Three Points | Curtin's postgame presser after #PHIvCLT

#PHIvCLT | Jim Curtin

The Philadelphia Union defeated Charlotte FC 1-0 at Subaru Park on Wednesday night in its second of three games within a week span. After picking up another three points, Head Coach Jim Curtin met with the media, where he recapped the game and previewed what’s to come.

Gazdag the Ghost

The Union’s lone goal was ruled a Charlotte own-goal, but it was placed by Daniel Gazdag, who's Curtin described as 'ghost' on the field.

“Danny has a way, and I've said this before, of almost, I don't know if he goes invisible or what, but he has a way of kind of ghosting in from a deep spot and teams just lose track of him,” Curtin said.

Gazdag has seven goals so far this season, three of which came recently, within the two games leading up to Wednesday's contest. The midfielder’s success as of late is no fluke -- Curtin said, rather, it’s characteristic of who Gazdag is as a player, regardless of what pitch he’s playing on.

“He’s done it enough times that it's not, you know, it's not luck. You know, he has a real knack for popping up at the right place at the right time and he gets lots of goals that way. Not just here, but in Hungary as well."

A luxury other teams don’t have

In the second half, Leon Flach and José Martínez carried out a more aggressive offensive approach. Curtin explained that the team felt comfortable opting to do so because of its depth of defense in Damien Lowe, Jakob Glesnes, and Jack Elliot at centre back.

“We have three centre backs that I'll put 1v1 against any any group of attackers, and we can just let them be which, I'll just say a luxury a lot of teams don't have,” Curtin said.

“The attacking players in this league are so dynamic and dangerous but Damien in space, Jakob in space, and Jack Elliott, they can all go 1v1 and you can leave them. So, knowing that as a midfielder, you can take a little more risk and be a little bit more brave when there's three big center backs back there waiting.”

Curtin also spoke to the on-field relationship between Flach and Martínez, and how each’s play complements the other.

"When Leon was forward, Jose is always there to protect and cut off passes to [Charlotte FC Forward Karol] Świderski. And then, when Jose got forward a little bit too, same thing. So, they're getting an understanding of each other, which is good. It's a formation I think we can go to," Curtin said.

Adding to the playbook

Curtin has been locked in on film, but not just scouting upcoming MLS opponents. After the game, he shared that he draws on Premiere League play for new strategy to incorporate into the team's play.

However, it's not the top European teams he looks to mirror. Rather, he chooses to focus his efforts on monitoring teams like Brentford in West London, England and what works for best for their operation.

"When they play at home, they play a certain way similar to how we play 4-4-2 diamond, and we go, and we get after the game, and we high press against certain teams. When they go on the road, and they play against the top six teams, if you look at it, they play in a back five, they're a little more stable, they take a little less risks. But they also get points against the top teams," Curtin said.

He compared Brentford's ability to adjust it's formation to the Union's growing familiarity and success within new schemes.

"I think it's something we can go to now when we go on the road against the upper tier teams. Now, we can go to this back three, which I really liked. You're always looking for little things to add to the group, and to the players credit man, they've taken on a new formation in a pretty quick amount of time and have done well."

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