PressingPoints-SOC-Aug27

After another big bounce back win against D.C. United, the Boys in Blue return home this weekend to face the Colorado Rapids for the first time since 2019. With only eight matches left, Jim Curtin and his squad look to secure home-field advantage as the playoff race heats up. Catch the game live at Subaru Park this Saturday Night at 7:30! These are our Founders Brewing Co. Pressing Points.

Vote Union

As the season comes to a close, MLSSoccer.com’s Matt Doyle released what his ballot for the end of the year awards would look. With one of the best seasons in Union franchise history, Curtin believes that many of his players should receive recognition for how well they’ve played this year.

“Consider our guys when you’re voting for these things, take your vote very seriously and really think about it,” Curtin said. He then went on to name each individual player on the team and how they all deserve to be considered for MLS Best XI

Curtin also feels Andre Blake needs to get more praise for the amount of work he puts in for this team with his league-leading goals against average of 0.74. A goalkeeper has never won MLS MVP, but Curtin feels this is the year that should change

“I’d like to bring [Andre] into a bigger discussion, which is, ‘why aren’t goalkeepers considered for MVP candidates?’” He’s certainly a guy that’s deserving of that, and maybe we can break down some barriers and at least have him discussed in those kinds of awards… what he does here leading our group is incredible.”

Presser | Curtin ahead of hosting Colorado Rapids

High Hopes for the U

The Union have put on a historical season this year and look to finish strong into the playoffs. Coach Curtin has a bigger goal than just making the playoffs, however, he wants to see his team win the Eastern Conference regular season title.

“People argue that [winning the Conference] gives you a bye and sets you up for maybe a difficult playoff in the first round, but we make no mistake about it, we want to win the Eastern Conference, because that means Champions League berth this year,” Curtin said

After missing out on the CONCACAF Champions League this past season, one of Coach Curtin’s biggest goals is to lead his team back to the pristine tournament

“To be in the Champions League is an honor, and it’s only going to get bigger and bigger as our country understands how hard it is to get into,” Coach said. “We want to be playing in those games, it means that the badge is seen more on a global level.”

Next For the U | Union host Colorado on Saturday

Scorers' Score

After a slow start to the season offensively, the Union have really tightened up their offense and have produced a stellar offensive run for the second part of the season. The front three of Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre, and Daniel Gazdag currently hold the lead for most goals scored by a trio in the MLS this year with 34 goals amongst the three. Coach Curtin talked about how the offense has picked up in recent weeks.

“Earlier in the season, it was maybe two or three guys we were getting in the [box], and there wasn’t a real commitment to getting into the box,” Curtin said. “I think now you’re seeing, as players get used to each other, and get a little more comfortable with each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we’re committing four or five guys into the box and the spacing is very good, and we have the entire box covered.

With both Julian Carranza and Mikael Uhre being new additions to the team this year, it took time for them to adjust to the new system of this club. However, Curtin has gotten his team right to where he wants them both offensively and defensively

“Early in the year when we speak to the fact that I am okay that we aren’t scoring a ton of goals, you’ve seen the floodgates certainly open now, and we’ve stayed strong defensively,” Curtin said. “As we get to the real part of the season and the important games, I like where this group is at, and I like where we can go.”