With yet another two-game week on the horizon, Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin discussed his plan of attack during his press conference on Tuesday afternoon. These are our Founders Brewing Co. Pressing Points.
After taking over second place in the Eastern Conference with a pivotal 1-0 win over Nashville SC on Saturday evening, the Boys in Blue are back in action with a trip north against Toronto FC. Although Toronto is seated 23 points below Philadelphia in the table, Curtin said taking three points won’t be as easy of a task as you’d think given the separation between the two sides.
“We want to reach our goal of hosting a playoff game at Subaru Park where we’ve been tough to play against and that starts with a difficult road trip to Toronto,” Curtin emphasized. “This is a team that has a lot of talent and a lot of strong players, we have to treat it that way with the right mindset and mentality to try and get a result and bring some points back to Philadelphia. The table in our league at this point in the year doesn’t matter in terms of anybody can still beat anybody.”
The back end of the season has been packed for many teams in the MLS and keeping the squad healthy on short rest has been a challenge. Many players have logged an unfathomable number of minutes but Curtin explained the boys have been ready for the task.
“I can’t stress this enough, whether our guys are young or old they work towards this and we knew what the schedule was long ago. We knew they’d be able to take the load.”
With this weekend’s match being on Sunday, the club will gain an extra day of rest this week something that Curtin is glad to have. Despite the high amount of matches, Curtin said that despite the workload, getting second place in the east is the top priority.
“We’re going to go after these points 100% against Toronto. It’s not a situation where I’m going to say let’s rest against Toronto and then go chase Cincinnati. We want to take care of business now when it’s in our hands and chase every point.”
The Strikers are Coming
Curtin announced that forward Sergio Santos is good for at least a half of regulation play and Corey Burke should be ready and up for selection by this weekend’s game against Cincy. He emphasized the importance of goal scoring from every position and called on the whole team to step up offensively
“Another striker in the stable to give Kacper a little bit of a break down the stretch would be great. We need both of them to score goals if we really want to do something this year,” Curtin explained in light of Burke and Santos returning. “We need another striker to step up in those big games, that’s the reality of the sports.”
Przybylko has logged more than 2,400 minutes and leads the team in goals scored with 11 so far this season.
Curtin also announced during his presser that goalkeeper Andre Blake will miss the match in Toronto to be with his family in Jamaica following the loss of his grandmother.