Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin spoke to the media on Thursday during his weekly press conference. With the club coming off of a home win, we give you three takeaways from Coach Curtin's press conference as the Union head into the weekend with a matchup against New York Red Bulls.
After a 4-1 home win on Saturday over Real Salt Lake, Coach Curtin said the confidence within the group has increased after a complete performance. Union displayed both resilience and grit in their performance against RSL. The Union set a new franchise record for assists in a match with seven thanks to the play of their midfield.
"Again, our young centerbacks continue to do a very good job," Curtin said. "Our midfield three of Borek (Dockal), Ale (Bedoya) and Haris (Medunjanin) kind of controlled the tempo of the game and then our wingers really made some good plays in front of goal."
Homegrowns up for a Test
New York is coming off a strong performance after a 3-1 road win over Atlanta United. Coach Curtin said New York Red Bull is a fast paced club, which has set a standard across the league. Red Bull striker, Bradley Wright-Phillips is a key player for New York in goals, assists and pressing cues. The Union know their center backs will up for a challenge this week. .
"It’s not an easy task. They have a real big challenge, probably their toughest one yet," Curtin said. "Again, it will have to be both of them it’s not a situation where it’s a one on one match up with just Auston (Trusty) or just Mark (McKenzie), but they really have to do a good job communicating, being aware with his (Wright-Phillips) movement in the box."
Relationships off of the field are vital for on-field chemistry. Coach Curtin said Haris Medujanin and Borek Dockal are both international players from the same part of the world, who have had similar career paths to MLS. He said, you can tell the roommates like each other when they take the field, especially with playing positions so close to one other.
"There are things that matter when you go on the field in a training session and what you do tactically, what you do physically. But then, there's also kind of those intangibles of, do the guys get along and are they really willing to suffer for one another during the course of 90 minutes," Curtin said.