the second half what we're capable of and what we're about. The challenge now is to sustain that for 90 minutes,” Curtin said.

Philadelphia was able to overtake an opponent already eight games into their season on their home turf, and Curtin attributes part of their success to the team’s overall fitness, which he’s been impressed by this preseason.

“I will give credit to our sports performance department, our fitness I thought was at a really good level. Ryan Cotter, Joe Trocci did a really good job of having the boys ready to play and we got stronger as the game went on,” Curtin said. 

“We have some travel in our legs, but I think everybody's recovering well, and look forward to a home opener, where in Subaru Park, we are a really strong team.”

Quick Turnaround

Due to Concacaf Champions Cup play, Philadelphia Union will have played three games in a week by the final whistle of Tuesday’s upcoming leg 2 match against Deportivo Saprissa. As emphasized throughout the offseason, the team’s depth will be called upon in 2024 and it could be sooner than later. 

“I think you saw in our first game, we went to the bench, probably a little quicker than usual with ChuChu and Ale – they came in and impacted the game and helped us in a big way,” Curtin said. 

“Ale gave us some real calmness and experience on the field, which moved Quinn up a little bit higher up the field while the defense was tired, which I really liked. Then Quinn set up two goals for us, which was important. ChuChu came in and quietly did his job too, with Jose on the yellow card.”

Curtin stated that there’s about 14-15 players on his roster that he considers ready for a starting role, and he intends to ‘plug and play’ them to keep his group fresh and healthy through the season.