Takeaways from the midweek presser: Curtin and Tanner talk Monteiro


With a difficult road match in Kansas City looming, Jim Curtin and Ernst Tanner addressed their hopes for the team going forward and the new member of the squad that they believe will push them toward their goals. 
Jamiro Monteiro joins the group
That player -- Jamiro Monteiro -- is one that both men feel will fit seamlessly into the club's preferred playing style once he adapts to the system and the league. 
"His skillset speaks for itself," Curtin offered. "Teams in the French league don't pay that kind of money for a guy if he's not a quality player. 
His best attributes are aggressively winning the ball, covering ground, and also being helpful when we do have the ball in transitions, offensively he's very good and dangerous. A lot of versatility, a lot of different ways you can use him. Him getting acclimated first and foremost is most important."
There are reasons Metz paid such a huge amount of money, for sure," Tanner echoed. "It was a little bit astonishing to us that he didn't play in the beginning but otherwise we wouldn't have him here now. 
He could play every position, but we prefer to use him as a box-to-box player," the Sporting Director continued. 
e get a loan deal with an extension of the loan and an option to buy."
"You could see even today in training, his ability and quickness to win balls, to play forward, he's very smooth and comfortable on the ball," Curtin added. "He's a guy that could play either side of the diamond, could play with two deeper midfielders, he could be one of those as well. Almost any midfield spot."
Build on the positives, clean up the mistakes
Curtin also addressed the previous weekend's loss against Toronto, pointing toward a strong first half hour as a sign of what he felt his team could accomplish going forward. Still, the head coach knows that he has some issues to address and is confident he knows what they are. "Obviously, there's things we still need to work on and clean up in terms of our box defending," he explained. "We will do that this week and we'll continue to do that throughout the year. But it's a good chance for guys to look at the tape, to get better, and I've mentioned to the group -- and they're in the same belief as me -- there are still a lot of good things from the performance, and we won't let one result define this group because this group has too much quality and is too strong.
"I think character is how you bounce back from a disappointing loss," he emphasized.
The head coach wasn't afraid to dive into more specifics about how he felt his team could improve as they move forward. "We've talked a lot now in the diamond system, when someone's playing as the deepest man, whatever side the ball is on the opposite side of the diamond has to slide in there and protect the center backs," he said. "And that goes back to the box defending too. We didn't have that in this game, we didn't recover to our spots so the center backs are on the sprint to get to the six and the two defensive midfielders are sprinting to the penalty spot to protect that area. Michael punished us twice."
But despite those issues, the positives, and how to build on them, remained at the forefront of Curtin's mind. And one positive he saw was the play of his fullbacks. "Kai had a really good night," Curtin said. "There's always little things we can tweak and talk about and go over in the film room. We didn't get Ray involved enough on the ball. I think he felt that way as well, talking with him. There's moments where he's moving forward and just the timing of our pass our maybe we mishit a ball didn't allow him to get forward like we would've hoped."
Last, the head coach reported that he has another healthy group to take to Kansas City. "Ilsinho had a knock to his ankle in the game, toward the end of the second half, right before he came out," Curtin admitted. "Other than that though, he's responded well and he's back in training. 
"Everybody's full go and healthy. 
A good thing."
The Union face off against Sporting Kansas City in their first road test of the season at 3 p.m. ET on PHL17.

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